Incorporating One's Faith into One's Work

  1. 2 Hello All,

    I am a Christian and a new nurse and I am in the process of trying to learn how to incorporate my faith into my work. I believe that becoming a nurse is something God has called me to do after being in corporate America for 8 years now; I want to do it right. I want the Lord to shine through me in my work and in how I relate to others. The fact that I leave behind a great career with great pay means nothing to me because it yielded no satisfaction or fulfillment. People call me "crazy", but I am crazy in the Lord and heeded to his call to become a nurse.

    I have been reading a few books on religion and healthcare and I was curious to see if anyone had any advice on how I can exemplify God's example in what I do. For example, I am reading a book called "Is There a God in Healthcare?" It is a great book about a physician who incorporates his faith into his works and he describes how it has positively affected his practice. Another book that I am reading is called "Called to Care: A Worldview for Nursing" and that book is great because it talks about ideas and theories behind what nursing is and how it relates to Christianity's message of caring and loving othersas Jesus does.

    Recently, I became a subscriber to the Journal of Christian Nurses and was curious to know whether anyone else has read articles or books relating to this subject. This journal is fantastic, but leaves me hungry for more after I am done reading it.

    Any advice or recommendations are highly appreciated. Much love to all in the name of Christ our Lord.
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  3. Visit  Lilnurse0803 profile page

    About Lilnurse0803

    From 'Bay Shore, NY'; 37 Years Old; Joined Mar '04; Posts: 162; Likes: 41.

    11 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  burn out profile page
    3
    I believe if you feel God lead you to be a nurse then you need to let him do his work through you...be the vessel. Let him use your hands and mind to help others but it will have to be him doing the work. You can pray before going into work, you can pray during your breaks, but beyond that you are on shakey ground.Perhaps if the patient asks for you to pray with them and you are comfortable that is permissable but to go beyond that may get you into trouble. It is more effective to be a role model than preacher. Let others even the blind see Christ in you, they will know we are christians by our love.
  5. Visit  Elvish profile page
    6
    My dad says "Always be a witness. If necessary, use words." I like that.
  6. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
    1
    I really like the above two comments. I am a Christian and have been in nursing many years, and recently started being a teacher for nursing assistants. This has caused me to think about how I should teach others to deal with spiritual/religious issues at work. When I came to this job, I was given a power point presentation to teach the theory part of class. It has a section on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Where it talks about the spiritual needs of the patients, it says you should never try to change someone's religion. I was wondering how to share more about this topic, because some of the ones being trained are Christians or are religious. I understand the viewpoint many have, that everyone needs Christ and that it is a great help to others, even a form of love, when we lead them to Christ. But even if that is your view, it is a very sticky point to be speaking about such things at work, even under the best of intentions. And someone could get in a lot of trouble if they said a word which offended their patient and were complained about. I just would like to have more words around this topic, to be able to talk about this with students. Would anyone like to comment more about this matter?
    tnbutterfly likes this.
  7. Visit  tnbutterfly profile page
    2
    conscientiousnurse........I appreciate your comments. It is great that now, since you are in a teaching position and are responsible for instructing others how to provide spiritual care, you are indeed being a conscientious nurse and wanting to discuss how to provide this type of care.

    When meeting the spiritual needs of the patient, we always need to take our cues from them and never impose our religious beliefs on them. We need to assess spiritual needs just as we are to assess physical and psychological needs. Many times patients are going through spiritual distress as they are dealing with overwhelming health challenges. As a nurse, we must try to meet those spiritual needs, either directly or through the help of another person such as a chaplain, clergy, parish nurse, priest, etc.

    If the patient requests prayer, then either the nurse, if he/she is comfortable doing so, or another, such as the chaplain, should provide prayer. It is fine, as part of the spiritual assessment, to ask if the patient has a religious affiliation or is a member of a religious community, or would like someone from a religious organization to be contacted. You can ask the patient how they would like you to address their spiritual needs in their healthcare, or how you can assist them in their spiritual care. The patient and family to whom religion/spiritual issues play an important role in their lives will be very glad that you asked them to share their beliefs and asked how you might best meet their needs.

