- by x4livin Nov 17, '11I work float pool at a larger hospital, and 2 days a week I have been in acute care rehab(mostly ortho). I have a patient who began to ask multiple questions about myself and evey other nurse here as soon as she got here. eg where are you from? what is your last name? do you know 'so n so'? where do you go to church. Well, apparently, I am the only person who gave her an answer to that that she seems to find displeasing. I don't go to church. She wanted me to drive 40 minutes to her church. I told her that is a bit far. She persisted in trying to convince me that I needed Jesus. I asked her to stop. Finally I got angry and snapped at her "I am not discussing religion with you". She got quiet and soon after appologised for "making me feel uncomfortable"(for 3 weeks now, consistantly) Today is my last day with her here. She has written out cards to all the nurses. Hand written thank you cards. The one she sent out to me states that basically for my own good, she hopes I come to see that her religion(southern baptist) is the only way to avoid burning in hell out of ignorance. I realize she went to the trouble of writing out a card, but it just really ****** me off. I have been a nurse for 15 years(and a nurse aid for 10 before that), and I don't think anyone has made me angry over anything religious in all those years. This woman is just so pushy and persistant. I can't walk in her room that she doesn't begin to tell me that God sent her here to save me.(I'm not antichrist or athiest, by the way, I just really prefer not to discuss it) I'm not sure how I could have handled it any better from the beginning. She was just making conversation. Now, I have vowed to never discuss it with a pt again. I will cite that my employers state that it's not professional or something. Any ideas on how to avoid this topic and not set off suspicion that will lead to more questions?
Sorry about the spelling and grammer..end of a very long night shift.
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- Nov 17, '11 by BunnySan27I think you just answered your own question. If someone is pushing their religious beliefs on you, you can respectfully decline to answer and leave it at that. No harm done.
- Nov 17, '11 by merlee"I'm sorry, I prefer to not discuss my religion at work" "I'm sorry, I don't discuss my religion at work" "I am uncomfortable discussing my religion while I am at work"
"Would you like for me to call your pastor (or whomever) for you?"
Keep repeating as necessary.
- I was taught to always avoid self disclosure or at most disclose small amounts that I felt might be therapeutic for the client. We were taught to redirect back to the client...
In some cases disclosing things like last name, where you live etc, can be dangerous....
- Nov 17, '11 by 46oldnewrnUghhh what a topic. I do not believe in God. I am spiritual but do not believe that adam and eve started the world. I do not believe that every animal in the world was put on an ark. I am however very kind and sensitive, I work with nurses who believe in god, but are so damn nasty to their residents. Ughh I usually just lie about god to be honest. If a resident states to me "oh god wanted me here" I usually just agree and scramble out of that room as fast as I can. I want to go into hospice nursing and I think I will have to deal with the "god" thing even more. What a topic.
- I am right there with you 46 I am an agnostic and we believe in some sort of higher intelligence or power we just are not sure exactly what that is...
What I do is make an effort to familiarize myself with the major world religions, sects, and cults. This allows me to move in and out of conversations gracefully. I very much respect the beliefs of others and I believe that a clients spirituality can have tangible results on his or her physical condition.
Also, this knowledge helps me to bond with client and family, gain trust, get them involved in care which ultimately makes my work all the easier
- Nov 17, '11 by 12leakecwell, you are being asked to go to this person’s church. why not find one closer to your home. i personally know where she is coming from. if you don't believe in god that's okay with you. if you don't want to accept him into your heart that's your choice. but i believe in god and accepted him into my heart!!! i'm am not afraid of the gospel of jesus christ
- Quote from 12leakecugh, i feel it best to remain neutral. a hospital is no place to recruit for any religion.well, you are being asked to go to this personís church. why not find one closer to your home. i personally know where she is coming from. if you don't believe in god that's okay with you. if you don't want to accept him into your heart that's your choice. but i believe in god and accepted him into my heart!!! i'm am not afraid of the gospel of jesus christ
- Nov 17, '11 by merleeThis is less a matter of what the nurse believes than a matter of prostletizing by the patient. No one needs to be subjected to someone else's constant battering.
Hard issue to deal with at times.
- Nov 17, '11 by BluegrassRNWhy did this woman get to you so much?
As an atheist, I've never had someone get to me. Maybe because, to me, it would be exactly the same as if someone tried to get me to go to the church of Thor, or accompany them to worship at the Temple of Athena; it's just as absurd an idea to me.
You cannot take any conversations with pts personally, including the religion one. If someone asks me about religion, I typically give very benign and vague answers and steer the conversation back towards them. People like to talk about themselves. When someone like the woman in the OP is asking me to go to their church, I always say something like "Tell me about your church; did you choose to go there, or did you grow up in that church?" This often leads to a long history of their involvement in the church, with little input required from me. If they ask if I will come, I smile and thank them for the invite. If they are persistent, I simply respond, "Perhaps. It sounds lovely, from your description. I can see why you are so happy there."
At least the woman cares enough about you that she wants to save your soul! Seriously, don't fret about it, and for crying out loud, don't take it so personally. Just let it go. If you're secure in your religious/spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof), why should it bother you? Just steer the conversation away from yourself and be done with it.