Atheists? How do you deal with religious people? - page 4

I'm an atheist. I am uncomfortable around religious situations. I haven't started nursing school yet (14 weeks to go). I'm concerned with being confronted with people that would ask me to "Pray... Read More

  1. by   baldee
    I pray for them!

    And Stanley, you have an illegal name on this site unless you are an RN. Its posted in several places, but this new site is mixing me up daily so I can't direct you. I already have to perform at least one extra mouse-click to get to the latest posts of a thread
  2. by   Atheos
    Quote from baldee
    I pray for them!

    And Stanley, you have an illegal name on this site unless you are an RN. Its posted in several places, but this new site is mixing me up daily so I can't direct you. I already have to perform at least one click to get to the latest posts of a thread
    My name is quite legal as it has been my name for over a year now. Not one admin, moderator or brian himself have said otherwise. Plus, it is only illegal to use a title you don't have. As I am an RN student the name RN Too Be is quite apropos.

    Unless of course there is a new certification the gives you the title RN2B in which I will gladly change it.
  3. by   baldee
    "Using Professional Titles:
    Members cannot call themselves by professional titles, if they do not hold that title. ie. Members cannot call themselves "doctor, Dr., RN, LPN, LVN, Nurse,CNA, RT, MA" etc, unless they are actually licensed and/or certified as such a thing. If you have chosen a user ID name that reflects an unearned professional title, please contact administration, Admin Help Desk, and submit three (3) names for consideration. An administrator will get back with you regarding your name."

    Evidently I stand corrected. When I first signed up on new system, a note flashed first thing which was worded stronger, like I asserted beforehand. But it is not there now, or I can't find it. Of course on the other hand, your "are" or you "are not", and to say you "will" be may be too presumptuous taking into account probabilities, random chance, etc... But you are a paying customer, so all bets are off. Pardon me.

    God Bless You
    Last edit by baldee on Dec 23, '08
  4. by   Atheos
    Quote from baldee
    Of course on the other hand, your "are" or you "are not", and to say you "will" be may be too presumptuous taking into account probabilities, random chance, etc... But you are a paying customer, so all bets are off. Pardon me.
    Not that this is on topic but as a little intro to me. If I say I will pass the NCLEX that means it's in the bag.

    Never failed anything in my life. Never failed to achieve any goal I set out to achieve. Failure is not an option. I'd say it's not in my vocabulary but I just said it.

    It's only presumption if it isn't true. Plus RN2B is not a title I am aware of.
    Last edit by Atheos on Dec 23, '08
  5. by   HouTx
    I feel compelled to correct a previous comment.

    Working in a faith-based organization does not mean you are subjected to "religious rituals". I am currentoly employed by a Catholic organization. I am not a Catholic. I prefer working for non-profit organizations because it's more in line with my own belief system.

    Our organization is different in some aspects. Our mission statement includes reference to Jesus. We begin all meetings with a reflection - not a prayer - intended to help everyone focus on the task at hand. We are obligated to comply with the Catholic (Ethical) Directives for the delivery of health care. We recognize Good Friday & Easter Sunday as holidays (Yea!). Each of our facilities has a spiritual services department that provides ecumenical support for patients and staff. Hospital Chaplains (not priests) make daily rounds in our facilities. If a patient requests a priest, rabbi, pastor or shaman we will provide one.

    In times of crisis, we make sure that emotional and spiritual needs are given emphasis along with physical needs. For instance, we consider it perfectly normal for nurses to request and receive counseling & support after a 'bad' clinical experience instead of just telling them to 'leather up' and deal with it. We are committed to overarching principles of the Catholic Church - such as social justice, respect for the individual and freedom to determine one's own treatment limitations -- and we feel OK talking about spiritual issues in a public forum.

    We have absolute organizational prohibitions against proslytizing or expressing specific religious/philosophical views to patients or requiring anyone to participate in religious practices. Our leadership ranks are made up of diverse backgrounds and religions. Our physician population is extremely diverse. We make a conscious effort to ensure that our employee population's diversity is representative of the populations we serve.
  6. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from baldee
    I pray for them!

    And Stanley, you have an illegal name on this site unless you are an RN. Its posted in several places, but this new site is mixing me up daily so I can't direct you. I already have to perform at least one extra mouse-click to get to the latest posts of a thread
    No, baldee, he doesn't. If '2b' didn't follow RN then, yes, it would be unacceptable. But he makes to representation that he's already an RN.
  7. by   tvccrn
    I am not atheist, but I am pagan. I have found that when a patient asks me to pray for them, I simply do as others here have suggested and tell them I am keeping them in my thoughts. Being Wicca in a predominately catholic state has been eye-opening. I have not come across any overt intolerance and the people I work with are quite gracious about my choice. They think it's kinda neat to have a resident witch in their midst.

    My patients, for the most part, are curious. I found that to be something I didn't expect. I don't advertise my religion, but I have had a few notice my pentagram and ask questions. Most are very open-minded and don't condem me.

