So I managed to break my own rule without thinking about it until halfway through. I have a resident who is a JW (Jehovah's Witness). He's tried to talk to me about god several times but I just brush it off. I've been DF'd (excommunicated for other religions) for about 21 years. Obviously I'm not going to tell this resident because it WILL affect care. Anyway, he couldn't find his glasses so he asked me if I could read his daily scripture. It's a small paragraph that is supposed to provide daily inspiration. Being nice I said, "Sure". Halfway through I realized what was happening. I used to do the same thing when I was a JW. Thinking that if I just planted the seed of god then the person would eventually accept Jesus. It didn't help that I was trying not to laugh the entire time I was reading it because it was full of so many logical fallacies. I'm not going to tell him I'm an Atheist either because he is a long term resident. Now I have to find a way to tell him the next time he asks, he will because I would have back in the day, that I will not read his daily scripture for him.
Quote from MN-Nurse
You missed the point. The OP thought the patient was not simply asking to get a prayer read, but trying to prosletyze. He recognized it from previous experience.
I, like the OP, would have no problem reading a few lines of prayer text to someone who had vision issues. I would not, however, do so if the purpose was purely evangelical.
Evangelism is very important to many religions. Even so, that doesn't infer that a nurse has to be "evangelized" in order to fulfill a patient's spiritual needs.
I use this example over and over: What if a Muslim patient kept requesting a Christian read prayers to them, with the stated goal of converting that Christian nurse to Islam? In that case, no one would say, "Don't refuse."
Okay, I got what she thought. However, when a patient asks for scripture to be read to them it is not fair for us to assume "why" they might be asking that. The fact that JWs may use scripture reading to "convert" unsuspecting persons does not apply here.
First, you are not unsuspecting, so no harm no foul.
Second, reading scripture is not EXCLUSIVELY used for evangelical purposes. People of faith desire to read scripture for the reassurances etc.
Third, without other evidence that this was an attempt to "convert" you, it is assumed that he had ulterior motives besides his own spiritual needs.
Fourth, if the scripture reading is disturbing or unsettling for you it would be in the better interest of the patient to ask another staffer or a volunteer to provide this for the patient. It is not the best option to determine that it is for evangelical reasons only and then dismiss it.
Just my professional opinion based on many years of nursing the whole person and not just the medical aspects of their health.
Last edit by tewdles on May 10, '12
: Reason: clarification