    You might want to read some of my blog entries in my allnurses staff blog, Body, Mind, and Soul where I discuss other aspects of spiritual care in nursing.
  8. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    2
    I enjoyed reading your post and appreciate how important spirituality is in your practice. The only thing I would caution is to remember that the patients' spiritual needs always take priority and not your own.
    loriangel14 and leslie :-D like this.
  9. Visit  redrobin4444 profile page
    1
    I am a Christian too and pray before I go to work, while at work, etc. The Lord usually opens up a door, by patients and their family asking about the peace I have, or how they feel when they are with me.. etc.. Let Jesus shine! they will see! and you will share when the door opens!
    Godisthere likes this.
  10. Visit  sweetnurse63 profile page
    2
    Very nicely said. I am am a christian also and I love the Lord and because of his love that is within in me, it automatically shines where ever I go. I don't have to learn how to incorporate my faith in the healthcare environment, it comes natural just by being myself and showing that I care while remaining professional at the same time. I treat others as I would want to be treated.
    leslie :-D and Godisthere like this.
  11. Visit  Godisthere profile page
    2
    I am also a Christian.
    There was a post that was on "God works in Geriatrics".....I'd look 4that...
    It was talking about how this nurse saw God's work in her field.
    BTW, the best way to c where God wants u 2go is read the Bible and pray
    believe me, He'll show u the way....
    John 3:16
    rnwannabe75 and Grant.shawnsmom like this.
  12. Visit  kakamegamama profile page
    6
    Quote from Lilnurse0803
    Hello All,

    I am a Christian and a new nurse and I am in the process of trying to learn how to incorporate my faith into my work. I believe that becoming a nurse is something God has called me to do after being in corporate America for 8 years now; I want to do it right. I want the Lord to shine through me in my work and in how I relate to others. The fact that I leave behind a great career with great pay means nothing to me because it yielded no satisfaction or fulfillment. People call me "crazy", but I am crazy in the Lord and heeded to his call to become a nurse.

    I have been reading a few books on religion and healthcare and I was curious to see if anyone had any advice on how I can exemplify God's example in what I do. For example, I am reading a book called "Is There a God in Healthcare?" It is a great book about a physician who incorporates his faith into his works and he describes how it has positively affected his practice. Another book that I am reading is called "Called to Care: A Worldview for Nursing" and that book is great because it talks about ideas and theories behind what nursing is and how it relates to Christianity's message of caring and loving othersas Jesus does.

    Recently, I became a subscriber to the Journal of Christian Nurses and was curious to know whether anyone else has read articles or books relating to this subject. This journal is fantastic, but leaves me hungry for more after I am done reading it.

    Any advice or recommendations are highly appreciated. Much love to all in the name of Christ our Lord.
    Congratulations on your achievement in nursing! May the Lord bless you in your journey.

    As to incorporating your faith into your practice....it may involve dying, as in "dying to self"., a lot. By that I mean there will be days/times in which you can't do anything but serve others--the patients as well as your fellow nurses---and that service may come at great cost to you---few/no breaks; inability to eat because you don't have the time, etc. I think you get the picture. Don't fall into the trap of gossip. Lovingly redirect conversations, or be silent, when others are being "wrung out" by your fellow staff members. Have a nurses' aide who is overwhelmed because she/he is the only one covering numerous patients? Help them. Have a patient/patient family member who is/are driving the whole floor nuts? BE that person who listens, TOUCHES them in a non-nursing way, etc. And, REJOICE in the work you do. You are being Jesus to people who need His touch--even if they don't know it or think otherwise.

    I wish you the best & may you honor Him in your work.
  13. Visit  PeepnBiscuitsRN profile page
    3
    I'm also Christian, and I know many nurses I work with are as well. I pray on my way to work (and listen to a Christian music station...I find it puts me in a different mindset than when I listen to manistream, it's proven!) I pray that God would give me the strength to handle whatever happens, to lead me to where he wants me to take nursing, and most of all to be merciful.

    I work at a hospital where we can have some really difficult patients. Whether they're being admitted from a nursing home for AMS and they're yelling out the whole 8 hours, spitting and hitting, or they're people who OD'd to try to kill themselves (I work on a tele floor, they come to us first before psych) or people being admitted to "dry out", who are just surly as can be, or our jail patients. I remember what the Bible says, plain as day about LOVE. It doesn't say to love those who are nice to you, it says to love EVERYONE, love the Wiccan drag queen who threatened to curse the last 2 nurses who ticked him/her off, love the drug seeker who is on her light every 15 minutes complaining that you didn't push the Dilaudid fast enough and that's why they're still in 10/10 pain (and demanding another 2 box lunches). Love the man who is a jail patient, who was in jail because he beat the living snot out of his wife. It's hard, I had a patient last week who really pushed the right buttons.

    I'm a pacifist, and I really cling to the love. Right now I'm trying very hard to figure out tough love- Jesus was not opposed to tough love, and that's something I really need to work on!
  14. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    2
    Quote from Lilnurse0803
    Any advice or recommendations are highly appreciated. Much love to all in the name of Christ our Lord.
    I recommend you start focusing on the spiritual needs of your patients at work and focus on your own spiritual needs before and after your shifts.
    kabfighter and leslie :-D like this.

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