    I have had one recent encounter that shows just how difficult things could be though, if pushed. I recent had a lovely lady in our IR lab and she was a pastor's wife recently moved to the area from Michigan. She had no family in the area and just received her CA diagnosis. As a team, we put her at ease and she eventually smiled and joked with us. It was a pleasure to take care of her. As she left the area, she asked me to pray for her during this difficult time at Christmas. I replied that I would definitely think of her and hold her and her family in my thoughts.

    A few days later, she returned for a follow-up and I wasn't the nurse in the case. She was joking with the team and mentioned me by name, stating that I was such a cheerful person and an angel for helping her through the inital procedure. Not realizing that she was a pastor's wife, one of the staff joked with her that I wasn't an angel, but a witch in disguise. The patient was confused and it was explained that I was Wicca and a witch. The mood turned somber and the patient didn't say much more after that. It saddens me that even appreciating my care and comfort the way she did, learning of my religion changed her opinion of me.

    It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it's disheartening. So, I have asked that the staff not mention it to any except our most frequent patients, most of whom know me by know and could care less.
  8. by   baldee
    That staff member had no right talking about anything private about the hospital staff. The Supervisor should have given them a verbal warning. Whether they knew she was a Pastors wife or not, that is why it is a standard code of employment: you never know who you are going to offend until after you offend them. Just the person making constant gestures of faith would have been a clue to most. It now marks a taboo image of the hospital services for no other reason than "loose lips", and that goes for all the customers in their church or network of churches possibly, if they have a newsletter
  9. by   kcochrane
    This is a great subject. But I think we need to think of it in broader terms. As a nurse you will not only be subjected to people from different religions, but different cultures. Nursing school and the NCLEX focuses a lot on cultural and religious considerations. We are ALL going to be subjected to others that don't believe or behave as we do. It basically comes down to respect and allowing people to be comforted by their beliefs or customs as they see fit - as long as it doesn't interfere with their nursing care. So it does help to be familiar with different customs and religions. You are going to have to practice not rolling your eyes, because you not only will come across very religious people, but people whose behavior (drugs, risky behavoirs, non compliance) have landed them in the hospital.

    No one needs to know what your beliefs are or aren't. As others have stated, when someone asks you to pray for them, just nod and smile and say of course. Or state you will keep them in your thoughts. I have yet to have someone ask me to pray for them in my 4 years of nursing. Most times people just want to talk and want someone to listen.

    BTW, as a Christian, I do not see someone that is Athiest as lacking in morals. I see them as special people. To live a life that is good despite that fact that you think there is nothing beyond this world, makes you a very good person indeed.
  10. by   deftonez188
    I generally give a generic reply as well - I don't tend to overthink it, unless they really push it, which they don't. I suppose had they tried to force beliefs I would simply tell them that mine are personal, and no one's buisiness but my own.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    your patients aren't going to know your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) unless you tell them. so don't tell them. we shouldn't be discussing our religion or lack of it with our patients anyway. if someone asks you to pray for them, tell them you'll keep them in your thoughts, and if they want you to pray with them, just observe a moment of silence. all you're really expected to do is be respectful of the religious beliefs of your patients -- you don't have to agree with them.
  12. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    In nursing school they first teach us to recognize our own personal feelings toward religion. By no means are we responsible for praying for a client if we don't feel comfortable. As long as we give the appropiate referrals, we as nurses have done our job.
    Now this is just my opinion... Not trying to preach to anyone here. I personally don't have a issue praying for my patients... Whether they are christian or anyother religion. However, if a client wants me to practice a religion that im not practicing, i will not do it... I would just make a referral. Sometimes i've prayed for patients silently without them knowing it( in my opinion prayer works! ) just for the record... I'm not afraid to say that i love god with all my heart. While taking ap i've came to the conclusion that no one but god created the awesome yet complex human body. I thank god every day for allowing me to wake up, and be able to learn more and more about the human body and how it works. With out him i would be nothing. Ilm sorry i just had to let that one out. But anyway the bottom line is that you don't have to pray if you don't feel comfortable with it. As long as you are respectful to the patients religion thats all that matters. Now if i had a patient that was an antheist, would i try to convert them... No i wouldn't. That would be inappropiate to do at work. There is a time and place for everything.
  13. by   tencat
    Quote from Daytonite
    You all can argue God, no God, praying and not praying all the day long. The fact is that when you get your licenses and start working, you are going to be so busy hanging IVs, stamping out all kinds of little fires, admitting and discharging patients, calling doctors to clarify orders, dealing with relatives and all kinds of other stuff that the issue of religion or prayer is going to be the lowest priority on your ToDo list--if it even comes up.
    That depends on which area of nursing you go into. In hospice, it's going to come up daily........and when I did med/surg it came up frequently as I was in a small, rural hospital. But, yes, it is not a priority in a hospital setting.

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