life after death

  1. 0
    Hello
    I'm a nurse working in a medical ward in New Zealand and I'm really interested in this site and all the things you say here. You've helped me in the past - each time I've asked.
    I know that many nurses working in hospice care have definite views on what happens after people die. I don't believe in purely "dust to dust" - I believe the soul lives on.
    You could say that I have an "issue" with God about heaven and hell and how, according to the Bible, a lot of people aren't saved because they don't trust Jesus.

    I get really stressed over this issue.

    Do you find it affects your work in hospice care, worrying about "where people will spend eternity"?

    Do you ever want to say something to sway a person's chosen way?

    I'm fully aware that pt choice comes first, pt autonomy etc, but I have this conflict inside.

    Thanks for any comments.
    Jeanette
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  3. 15 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    It is illegal to prosyletize (sp) here in the US.

    I think that each person finds their own way, and I wouldn't want to interfere with their journey. Finally peace comes from their own interpretation of why they are alive.
  5. 0
    Quote from nettie01
    You could say that I have an "issue" with God about heaven and hell and how, according to the Bible, a lot of people aren't saved because they don't trust Jesus.

    I get really stressed over this issue.

    Do you find it affects your work in hospice care, worrying about "where people will spend eternity"?

    Do you ever want to say something to sway a person's chosen way?

    I'm fully aware that pt choice comes first, pt autonomy etc, but I have this conflict inside.
    In very big bold black letters, absolutely not! Our role is to support an individual's own spiritual growth, learning process, sacred rituals, etc. but in no way should we EVER be foisting our own particular beliefs upon them, even if we believe that we hold the one true path to salvation.
  6. 0
    Thank you for these two replies.

    However they aren't very helpful to me; as I said, I'm fully aware of the fact that patient's rights come first, patient's needs and patients own spiritual beliefs are paramount and I have no right to push my views.
    (However I do have an obligation to be aware of a person's spiritual needs.)

    I was being open and vulnerable about myself and my own conflicts and wondering if anyone could relate to this.
    Jeanette
  7. 0
    I guess I don't understand the question then.
  8. 0
    Quote from canoehead
    It is illegal to prosyletize (sp) here in the US.

    I think that each person finds their own way, and I wouldn't want to interfere with their journey. Finally peace comes from their own interpretation of why they are alive.
    That must be a hospice thing. I discuss religion all the time w/ my patients and family members in critical care.

    I've been an RN for 13 yrs and I've never been told, in school or practice, that it is illegal to discuss my beliefs w/ my patients.

    And I'm very familiar w/ my Nurse Practice Act; It's not there.

    Since the mid-1800s, religion and nursing have been intertwined. I work for a CATHOLIC HOSPITAL - if that's not sending people a message, then what is?? We put Bibles at all our bedsides. Not I, the hospital.

    I'll discuss my religious beliefs with y'all, if you wish. (Never been accused of avoiding Politics, Religion and Sex). How could I not discuss religion with those most in need of it. That's why I'm a nurse.

    I don't 'cram it down peoples' throat'. But religion is part, a big part, of why I'm a nurse; it's certainly a relevant body of knowledge for me to draw from.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Sep 25, '05
  9. 0
    I guess I don't understand the question then.


    Eternity is real to me but I think many people, including nurses ofcourse, put those issues in the "too hard basket" - too hard to understand, not enough information, too much subjectivity, very sensitive topic, private and basically no-one's come back to tell us what happens when people die (as my mother told me when I asked a very long time ago).

    But when I see one person die with a real sense of peace and another with a sense of hopelessness around them, it gets to me. I admit that it's my problem. I was wondering how other people dealt with it or if they had any particular approach which helped them.
  10. 0
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    That must be a hospice thing. I discuss religion all the time w/ my patients and family members in critical care.

    I've been an RN for 13 yrs and I've never been told, in school or practice, that it is illegal to discuss my beliefs w/ my patients.

    And I'm very familiar w/ my Nurse Practice Act; It's not there.

    Since the mid-1800s, religion and nursing have been intertwined. I work for a CATHOLIC HOSPITAL - if that's not sending people a message, then what is?? We put Bibles at all our bedsides. Not I, the hospital.

    I'll discuss my religious beliefs with y'all, if you wish. (Never been accused of avoiding Politics, Religion and Sex). How could I not discuss religion with those most in need of it. That's why I'm a nurse.

    I don't 'cram it down peoples' throat'. But religion is part, a big part, of why I'm a nurse; it's certainly a relevant body of knowledge for me to draw from.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Thanks Timothy. You obviously have more freedom working for a Catholic hospital and the patients and families would be expecting some kind of religious input, which to some extent they've agreed to I guess since they are in the hospital.
  11. 0
    Quote from nettie01
    Thanks Timothy. You obviously have more freedom working for a Catholic hospital and the patients and families would be expecting some kind of religious input, which to some extent they've agreed to I guess since they are in the hospital.
    Well, for the record, my attitude and religous contribution to my patients was the exact same when I worked for the VA (gov't) hospital and when I worked for Columbia (big US healthcare company, or used to be before it branched off into several 'spin off' companies.)

    And since I'm not personally Catholic - I wouldn't bet that the Nuns would be in complete agreement with everything I say - although in the whole, my input is generic enough that I doubt they'd disagree with much, either.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  12. 0
    Quote from nettie01
    Hello
    I'm a nurse working in a medical ward in New Zealand and I'm really interested in this site and all the things you say here. You've helped me in the past - each time I've asked.
    I know that many nurses working in hospice care have definite views on what happens after people die. I don't believe in purely "dust to dust" - I believe the soul lives on.
    You could say that I have an "issue" with God about heaven and hell and how, according to the Bible, a lot of people aren't saved because they don't trust Jesus.

    I get really stressed over this issue.

    Do you find it affects your work in hospice care, worrying about "where people will spend eternity"?

    Do you ever want to say something to sway a person's chosen way?

    I'm fully aware that pt choice comes first, pt autonomy etc, but I have this conflict inside.

    Thanks for any comments.
    Jeanette
    Hello Jeanette! Welcome to Allnurses!

    I do not work in Hospice, but I've certainly had a few terminal patients who have died on my watch. I have found that many patients that I've had readily talk about their faith. Some have the need to know what my own faith is because they "feel better knowing they are being cared for by a nurse who believes in God". I never say anything to sway their own beliefs unless they ask for my thoughts on their faith versus my own, etc. If they ask me to pray with them openly at their bedside, I will do so, but will first tell them I am a Christian. I will pray as a Christian and not as something I am not. They are mature enough to understand and relate to that, so have no objections. I've never had a patient close to death who does not talk about "the hereafter" or God. Every human being has a sense of consciousness about God whether they openly admit it or not.

    I do not get "stressed" over where a patient will go once they pass on from this life. My focus remains on the living, therefore while they are still alive, I give them the best me that I can give them...even if that includes talking with them about those things they wish to discuss before they die..........no matter what those things are. Your own struggle with "where a patient goes after death" or "if there is a heaven or hell" is kin to many people's thoughts at some point or other in their life, especially if they are between 16 and 30. It's okay to question and have thoughts as you do. It's okay to be open about it with someone you feel comfortable talking to. Some of us here don't mind you asking us, so feel free to discuss your feelings knowing you'll receive many viewpoints about "life and death" and about God. :icon_hug:


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