Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 3

by Kabin

31,491 Views | 323 Comments

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


  1. 1
    Quote from mjlrn97
    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:
    Religion and Spirituality are not completely different - they may not be the same, but they are related. Religion is a subset of spirituality - but not the whole sum. Being religious, from my viewpoint, is the same as being spiritual. But being spiritual might not be the same as being religious.

    mjlrn97 - your definitions of spirituality and religion above are a quite negative and inaccurate account of religion. You state you are spiritual - that you just don't subscribe to the structure of the church, and then you basically say that the view that God reigns supreme in someone’s life is a 'rule of man' to constrain behavior by using external controls. In one place, you dismiss organized religion as the culprit of leaving your faith. In another, you seem to allege that God is the creation of man. In claiming that you weren’t knocking it, in fact, you were.

    I completely disagree with your condescending take on my religious beliefs.. My worship to God provides an internal pacing to my life. If you look at most religions – they are structured like pyramids – the very peak of religion is the worship of God. The base of religion, however, is a moral code for interaction with each other. It is no accident that murder and theft are sins. Are we being religious when we outlaw these things? Or are we acknowledging the obvious: that many key tenets of religion have to do with society building.

    My religion can be summed up in the view expressed by Jesus: Honor God above all else and as a close second, love (phileo – not the kind of love extended to family and mates – but brotherly love – caring about the best interests of) your neighbors.

    Whether you agree with religion or not – it is organized religion that has set the moral compass necessary to create society – whether you are talking about Christianity, pagan rites, or the medicine men of Early America. It’s a disservice to dismiss that as only being needed by the weak to have external controls governing their lives.

    Marx said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses’. But he was an idiot. Religion is the glue that has massed us together. And as a result, it is the glue of our history.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 27, '05
    BunnySan27 likes this.
  2. 0
    Of course religon is not needed to be a good nurse. Cripes, I was offended to even read that question.

    I can respect the beliefs of others without having to share them.

    And religion might be a hinderance. I work with a nurse who charts things like the pt was blessed by such and such etc. She says it in her conversatiions as well. To me, a nrse should not be saying and/or charting things like. They do not belong on a medical record. And she doesn't know what religion her patient might be when she starts tossing around statements that include obvious references to religion. I like the woman, don't get me wrong. She's very nice. But totally unprofessional in this aspect of her nursing.
  3. 1
    Quote from nurse ratched
    no, but you absolutely must have a bsn. :d

    i am totally just kidding (ducks rocks hurling at me .) feeling kinda wicked today .

    no - you don't need religion to be a good nurse.

    you so bad!:roll
    badmamajama likes this.
  4. 2
    I'm not going to get real involved with this thread.

    As nurses we are to assess and take care of the total patient, including pyscosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.

    One does not need to be religious or spiritual to do this

    Most if not all hospitals have resources in the form of a hospital Chaplin, or local pastors to assist us. It's their job and I usually leave it to them.

    I don't shy away from spirituality with my patients, that's my job, but if they need prayer, I call those whose job it is to pray with the patients. They can address those needs so much better than I can.

    My religion and spirituality doesn't really come into play much when I assess and "treat" another's spiritual distress or need. It's about the patient, not about me.
    talaxandra and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.
  5. 0
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Or are we acknowledging the obvious: that many key tenets of religion have to do with society building.
    Interesting perspective.


    Marx ...was an idiot.

    Yes, yes he was.
  6. 0
    I'm a Christian,

    I've always used my Faith, my common sense and my "home training" as my guide for excellence in everything I do.

    During my travels I have befriended many people of varying faiths and those who are not spirtitual who strive for the same standard of excellence.

    Do you need religion to be a good nurse?

    NO.
  7. 3
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Religion and Spirituality are not completely different - they may not be the same, but they are related. Religion is a subset of spirituality - but not the whole sum. Being religious, from my viewpoint, is the same as being spiritual. But being spiritual might not be the same as being religious.

    mjlrn97 - your definitions of spirituality and religion above are a quite negative and inaccurate account of religion. You state you are spiritual - that you just don't subscribe to the structure of the church, and then you basically say that the view that God reigns supreme in someone’s life is a 'rule of man' to constrain behavior by using external controls. In one place, you dismiss organized religion as the culprit of leaving your faith. In another, you seem to allege that God is the creation of man. In claiming that you weren’t knocking it, in fact, you were.

