Spiritality in nursing

  1. how does one approach to talking with patients about god? any suggestions?
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  2. 20 Comments

  3. by   truern
    I feel it's not my place as a nurse to approach a patient with religious discussion. Should the patient broach the subject, then I would discuss...and offer our chaplain services as well.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    It depends on the reason for needing to talk about G-d.

    If it is a patient need, then they usually lead you into discussion at a time appropriate for them

    If it is a nurse's need, therein lies a difficulty.

    We are at work to care for patient needs...our needs are secondary and might be better addressed off work.
  5. by   mysterious_one
    this is a touchy subject. One of my personal reasons why I chose to be in the nursing field is, because I believe that God send me not only to care and help people , but also to share about His love and the Good News :to be able to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior for your live, and so have the assurance of going to heaven when you die. Now in the nursing field, I have to be aware that people come from all different cultures and backgrounds, with all kinds of different believes. I will do my best first of all to show the love of God with kindness and compassion, this is what naturally you can do to everyone regardless. I believe, it depends on the situation, and you will know when a person will be open to talk about God or spiritual things, but I would be very careful in pressing my believes on anyone. Listen, listen, and then offer suggestion, maybe pray with the person. If the person have different beliefs, I am sure, they will let you know, but will not be upset, if they see , that you show genuine concern and most of all are there to listen. I just wouldn't force it, I think you will know when the situation is right.
  6. by   PurrRN
    My personal preference would be to not initiate a conversation about spirituality unless the patient did so first. However, if the OP is a nursing student like myself, some of the paperwork required for school assignments insist on a spiritual assessment. My developmental assessment form includes physical, psychosocial, cognitive, moral, and SPIRITUAL development. I know that the idea is that nursing is viewed in a holistic approach, however I personally think this is one area that should be dropped. I've gathered that in "real life", this is probably not really addressed all that often by practicing RN's (SOOO much to do, so little time), but we lowly nursing students are still required to try and gather this info. Usually I try a therapeutic approach by asking, "Is there anthing you'd like to share with me about your spiritual life or experiences?" If that does't work, I'm done. I've tried and don't want to push the envelope any further. My instuctor has actually told me that I need to get more comfortable in this area of information gathering, but I don't know.....it just feels ODD to me that a nurse needs this type of info. Just me I guess.
  7. by   PANurseRN1
    Quote from usf07
    how does one approach to talking with patients about god? any suggestions?
    easy...you don't.
  8. by   mixyRN
    Quote from mysterious_one
    this is a touchy subject. One of my personal reasons why I chose to be in the nursing field is, because I believe that God send me not only to care and help people , but also to share about His love and the Good News :to be able to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior for your live, and so have the assurance of going to heaven when you die. Now in the nursing field, I have to be aware that people come from all different cultures and backgrounds, with all kinds of different believes. I will do my best first of all to show the love of God with kindness and compassion, this is what naturally you can do to everyone regardless. I believe, it depends on the situation, and you will know when a person will be open to talk about God or spiritual things, but I would be very careful in pressing my believes on anyone. Listen, listen, and then offer suggestion, maybe pray with the person. If the person have different beliefs, I am sure, they will let you know, but will not be upset, if they see , that you show genuine concern and most of all are there to listen. I just wouldn't force it, I think you will know when the situation is right.
    Amen sister!
    The Lord has lead me to pursue nursing through His divine blessing. I would have never chosen this field on my own, but I prayed for many years that He would lead me to the right path and I would follow. I heard His whisper first, then louder and louder over the course of 5 years. I am now so excited and blessed He has chosen me to serve in this way! I start clinicals in January and have never been more sure of anything in my life. I have come to realize that the instrinsic gifts He has given me, along with my personal life experiences have shaped me for His purpose. God Bless! <><
  9. by   moongirl
    our nursing student's care plans DO NOT adress spirituality, and I think that is the way it SHOULD be. If it is brought up, I smoothly slide into " would you like to speak to our non denominational chaplain?" because I know that as a pt, if a nurse started to speak to me about it I would absoultely come unglued. too many different religions, beliefs, attitudes, feelings etc. Maybe this gets more addressed in LTC or Hospice.. but IMO, I am not there to discuss religion, it is not what I am trained nor wish to do. Every hospital I have been in has educated clergy to fill this need.
  10. by   Josh L.Ac.
    In my accelerated BSN program, we covered this topic with TWO lectures in the first ten weeks - no other topic recieved as much airtime. It was presented in such a way that a good nurse will always show concern for the patient's spirituality and give spiritual care if necessary.

    Sorry. I'd rather spend a little more time on IVs. If my patient wants spiritual care, I'm sure they would rather get it from a chaplain / professional religious adviser than an ardent agnostic like myself.
  11. by   CityKat
    Why would you approach a patient about God? Not everyone believes in God and some of those people may get very offended if their nurse starts to talk to them about a spiritual being they do not believe in. If a patient approaches you about God and you feel comfortable talking to them about it, then that is ok. But I think approaching THEM about God is something you should think very carefully about. In my program, we are taught that we have to put our own personal religious beliefs aside for the sake of the patient. We are not there to talk to the patient about religion, we are there for their personal care.
  12. by   Pompom
    I do not think it is proper to discuss God with patients, that is what chaplains are for.
  13. by   jov
    Nurses are there to help the patient in meeting all his/her needs, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. I do not understand nurses who feel that they should NOT talk to their patients about their spiritual needs. Do you neglect their emotional needs or mental needs too?
    One simply has to ask an open ended question such as, "Where are you at spiritually, with all this?" and let the patient take the lead from there.
  14. by   OnTheRoad
    I believe that if a patient initiates a conversation with you about God and you are comfortable with it and so are they, then feel free to talk or if they ask pray with them, but never debate their personal beliefs. I do not believe it is a nurse's place outside of asking the general religious preference to initiate religious talk. Just my 2 cents. I am a christian myself, but felt totaly uncomfortable when a fellow student tracted me. I know I wouldn't feel comfortable as a patient having a nurse talk to me about religion.

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