Would You Pray if your Patient asked? - page 17

If a patient asked you to pray with or for them at the bedside, would you? I had this discussion with some other nurses and the responses were interesting. Some said they would have no problem,... Read More

  1. by   2MagnoliaTrees
    Most definitely, I would pray with them and for them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. by   queenofdenials
    Absolutely! I have prayed w/ many patients, for many more patients and will cont to do so as I am led. If a patient has expressed their beliefs and I feel led to pray, I have asked them if I can pray w/ them or for them...the question has never been turned down in 22 yrs of nursing (thank God!). I would be haunted if a pt asked me to pray w/ or for them and I didn't, then something happened to them!!!! I pray for most my patients and for the hands that will care for them DHS. Since my husband is a surgeon...I pray for God to guide his hands and his skills daily! I am much bolder in these days than 20 yrs ago! 20 yrs ago I took care of a 16 yr old who was going to have a bil BKA, so I sat on the edge of his bed and let him cry on my shoulder. I was suspended for 3 days w/o pay for sitting on the edge of the bed and for showing emotion!!! Times have changed!
  3. by   ktwlpn
    Originally posted by psychonurse
    I can remember 17 years when I was taking my RN classes, more than once I had my instructors talk to me about praying with my patients and my OB instructor taught us how to do the baptismal on a newborn when they are not doing well or stillborns. I can remember having to do that once while I was a student, I had a mother whose infant wasn't going to make it and I babtized it before it died.

    Just to clarify something for me and satisfy my own curiossity-do you mean that back in the day nurses ran around hospitals baptizing dead or dying babies without the parents permission? I have heard other nurses speak of being taught how to perform a baptism-in case there were no priests available at the time....Do you mean that the mother asked you to baptize her baby? Lay people commonly perform the sacrament of the sick-I don't see a problem with it....
  4. by   luvbeinganurse
    I would absolutely pray with a patient if he/she asked me to. I have had my aides and homemakers ask me if they can pray with their patients, and I have always encouraged them to do so if it will be a comfort to their patients.

    In fact, there have been times when I have suggested to my patients that they pray, like when I am doing blood draws. Especially if I have someone who looks like a hard stick, I look them right in the eye, smile, and tell them, "If you are a person that believes in prayer, this is probably as good a time as any to begin." They always give me a laugh, and most of them tell me they already have been! I tell them, "Me, too!" I think it's great when you can feel comfortable enough to talk about prayer or faith with your patients, it's not always just the body that needs healing.
  5. by   chinaway
    As I am a chrisitian, I will pray for my patients if they ask.

  6. by   FranRN
    If a patient made this request of me I would not hesitate. I would be honored to sit with my patient and say this prayer for them. I say prayers for my patients all the time on the way home from work. So what is the difference here. It could make a lot of difference for the patient.
    I am not a Religious freak. I do believe in God and that he can heal the sick and end the suffering. He is everywhere and in the hearts of all those whom let him in.
    I think of one situtaion, in which I prayed with my patient. She was a young lady, in her 40's, dying of cancer. Chemo had not helped the type of cancer she had. She was in the nursing home where I worked for about two weeks. She was constantly surrounded by family members and friends. This one night I worked she was alone and having a really tough night. We prayed together that night. A few days later she was in an unresponsive state. Hanging on for something or someone. I sat with her and prayed again. She died the next day. Maybe the prayers just offered her some sort of comfort/relief.
    I do believe that it is part of our nursing duty. I can certainly see where it would make some feel uneasy. Offer a moment of silence and a silent prayer.
    Take care :-)
  7. by   NURS4GOD
    I can't tell you how honored I have been the times that one of my patients has seen my light shine and asked me to pray with them. This has never happened unless the patient and I have talked previously during that stay about our faith. I am very open about my faith,( I am a Christian), and try to assess my patient's spiritual needs as well as doing a head to toe each day. I had a patient tell me this week what an answer to prayer I was, because she had just been praying for a Christian nurse the night before. I have prayed with patients before surgery, this brings much comfort to them. I am honor to represent my Lord and Savior through my profession.
    Becky:angel2:
  8. by   tylerlvn
    I agree with NURS4GOD. I would be honored to pray with one of my paitents if they requested it. Right now I am in clinicals and have never been asked - but I am ready when it happens!
  9. by   nursemike
    Quote from Agnus
    I myself border on agnostic. I have studied various spriitual and religious systems for many years.

    I have asked others to pray for me. At times I didn't even believe myself that there was anyone to pray to or that prayers were real. However, when I have asked I figured it can't hurt. I expected the person to pray in their own tadition. Often I'd say this when I knew the person was on their way to church/temple. Or when I knew the person prayed frequently. Always the person's face lights up and they smile when I ask this. It seems to do something for religious people to request this.

    Some times I have really felt that I needed the aid of prayer. I often tell people they are in my prayers. Though I do not kneel and pray words to a personal deity. I do pray in my fashion.

    There has been much scientific backed study that says prayer has a profound effect on healing even if the person was prayed for by others without thier knowledge. There fore I cannot dispute it's value in nursing.

    I don't know if there is a God. Though I suspect there may be something. I don't know what God is. At the very least belief in a God has strong psychological benefits on people.


    When I have been asked to pray with patients they have always recognized that I may not share their traditions beliefs or denomination and when I did pray in their tradition (remember my religious education) they were surprised. Generally patients and families do not expect me to lead a prayer in thier tradition. They have told me pray in my own, what ever that may be.
    Occasionally they wanted prayes in their own tradition and would lead them.
    Amen, sister!
    One of my instructors suggests if you aren't comfortable leading the prayer, offer to pray along as they lead. Sounds reasonable. But I think if one strongly objects to praying, it's fair enough to find someone else who doesn't. If I were a better atheist, I might feel hypocritical praying at all. If I were a better Christian, I might hesitate to pray to "false gods"--actually, that hasn't ever come up, and if it did, I would probably have to work around it: "I'll pray to my god as you pray to yours." or something like that.
    I never preach to patients, and don't think I would even if I were sure of my own beliefs, but I do pray for them, privately, even when they don't ask.
    I don't think attending to a patient's spiritual needs necessarily means your own personal intervention. Getting a chaplain consult is no more a cop-out than getting a physician to prescribe a med, rather than prescribing it yourself. (Looking at it that way, is monkeying around with peoples' souls really in our scope of practice? Well, maybe it is, but I for one feel compelled to tread lightly.)
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Of course. I have felt honored when patients and families ask me to join in prayer.
  11. by   susanna
    No, I don't feel honored when people ask me to pray with them and I do feel that it is too personal for someone to ask me to pray for them and that I be forced to have to do so. I'd feel violated if that were a rule.

    I don't know what the current opinion is. Is it more preferred to tell a white lie and say, Yes, of course I will, even though you may or may not depending on how comfortable the patient's request makes you feel? Or is it more prefered that, if you cannot honestly and completely say yes, you decline and direct the patient towards the proper department of people who will be able to completely fulfill any prayer requests for them?
  12. by   nurturing_angel
    I would and I have
  13. by   HisTreasure
    Of course, without hesitation. I can't say that I would lead the prayer unless specifically asked, but I don't see any problem with praying with patients. In His Word it says "When two touch and agree..." so, as a nurse (student as of now) with a strong belief in God's healing powers, it would be one of my care procedures for EVERY one of my patients. I would pray whether I did it with the patient (by request) or quietly outside the patient's door (simply acting on faith).

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