    I completely disagree with your condescending take on my religious beliefs.. My worship to God provides an internal pacing to my life. If you look at most religions – they are structured like pyramids – the very peak of religion is the worship of God. The base of religion, however, is a moral code for interaction with each other. It is no accident that murder and theft are sins. Are we being religious when we outlaw these things? Or are we acknowledging the obvious: that many key tenets of religion have to do with society building.

    My religion can be summed up in the view expressed by Jesus: Honor God above all else and as a close second, love (phileo – not the kind of love extended to family and mates – but brotherly love – caring about the best interests of) your neighbors.

    Whether you agree with religion or not – it is organized religion that has set the moral compass necessary to create society – whether you are talking about Christianity, pagan rites, or the medicine men of Early America. It’s a disservice to dismiss that as only being needed by the weak to have external controls governing their lives.

    Marx said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses’. But he was an idiot. Religion is the glue that has massed us together. And as a result, it is the glue of our history.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    WOW.........I never thought a simple statement of mine could be turned into something even I don't recognize.

    For one thing, I am being accused of attacking an individual's religious beliefs
    when I don't even know for sure what they are. I apologize if I offended anyone, but it needs to be understood that these are MY beliefs, not anyone else's, and how that can be interpreted as a personal attack is beyond me.

    For another: I can't imagine where anything I've said could possibly be construed as meaning I believe God is a creation of man. I stated very clearly that I believe RELIGION is a creation of man........God was there before any of it, or any of us, ever existed. End of story.

    And frankly, I don't much appreciate being told what I believe---or that it's wrong---by someone who does not know me. This is exactly what gives 'religion' a bad name, IMHO, and it's why I've become such a skeptic. No one has the right to judge me except God, and He knows me well enough to understand that I will continue to question everyone's authority but His.

    'Nuff said.
  8. 0
    Like many other posters, I believe that it is important to respect your the religious and/or spiritual beliefs of your patients, regardless of your own.
    I think that having faith yourself can sometimes make it easier to cope with the stressful aspects of nursing practice, but there are many other things that can also help.
    In 16 years of nursing I have never had need to discuss my own beliefs with my patients - I don't think they're any of their business, nor relevant to my practice. This has not been an issue, at leat thus far. It's not about me, it's about the patient, and the family.
  9. 2
    Timothy, I didn't see any of what you said in what Marla wrote - she said that spirituality and religion are "very different", not "completely different", and that's a difference of magnitude.
    Perhaps what you were reacting to was her perception that spirituality is more adult/mature, and less narrow, than religion. It makes sense that everyone believes that their belief system is the best, at least for them. While this opinion is clearly antithetical to yours, that doesn't in any way invalidate your opinion or your beliefs.
    Rather than this turning into a discussion/debate/flame war over religion, can we return to the topic?
    PS For those interested in religion-themed flame wars, I direct you to www.beliefnet.com - awesome site for pretty much everything about faith
    Last edit by talaxandra on Oct 28, '05
    badmamajama and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.
  10. 0
    Quote from talaxandra
    Timothy, I didn't see any of what you said in what Marla wrote - she said that spirituality and religion are "very different", not "completely different", and that's a difference of magnitude.
    Perhaps what you were reacting to was her perception that spirituality is more adult/mature, and less narrow, than religion. It makes sense that everyone believes that their belief system is the best, at least for them. While this opinion is clearly antithetical to yours, that doesn't in any way invalidate your opinion or your beliefs.
    Rather than this turning into a discussion/debate/flame war over religion, can we return to the topic?
    PS For those interested in religion-themed flame wars, I direct you to www.beliefnet.com - awesome site for pretty much everything about faith
    I consider myself a good, faithful practicing Catholic and a spiritual person. However I do not practice my religion at the bedside of any patient I have taken care of because I do not feel it is appropriate. Nor do I feel it is appropriate for a nurse to pray for a patient, especially when not asked. I have offered to get clergy for anyone who has asked. We have never been given the right to impose our beliefs on others. Religion and the degree of spirituality a person pocess is strictly a private matter and should never be imposed on another human being, no matter how good one's intentions may be.

    Grannynurse


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