Religion, culture and nursing

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    Last night I was reading a thread about a Jehovah's Witness nurse. I found it fascinating! I read every single post. It got me thinking... what religions hinder full holistic nursing care? JW's have a thing against blood and blood products... do other religions have restrictions similar to that? I've always been interested in learning about other religions, and in lvn school we did a brief overview of it, but nothing in depth. Also, what religion are you? Are there certain procedures or practices in nursing and/or medicine that offend you or restrict the care you provide? Would you ever share your faith with your patients? Have you cared for patients of a religion that has restrictions? What about other cultures?

    I myself am a Christian. I don't have any restrictions, but I have preferences. However, that wouldn't hinder patient care. I haven't taken care of a patient with religious restrictions just yet. And the only time I have talked about my faith with patients is if they initiate the conversation, and even then, I make sure I don't cross any boundary lines. I let them lead the conversation.

    I'm curious and excited to learn more about this topic!
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    My best piece of advice to you is, as a person who has worked for 25 years in the hospital/health care setting, politely decline to get into any questions or arguments (whatever) re people's religion. Adhere to the no pork for Muslims and no blood for JWs, but don't get into a discussion re it. Always follow the letter of the law in your country. I always say politely people can follow any religion but as I am a nurse, I stay out of the politics of what people believe (& my brother is an elder with the JWs, so I do know how hard it is!) The JWs caused our family much grief and heartache, that is why I don't get involved now. My niece is a non-practising JW (what she calls herself) & one of her friends tried to commit suicide due to JW influence (her words) & suffered from deep depression. My niece went off the rails due to them - we're lucky we intervened in time or the JWs would have destroyed her. Only my personal story, you know. I have no wish to go through all that again. It was extremely heartbreaking to see. I do not care if I nurse someone who believes the world is square, but I do not get involved in any discussions. I just give the same care to them as I would to anyone else, and I ignore religious philosiphications and trying to 'convince' me I am wrong re religion. Let us leave it at that. I just smile, nod and say: 'Anything else I can do today for you as your nurse?'
    They get the message after that.
    Atiyya likes this.
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    If a patient is a practicing Christian scientist, chances are that person was not brought to the hospital by choice. Christian Scientists are opposed to medical interventions in lieu of prayer.

    The stricter Anabaptist faiths (Amish, some Brethren, conservative Mennonite) will go to the hospital but only if it's the last resort.

    I know there are issues in regards to organ donation and receipt in various faiths, but I can't say I've ever encountered them...and I can't remember what they are at this time.

    I am a Christian as well, split between Baptist and Mennonite. I do not bring up my faith unless directly asked about it.

    One of my nursing professors, Larry Purnell, wrote an awesome cultural nursing book that might interest you. If you search for him on Amazon, you'll find it.
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    I try not to get into it, but I have a lot of patients ask me about faith.I used to work on a Palliative floor and was often asked this when a patient was dying.As a born-again Christian if I have the opportunity to share my faith I do.If it isn't brought up then I don't.
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    I was also intrigued by the JW thread. Having no experience with the JW faith/practices, I was very curious about the details. I wanted to ask the OP to explain the rationale behind the ban on blood products, as well as the application of those beliefs to a JW nurse's patients. However, I apparently often come across (at least on allnurses.com) as caustic and snide when I don't mean to (or so I've been told), so I didn't trust myself to pose the question in an appropriate manner.

    In my nursing career, I have worked with nurses of many different faiths. I have never seen a nurse whose faith did not allow her to deliver care to the patient according to the patient's faith, as opposed to the nurse's faith.
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    I was raised as a JW. I am currently inactive in the faith. Even when I was an active member, I had no problem giving patients transfusions; it's a conscience matter and considered a private decision that should not be criticised by others in the congregation. If it bothers your conscience, you don't do it; if it doesn't, you're free to do it.

    This is all I'm going to say on the matter. I've been dismayed by many of the posts regarding Witnesses, and I don't want to say anything that may be perceived as responding in kind. In case anyone is thinking of PMing me with questions, I won't answer a PM on this matter, either. I've said all I am going to say.
    BluegrassRN and SharonH, RN like this.
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    I'm Pagan I'm all about holistic healing herbs oils and so on. I try to keep away from western medicine as much as i can. When I'm sick i see my holistic practitioner ( Dr Bombay) kidding but funny. Really my Dr Bombay is female.

    I do also have a primary care doctor as well and both of them do talk when i have to take a medication or some sort of action. I do carry a DNR on my person's and my advance directives are very clear. No harsh pain medications if I'm in pain. If I get sick like ( Cancer ) or something else life threatening i will not look for options even if it was to save my life. There's a reason why i have it and it's life threatening. ( Meaning my time is almost up on this earth)

    I try to keep chemicals out of my body. Now if i pass away don't put me in the ground. I don't not belong in a graveyard and i feel that if I'm in the ground my soul will be trapped for all time and i wont advance in to the next realm.

    And speaking of realms this to me is a teaching realm we are suppose to learn lessons while we are here ( Emotions is the key this time ) and we have lived many lives before. So burn me like the pagan I am and scatter my ashes in the wind so i will will be free. This is what i believe. These are my thoughts use them as you wish..
    Last edit by KarmaWiseRaven on Nov 20, '10
    JeepCarrie likes this.
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    Quote from OCNRN63
    I was raised as a JW. I am currently inactive in the faith. Even when I was an active member, I had no problem giving patients transfusions; it's a conscience matter and considered a private decision that should not be criticised by others in the congregation. If it bothers your conscience, you don't do it; if it doesn't, you're free to do it.

    This is all I'm going to say on the matter. I've been dismayed by many of the posts regarding Witnesses, and I don't want to say anything that may be perceived as responding in kind. In case anyone is thinking of PMing me with questions, I won't answer a PM on this matter, either. I've said all I am going to say.
    I too was disheartened by the vitriol and intolerance displayed in that thread especially as the OP asked her question in a polite manner. The whole thing was quite unnecessary.
    BluegrassRN likes this.
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    I'm a Unitarian Universalist and a humanist. I believe in science, natural and holistic care. I also believe prevention is the best medicine.

    If I ever was anemic, I've decided I'd like to let my body heal itself naturally on it's own, perhaps with nutritional supplements like iron, folate and B12. I wouldn't take any blood products until I was symptomatic to the point it hindered recovery, as long as the cause of the anemia was stopped. JW have proved this time and time again to be possible and they should be admired for that.

    I'm glad to see modern medicine is catching on to the idea that bloodless in many circumstances is better. I recently discharged an asymptomic patient with a Hgb of 6.9 and everyone, including some doctors were appalled. Three months later she was admitted for another procedure with a Hgb. of 12.

    I wouldn't want anyone to judge me as hindering my care, and I try not to do that to patients. Would I let myself bleed to death? No.

    I've taken care of all kinds of patients over the years and have met some interesting people. We have a lot of scientologists here (as their national/world headquarters is in Clearwater) and they have some interesting ideas.
    herring_RN likes this.
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    double post
    Last edit by nozyrozy40 on Nov 20, '10 : Reason: double post


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