Praying in the work place - page 10

by RipeTomato

10,837 Views | 134 Comments

Hi everybody, I'm three months into my new job as a hospice RNCM and have been learning a lot. I generally love, love, love my job. My question today is about praying in the workplace. I know that Medicare requires a... Read More


  1. 4
    Quote from Mulan
    If this were a Muslim country, fine. It's not.

    But it IS supposed to be a DIVERSE nation, is it not???
    And just for interest...I am currently working and living in a Muslim country...and NOT once have I have asked to pray before I begin work....and NOT once has a co-worker asked if they could " pray for me"
    I hear the call to prayer 5 times a day ( well, 4 actually because the first one is at 0530-ish) but prayer here is a private, cherished time...to be shared with Allah only.
  2. 1
    OK....here is what I think......

    I think we need to be tolerant of each other. I think that ...for the most part religion should be out of the boardroom and meetings...unless you work for a religious company the one would expect that this would be the norm. I worked for YEARS for a catholic facility and when I left....I dearly missed the morning an evening prayer. I missed the ever presence of the nuns...I missed Father John (RIP) being around every corner and answering codes in the middle of the night. It gave me...peace.

    But we didn't start with prayers at every meeting.....there would be an occasional "blessing" at BIG corporate meetings (they were nuns after all....) But I found their unwavering presence...comforting.

    I think we need to be respectful of each others religious beliefs...which is more diverse today than years ago. I have been in meeting where there are Muslims, Hindi, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Wicca/Pagan, Pentecostal, christian, Orthodox, Jew, and atheist in one room.... and yes we got along and yes we accomplished many things. (I know a diverse lot we were )

    Religion/politics (amongst other topics) are polarizing topics. Everyone will have their opinion and will protect/defend their opinion to the ninth degree. What we need to remember is to be polite and supportive. Take this opportunity to learn and respect each others point of view.

    Allnurses LOVE good debates a long as it is respectful and polite.
    NRSKarenRN likes this.
  3. 5
    This is why I dont like religion. Something that is supposed to bring others together and teach acceptance only ends up driving people apart.

    I dont care if you pray at work. I dont care if you pray for me. I dont care if you start meetings with a prayer. My "soul" wont spontaneously erupt through my ears if this happens. Just dont talk to me about converting to your beliefs.
  4. 4
    Quote from Esme12
    OK....here is what I think......

    I think we need to be tolerant of each other. I think that ...for the most part religion should be out of the boardroom and meetings...unless you work for a religious company the one would expect that this would be the norm. I worked for YEARS for a catholic facility and when I left....I dearly missed the morning an evening prayer. I missed the ever presence of the nuns...I missed Father John (RIP) being around every corner and answering codes in the middle of the night. It gave me...peace.
    *** I am with you. I spend years working in a Catholic Hospital. Certain things about it drove me crazy. Like how no forms of birth control were covered under our insurance. I loved certain other things. Mainly the fantastic chaplin service. For me it was Father Nick. Father Nick was always there whenever we had a code, or were withdrawing life support on a patient. Either standing at the bedside, often holding a family memeber's hand, or in cases where is wasn't welcome at the bedside standing a respectful distance away just in case he was needed.
    I once had a terrable motorcycle trauma patient who happend to be homosexual. His long term SO was constantly at the bedside. The patients parent's where missionaries in Africa. It took them 3 days to arrive at the bedside from Africa and when they did they freaked out that we were allowing his same sex partner to sit at the bedside and hold his hand. There was a lot of yelling and even threats. NONE of the nurses were willing to forbid the SO from visiting his long term partner. At the same time we didn't want his parents to not be able to visit their son The parents insisted that the SO was NOT part of the family and had no right to be there. Our hospital policy states that family is who the patient says it is. Our patient could not speak for himself but we assumed that the same sex partner was his family. They had lived together for 16 years (I checked their drivers lisences).
    This made for a tense and very uncomfortable situation for the nurses. I called Father Nick and asked him to help. He pulled the parents and SO into a room and did I don't know what but when they came out all was calm and an arrangment had been reached. The parents would only visit on day shift and the SO would only visit on NOC shift. A side benefit to our patient is that he had people who loved him at the bedside 24/7 (except for when the unit was closed for 2 hours at each shift change).
    I also once observed Father Nick volenteer to be the one to explain to a 7 year old girl that her mommy was dead. He did it with grace and love and did it beautifuly, if such a thing is possible.
    Now I work in a secular hospital and it's not the same. We have chaplins but none of them are Father Nick.
    salvadordolly, NRSKarenRN, Benedina, and 1 other like this.
  5. 1
    Quote from PMFB-RN
    *** I am with you. I spend years working in a Catholic Hospital. Certain things about it drove me crazy. Like how no forms of birth control were covered under our insurance. I loved certain other things. Mainly the fantastic chaplin service. For me it was Father Nick. Father Nick was always there whenever we had a code, or were withdrawing life support on a patient. Either standing at the bedside, often holding a family member's hand, or in cases where is wasn't welcome at the bedside standing a respectful distance away just in case he was needed.
    I once had a terrible motorcycle trauma patient who happened to be homosexual. His long term SO was constantly at the bedside. The patients parent's where missionaries in Africa. It took them 3 days to arrive at the bedside from Africa and when they did they freaked out that we were allowing his same sex partner to sit at the bedside and hold his hand. There was a lot of yelling and even threats. NONE of the nurses were willing to forbid the SO from visiting his long term partner. At the same time we didn't want his parents to not be able to visit their son The parents insisted that the SO was NOT part of the family and had no right to be there. Our hospital policy states that family is who the patient says it is. Our patient could not speak for himself but we assumed that the same sex partner was his family. They had lived together for 16 years (I checked their drivers lisences).
    This made for a tense and very uncomfortable situation for the nurses. I called Father Nick and asked him to help. He pulled the parents and SO into a room and did I don't know what but when they came out all was calm and an arrangement had been reached. The parents would only visit on day shift and the SO would only visit on NOC shift. A side benefit to our patient is that he had people who loved him at the bedside 24/7 (except for when the unit was closed for 2 hours at each shift change).
    I also once observed Father Nick volunteer to be the one to explain to a 7 year old girl that her mommy was dead. He did it with grace and love and did it beautifully, if such a thing is possible.
    Now I work in a secular hospital and it's not the same. We have chaplains but none of them are Father Nick.
    Thanks that made me smile....... I needed that today!!!!!
    PMFB-RN likes this.
  6. 0
    Quote from PRICHARILLAisMISSED


