Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 4

by Kabin 32,064 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. 2
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA

    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.
    I confess, I haven't taken the trouble to look it up, but I was shocked, years ago, to learn that long before Marx, Thomas Jefferson described religion as the opium of the masses.
    I wasn't going to weigh in on this, but I couldn't let the assertion that Marx was an idiot go unchallenged. Yes, I'll agree, I think he was wrong in many ways, but wrong does not equal stupid. Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics, but he wasn't an idiot.

    As for the apparent dichotomy between religion and spirituality, I would like to clarify the issue by muddying the waters with another comparison, between personal religion and public religion. I don't mean to disparage organized religion--throughout history, many fine people have practiced organized religion. Rev. King. The Dalai Lama (for whom I named my Himalayan cat, Dolly Llama). Mother Theresa. St. Francis of Asissi. My late Grandmother.
    But it's all too easy to cite the horrors of organized religion, the various crusades and jihads, Inquisitions and witch hunts...the crucifixion of Jesus was the act of an organized religion. If we try to fit the religion of the Pharisees under the same tent as the faith of Bernadette, we end up with not the opiate of the masses, but the mescaline.
    The key distinction, I think, is between those who perform religion as a formal (empty) ritual and those who experience a personal relationship with whatever God or god they worship. Or, from another angle, a pocketful of stones doesn't make you spiritual. You can sit under a pyramid until the cows come home, but if your heart isn't open to the universe, it's just silly. You can pray in the town square until you're blue in the face, but if you don't love God and your fellow man, you're just making noise.
    What I'm getting at, in my usual verbose manner, is that we shouldn't compare the heartfelt faith of the devoutly religious to the trendy blather of feckless new-agers, or the life-long questing of the deeply spiritual to the hollow rantings of a t.v. evangelist.
    I'm not sure how to tie this in to nursing. I do know that my old tomcat, Peaches, likes to bathe and cuddle and play with kittens, and I'm pretty sure he's a heathern. Or maybe his faith is so absolute that I can't begin to imagine it. Hmm. At any rate, I don't think caring, compassion, empathy, and love are the sole domain of any faith, persuasion, gender, or species, and those are the qualities (along with at least some vague idea what you're doing) that make us nurses.

    Of course, it's pretty obvious that Republicans can't be good nurses.
    badmamajama and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.
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    This is your instructors opinon, not a statement of fact. Even instructors are entitled to express an opinion.

    It seems you are both on the same tract from what you said in your post.

    She said you need to be spiritual inorder to meet the spiritual needs of the patient no matter what they are.

    You stated that you feel you are able to meet thier spiritual needs without compromizing your own position.

    It kind of sounds like the samething. Sometimes we are on the same sheet of music and don't even know it.


    I would not worry. From your post it sounds like you have the right perspecive. You help others without compromizing your needs. Sounds like good nursing to me. Even good living.
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    All that is needed to be a good nurse is the desire to be just that. Why would a belief system be a pre-qualifier for nursing?

    And, I agree that religion is more often like opium than glue. All major wars have been caused by religions; not exactly a way to bring people together. But, like opium, it can make you feel good.
    badmamajama and ChelseaLynn1623 like this.
  4. 0
    Quote from mjlrn97
    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.

    I don’t think I misconstrued your comments at all. You stated that religion is a set of rules created by man in order to have external controls on their life. You dismissed in general attempts to worship God in an organized way as creations of man – and only for those weak enough to ‘need external controls’ on their behavior.

    I never accused you of attacking MY personal beliefs – I simply stated the obvious from your first post: that you have stated a condescending view of organized religion.

    Or let me put it this way: if you look at the NT, Jesus spent tons of time criticizing the Pharisees about all the traditions of men that had obscured the actual written Word. If that is your view of your experience w/ organized religion, then I can certainly understand and even validate some of that. But your actual comments painted religion in general as a creation of man and therefore binding and limiting of spirituality instead of highlighting it.

    I never once made any comments about how you believe. Not knowing those beliefs, I can only made comments about what you SAID. If you look back on your first comments, they are very condescending of religion. I understand clearly from your comments that you have disagreements with your experiences with organized religion – but you made generalizations towards all organized religions based on your experience.

    Hey, I understand that there is a reason why religion shouldn’t be discussed in polite circles. I wasn’t and I’m not trying to judge you. I’m not trying to be offended – and in point of fact, I am not easily offended. All I was saying was that your first comments held a negative connotation of organized religion. That may be well earned from your perspective. But to apply it to religion in general is dismissive of what religion can and has done for individuals and society.

    And I only pointed it out so that you could reread that first post and maybe gain some insight into how you interact with beliefs that disagree with yours. How you DID interact was to, not so humbly, stake the claim that YOUR beliefs are the more ADULT beliefs and therefore, everybody else’s is CHILDISH by comparison. All I was saying was that maybe that needs to be re-evaluated.

    Peace. I am used to having deep conversations about religion and politics w/ my intellectual friends (and I would hopefully consider you one of them.) It is a tad more difficult in text format because so much of communication is non-verbal and so relying solely on text can lead to misunderstandings. I did not intend to ‘attack’ your beliefs – I only intended to suggest that you re-evaluate how you write about beliefs with which you disagree.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
  5. 0
    [
    Of course, it's pretty obvious that Republicans can't be good nurses.[/quote]


    I'm hoping this was a joke?
  6. 0
    Quote from iwannabeanrn
    [
    Of course, it's pretty obvious that Republicans can't be good nurses.

