Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 2

We just covered a spiritituality/religion lesson in our BSN course and the instructor (religious) came out and said good nurses had spirituality and would be there for whatever spiritual needs the PT had. I understand the... Read More

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    I don't think that your religion or lack of has nothing to do with nursing. If you are not spiritual or religious you should be respected equally.

    The key is to have respect back to EVERY single patient's religion as well.

    You don't have to belive what they do, but as long as you respect it you should be more than ok.

    Good luck

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  2. 1
    Quote from Q.
    I agree.
    Religion and spirituality are two different things and I think you are confusing the 2. Or your instructor is. Or both of you are.
    Yes, they are VERY different, and confusing the two is a very common mistake that can create much misunderstanding.

    The way I see it, being 'religious' means you worship a Supreme Being according to prescribed rituals and rules. That's fine for many, many people, who may feel they need external controls in order to stay "in line", and/or who enjoy belonging to a larger group that shares their particular belief system. I'm not knocking it; I was involved in organized religion for a good portion of my life, and sometimes I still miss the tradition and pageantry of my Catholic faith (although I have too many political and philosophical arguments with its leaders to remain in full Communion with the Church).

    Being a spiritual person, however, means acknowledging the value of all belief systems and the possibility that God---whatever you conceive Him (Her?) to be---is too big to be confined within any one faith tradition. To me, it's a more 'adult' form of worship.......you are not following a set of rules made by human beings, but you take your direction from God Himself. You seek your Higher Power wherever you may be, whether it's out in nature, on the job, at home with your family, or traveling around the world. You listen for the inner voice telling you you're on the right (or wrong!) track, and you are open to the fact that all forms of worship have something of value to offer.........the only 'requirements' being a belief in something greater than yourself, and adherence to the Golden Rule: you treat others as you yourself wish to be treated.

    Personally, I believe I'm quite versatile as a 'spiritual' nurse, because I find it easier to accept different faiths and to follow the patient's wishes along those lines. I'm comfortable praying with and for patients, yet I can also step gracefully out of the room while their spiritual leader performs a ritual in which outsiders cannot partake, and I can even let them express anger at God for 'allowing' them to be sick and miserable and dying.

    Just my $.02 worth.:wink2:
    ChelseaLynn1623 likes this.
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    Some define spirituality strictly as being connected to religion; whereas others consider spirituality as personal views and beliefs or the way a person feels a connection beyond themselves. The later definition may well be what your instructor was referring to. Nurses must connect with others on a human level and incorporating the patient's spiritual views and needs into their care will help to accomplish this.

    To explore a patient's spirituality the nurse needs to consider: What is the patient's view of the world? What gives them inner strength or peace during times of trouble? How can the nurse incorporate these into the patient's health care?

    Clearly not all nurses believe this is part of quality patient care. However I think most nurses would agree that some human to human connection to the patient should be made.
  4. 0
    Thanks everyone's input, it's nice to hear the views of the working class.

    I just checked the Nursing Code of Ethics and paragraph 1.2 says "An individual's lifestyle, value system and religious beliefs should be considered in planning health care with and for the patient. Such consideration does not suggest that the nurse necessarily agrees with or condones certain individual choices, but that the nurse respects the patient as a person."

    That makes sense to me!
  5. 0
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    No, but you absolutely must have a BSN.
    I can't argue with that!
  6. 0
    I agree with everyone who has said that religion and spirituality are two different things. I am not a religious person, but I honor my patient's religion when it comes up. I am not christian, but I have taken part in prayers when a patient asks if I would pray with them. Just because I don't recognize "GOD" as most people see him, doesn't mean that I don't recognize a higher power and that is what I pray to when asked.

    Jesus, God, Yawah, Jevohah, Isis, Astarte, whatever you call your diety doesn't figure into the care you give your patients. It's your attitude, your compassion, and your treatment of them that makes you a good nurse.
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    Absolutley not necessary. I am a non theist as are a couple of my coworkers. We are excellent nurses. It seems like it's still PC to bash non-theists, but nursing requires compassion and empathy among many, many other things. Those a not exclusive to religious people.
    badmamajama and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.
  8. 1
    I am NOT religious, but consider myself spiritual. IF religion is needed to be a good nurse, well then I am sunk. The answer is NO, in other words.
    ChelseaLynn1623 likes this.
  9. 0
    No, nursing doesn't view good nurses to be spiritual or religious. I think your instructor was just expressing her own views on this. What you need to take away from this class is that we all need to be respectful of a person's expression of their religion or spirituality. Sometimes these beliefs extend into the kind of medical treatment they are willing to take. I make a distinction because to me, religion is more of a communal type of thing, whereas spirituality is more of a general metaphysical belief regarding our existance outside a physical one. Examples I could give you would be Jehovah Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions, Christian Scientists who refuse medications and surgeries, kosher Jews who follow dietary law, etc.
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    As long as you respect your patients' views on the matter I don't think your own spirituality or religion matter at all. Some patients might not consider themselves spiritual either. The worst thing we ever had a nurse do in our family was try to christianize us when a family member was in the hospital. It was not welcome.
    badmamajama and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.


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