Atheism in nursing - page 4

I was looking for some input. I am an atheist and haven't believed in God for as long as I can remember. However I understand that faith is extremely personal and important to many people. I may not... Read More

  1. by   seconddegreebsn
    Quote from uRNmyway
    I kind of go between believer and agnostic, probably dozens of times per day, some days. However, working in the bible belt, I can't really talk about it with colleagues. So on the few times where staff got together for group prayer, I'll just shut my eyes, lower my head, and think positive thoughts. Or just clear my mind and relax for a minute. I doubt they'll know the difference, and you do get some benefit from taking a minute to breathe deep. Just saying.
    But if it makes you that uncomfortable, don't do it. I just don't feel strongly about it either way, hence the agnostic thing.
    I was in a situation recently where a nurse manager gathered the staff for group prayer before shift and it made me TREMENDOUSLY uncomfortable - I went along with it but I said something to a preceptor afterwards about how inappropriate the situation was. Not a nondenominational prayer - it was Jesus this and Jesus that all over the place. Is this a thing? I really hope not, I thought it was extremely presumptuous of her to force participation without allowing people to express discomfort - I didn't speak up because I was only there for a day, but she made it clear that participation in Christian prayer was a requirement for working on her unit.
  2. by   seconddegreebsn
    I think original poster was very respectful in her approach and probably would have conducted myself similarly. There are people on staff to help with religious matters, but if having a nurse of the same religion is a priority for you, maybe looking into parish nursing practices, which would fit your needs better than a non denominational hospital setting. I think nurses can provide support for patients without having to compromise their beliefs or be forced into participating in things they'd rather not - I don't pray, but I'm happy to find someone who will pray with you.
  3. by   MurseCumberbatch2b
    I am an agnostic and personally I feel that my job is to take care of the patient to the best of my ability.
    Why not "pray" with them? If you don't believe in prayer then it has no power over you. In my opinion you could have provided hope and strength to a patient in need. Instead, an awkward situation arose and pain and anger was able to enter that room.

    I am not saying what you did was wrong but I don't believe it was what was best for the patient, ergo it was wrong in my opinion and for me. So what, they asked you to share a moment with them in "pray". Take that time to meditate in your mind and be present in the moment with your patient. You don't have to believe it to participate....pass on good vibes for all I care.

    IMO you lost an opportunity to help a patient because of pride.
    Ask yourself this, who "won" from this encounter.....nobody.

    Just my personal opinion.
  4. by   Krzysztof
    I'll admit that I have not read this thread, primarily because I find organized religion to be the most wretched of scourges known to man. HOWEVER, I am not above playing a role that I find beneficial to the health, comfort, and well-being of a patient, family member, or friend. I lie about plenty of stuff every day, so why not this? I'll pray, dance, sing, shake, and shout... if I think it will help to alleviate suffering and/or bring about wellness. That is what humanitarianism means to me.

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