    I'm hoping this was a joke?[/quote]

    absolutely.
  7. 1
    First of all NO, you don't have to be religious of spititual to be a nurse, compassionate, caring, YES.

    Second, I don't want people pushing their religious belifs on me, and we were taught in nursing school that this is inapppropriate.

    Third, Marx needs to be interpreted on the basis of the times he lived. There was a great seperation of class...workhouses, poor houses, orphanages...remember Oliver Twist? How about Ebenezer Scrooge? "Are there no workhouses? Are there no prisons...then let them die and decrease the suplus population." Dickens was making a political commentary of the time...The Rich ran the country, and created the laws. The Rich also controlled the church. The Rich therefore wrote the State laws and the morales of the time. The Rich used the Church to help suppress the masses, therefore the satement..."the opiate of the masses..."
    badmamajama likes this.
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    Quote from nursemike
    I confess, I haven't taken the trouble to look it up, but I was shocked, years ago, to learn that long before Marx, Thomas Jefferson described religion as the opium of the masses.
    I wasn't going to weigh in on this, but I couldn't let the assertion that Marx was an idiot go unchallenged. Yes, I'll agree, I think he was wrong in many ways, but wrong does not equal stupid. Einstein was wrong about quantum mechanics, but he wasn't an idiot.

    As for the apparent dichotomy between religion and spirituality, I would like to clarify the issue by muddying the waters with another comparison, between personal religion and public religion. I don't mean to disparage organized religion--throughout history, many fine people have practiced organized religion. Rev. King. The Dalai Lama (for whom I named my Himalayan cat, Dolly Llama). Mother Theresa. St. Francis of Asissi. My late Grandmother.
    But it's all too easy to cite the horrors of organized religion, the various crusades and jihads, Inquisitions and witch hunts...the crucifixion of Jesus was the act of an organized religion. If we try to fit the religion of the Pharisees under the same tent as the faith of Bernadette, we end up with not the opiate of the masses, but the mescaline.
    The key distinction, I think, is between those who perform religion as a formal (empty) ritual and those who experience a personal relationship with whatever God or god they worship. Or, from another angle, a pocketful of stones doesn't make you spiritual. You can sit under a pyramid until the cows come home, but if your heart isn't open to the universe, it's just silly. You can pray in the town square until you're blue in the face, but if you don't love God and your fellow man, you're just making noise.
    What I'm getting at, in my usual verbose manner, is that we shouldn't compare the heartfelt faith of the devoutly religious to the trendy blather of feckless new-agers, or the life-long questing of the deeply spiritual to the hollow rantings of a t.v. evangelist.
    I'm not sure how to tie this in to nursing. I do know that my old tomcat, Peaches, likes to bathe and cuddle and play with kittens, and I'm pretty sure he's a heathern. Or maybe his faith is so absolute that I can't begin to imagine it. Hmm. At any rate, I don't think caring, compassion, empathy, and love are the sole domain of any faith, persuasion, gender, or species, and those are the qualities (along with at least some vague idea what you're doing) that make us nurses.

    Of course, it's pretty obvious that Republicans can't be good nurses.
    1. I never said Marx was stupid. I said he was an idiot. There have been and are many 'smart' idiots in the world.

    2. I actually agree with most of what you wrote. My understanding of religion is best summed up in Acts 17: "He (God) did all this so we might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each of us." I don't think you get credit for 'going through the motions'. But I also think the effort to reach out is more important than the process of how you do it.

    3. I'm not a 'republican'. I'm a 'movement conservative'. And for the record, I'm the best nurse in the history of nurses. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.) LOLOLOL.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Godisthere likes this.
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    Nah, you don't have to be religious(spiritual) to technically be a good practictioner of nursing.


    But since I was born again I'm a better nurse.
  10. 0
    Quote from Kabin
    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 benefits of PTs being able to express their own spiritituality, but not being spiritual myself, I always assumed this could happen without me losing my own identity/belief system by praying with the PT. There are professionals in this area afterall and it's not as if nursing doesn't have enough on its plate already.

    So the question is, does the nursing career, with all it's specialized education and skills, also view good nurses to be spiritual/religious or is this instructor taking some liberties with the topic?
    I didn't read the other responses, save for the first couple, so excuse me if I am repeating what someone else has said.

    I don't think she should have made a judgment call by saying being spiritual makes for a good nurse. However, I agree with the first response. Maybe the instructor didn't express her message correctly, or you misinterpreted it.

    Here is my opinion: you are not obligated to be spiritual, since it is not necessarily a given quality in all nurses. If you are not personally spiritual, you should not be expected to believe what the patient believes. But, it is beneficial for you to respect the patients' beliefs, and allow the patient to be spiritual. In other words, don't pass judgment on their beliefs, or question them. I think being spiritual helps people cope with things that happen in their lives, and offers some kind of "grand-scheme" meaning to it. Questioning or judging these beliefs would not only be insulting, but harmful. Which would go against, "Above all things, do no harm." At the same time, it is important that you respect the patients' decision to not be spiritual, so you don't push your beliefs onto them. I think it's okay to tell people about what you believe (if they ask), but don't expect them to agree with you or tell them they're wrong if they feel otherwise. Maybe you could learn something from each other?

    That may be what she meant.

    Edit: I hope this thread doesn't become solely about religion and our opinions about religion, rather than ADDRESSING THE ORIGINAL POSTER'S QUESTION!!
    Last edit by Cute_CNA on Oct 28, '05


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