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 for them" and stuff. I don't know if this is a common occurrence among patients, etc. Aside from not wanting to be included in religious sentiments, I also am very uncomfortable with lying. I think I would find moral difficulty with saying "Okay" to someone that would ask me to pray for them.
I'd prefer to hear from atheists how they deal with situations like that. I'd rather not get into a religion discussion, if it can be avoided.
I was trying to search for old threads, but the links from the search engine are not going to the correct pages.
There are some implications to nursing when you are an atheist or agnostic. I'd check yourself for defensive behavior or egotistical behavior in conversations about religion. If this doesn't apply to you, great. I used to struggle with the defensive and ego-based behavior when religion came up in conversation. I've noticed many atheists do.
I'd also check and monitor your demeanor and affect when discussing spiritual or religious needs with patients. The tiniest twitch of your cheek, veiled smirk, etc; these are apparent to patients. That is a failure because then the patient's experience is tainted by your disapproval.
It's my opinion that it is best for your beliefs to be kept quiet, when in nursing school and when you are new on the job. The reason I say this is because some religious people are so shocked and threatened by those who are not believers, they believe such people are incapable of true morality. When you are in a vulnerable position, like as a student or new employee, you don't want your character to be viewed this way, potentially. As you can see, my advice is pragmatic.
Last edit by Multicollinearity on Dec 22, '08