    I do not think that I should have to spend time staying quiet while you pray, as it is wasting my time.

    Come on...Just one sentence prior to this you state that you "...respect other people's religious choices...," yet it is too much to ask of you to be quiet while they take a minute (or less in many cases!) to do something that is very meaningful to them. (BTW, you can also just walk away from them, you know? you don't have to stand there and listen...) What do you think it means to respect other people's religious choices?
    Do you just think that it means that you don't openly criticize their beliefs? Seriously, how much can you really respect their religious choices and beliefs if it bothers you to stay quiet for half a minute? BTW I'm not attacking you, but if you reread your post you should understand why I ask these questions.
    Come on...Just one sentence prior to this you state that you "...respect other people's religious choices...," yet it is too much to ask of you to be quiet while they take a minute (or less in many cases!) to do something that is very meaningful to them. (BTW, you can also just walk away from them, you know? you don't have to stand there and listen...) What do you think it means to respect other people's religious choices?

    If you finished reading the other half of that sentence you quoted you would see that I said IN THEIR OWN TIME. I really do not care what you believe in, and if praying is for you, then I don't care either, as long as you do not involve me in this activity. You might call it dramatic, but I am fed up by many people's religious sense of one-sided entitlement. I am expected to respect other's beliefs by quietly having to stand by and wait patiently while they finish their prayer. How is that respecting my lifestyle in which prayer has no place? Now, if I can walk away or leave the room while you (not you personally) pray so I can move on with my life then I have no issue with what you do, because again, you do it on your own tine. Unfortunately, I have been in many situations where walking away is not an option, and I am expected to wait quietly until prayer is over, and that is not ok in my opinion.
    I will try and keep my answer short here, but let me say that as a non-religious person, it is not a sign of comfort for me when a caretaker comes into my room and asks me if we can/want to pray. That is a very personal question and more often than not sparks an uncomfortable moment when I tell that person that I am absolutely not interested. Maybe it is because I am white and live in Suburbia, but I have found that people are so convinced that I will happily agree to prayer (read, am of their religion) that they are most often taken aback my my refusal. The resulting awkwardness on their part and annoyance on mine, in my opinion, damages the patient-caretaker relationship more than it helps. Now, if the patient requests spiritual support then by all means provide it. Personally, I offer to call in a chaplain or other spiritual support to provide that care.
  7. 0
    Quote from St_Claire
    There's even more research that states meditation does all those things and MORE.
    Yes meditation and praying both relieve stress. One of those articles I added touches up on both.
  8. 4
    Quote from Tinker88
    Why are so many of you so angry about people praying? I don't care who the person is, people have the right to assemble and pray in public even if you are a Jew, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, or whatever! And doesn't research support the idea that praying soothes the mind and helps stress? If so then maybe the work place wants to put their employees minds at rest. I don't know....I don't see the big deal. Maybe your hospital considers itself as a family like my work place does. Families pray together and in every family you have those who pray and those who do not pray, but the members of that family still care for each other.

    Nurses' experiences, expectations, and preferences for mind-body practices to reduce stress
    Spirituality and Prayer Relieve Stress | World of Psychology
    Seniors Use Prayer To Cope With Stress; Prayer No. 1 Alternative Remedy
    http://www.iomcworld.com/ijcrimph/files/v02-n05-05.pdf

    There is a difference in publicly praying and institutionalized prayer. A staff meeting isn't the same as praying with a willing patient. It infringes on the religious rights of employees who may not share the same belief system. Some said that you should say something, or refuse to pray, but there is a possible risk of negative consequences. You shouldn't have to worry about being ostracized for your beliefs or lack there of in the work place.

    Furthermore, many people belong to dominations that forbid prayer with other denominations, or prayer led by a lay person, or have strict rules regarding where/how/when one should pray. It really isn't fair to them to be put in that awkward position of having to ask to come in late. Then they are the "weird" one for not sharing a belief system with their coworkers.

    There is just so much risk for discrimination.
  9. 3
    I know this is not the original point. But I just have to tell my story.

    I am an atheist My elderly post op (very minor surgery on her foot) patient was emotionally having a hard time. Some baseline depression plus living alone, worries about how is she going to care for herself, etc. I happened to hear that her ride home would be a friend from church so I tried to comfort the patient, give her some hope and encouragement and said, "God will give you the strength to handle this." She said "I pray God gives me a better nurse!"

    I thought it was funny, I think she was annoyed with me because earlier I had put her on a bed pan and of course the urine went all over the bed, none in the pan! (Well....she moved herself around a lot after I had positioned the pan as best I could!)
  10. 1
    I am non religious and work at a religion associated place. We pray before meetings and at the bedside sometimes. I just read it and don't think too much of it.
    PRICHARILLAisMISSED likes this.


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