Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 6

by Kabin

31,668 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


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    I think that there are culturally and spiritually sensitive nurses of all ilk, religious and not religious. Some great nurses who are religious state that their beliefs are the core of their practice. Yet other great nurses who are not religious state that a sensitivity for all suffering is at the core of theirs. What matters, in the end, is the acts, folks. Are you able to connect to a person's fears, anxiety, pain, elation, hope, gratification and dissapointment _ and act in a way that technically, spiritually and emotionally nurtures said patient? If yes, then welcome to nursing. Religious afiliation not required (but welcome when there!)
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    You absolutely do not need religion to be a good nurse but you so need:
    Empathy, Patience, Understanding, Good Eyesight and Hearing, A Gentle Touch, A Sense of Humor, Intelligence, Good Communication Skills, An Open Mind, Politically Correct Lingo, A Huge Bladder, The Ability to Ignor Urges to Go to the Bathroom, The Ability to Wolf Down Nutritious Meals In a Few Minutes, A Forgiving Heart, Etc. Etc
    Religion might help you acheive these charachter traits ....or not!
    badmamajama likes this.
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    Quote from rogramjet
    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..."
    You're right. I don't think it was wrong or stupid of Marx to attempt to outline some better way for people to live. It didn't work out, because he didn't understand everything. Well, neither does any one of us. Hindsight's 20/20 I guess.
    ChelseaLynn1623 likes this.
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    Quote from fergus51
    I would feel that way if I actually saw a difference in the behavior of the religious and non-religious I work with (or spiritual, whatever we want to call them). I don't. Some are great nurses, others are not so great. It's entirely possible to be a Christian and be a bad nurse and uncaring to other human beings. I see it when they interact with our non-traditional families all the time. You can be an atheist, but still believe in caring for your fellow human beings and respecting them. It is really about the individual's behaviors.

    Thank you for saying what I was thinking in a much better way. Some of the so-called "Christian" nurses I work with are dreadful.

    I got a transfer today I was ill prepared to take because "you are more compassionate" (young many dying, with little kids and family coming in to say goodbyes). I don't subscribe to any one religion right now. But there were several church going nurses on my unit. Interesting how I'm judged the most compassionate of the bunch.

    I have my flame suit on. Please note, however, I'm not Christian bashing, I'm only talking about my coworkers, and I'm mature enough not to judge an entire religion based on their practices. Thanks.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 29, '05
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    Just a reminder: debate the issue, not each other. Flame-proof suits should not be needed.
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    Quote from Tweety
    Thank you for saying what I was thinking in a much better way. Some of the so-called "Christian" nurses I work with are dreadful.

    I got a transfer today I was ill prepared to take because "you are more compassionate" (young many dying, with little kids and family coming in to say goodbyes). I don't subscribe to any one religion right now. But there were several church going nurses on my unit. Interesting how I'm judged the most compassionate of the bunch.

    I have my flame suit on. Please note, however, I'm not Christian bashing, I'm only talking about my coworkers, and I'm mature enough not to judge an entire religion based on their practices. Thanks.
    I might have taken that wrong from somebody else.

    But not you, tweety.

    From my interactions with you on this site, I know that you are awesome.

    You don't have to be religious to be a good nurse - but you DO have to be compassionate.

    Religion and Spirituality aid in gaining a measure of compassion. But we are each a creature of our individual experiences and the compassion that we bring to the bedside is a function of all those experiences - not just the religious and spiritual ones.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
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    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I might have taken that wrong from somebody else.

    But not you, tweety.

    From my interactions with you on this site, I know that you are awesome.

    You don't have to be religious to be a good nurse - but you DO have to be compassionate.

    Religion and Spirituality aid in gaining a measure of compassion. But we are each a creature of our individual experiences and the compassion that we bring to the bedside is a function of all those experiences - not just the religious and spiritual ones.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Thanks. That's what I was saying, that one doesn't not have to subscribe to a religion to have what it takes to be an effective compassionate nurse, and I was using my work situation yesterday as an example. Obviously a family that looses a beloved husband, father and son needs a strong compassionate, empathetic nurse that is able to communicate and participate in the death with them. But they do not necessarily need a Christian, Jew or Muslim, etc.

    I apologize if I sounded a bit harsh and judgemental of my coworkers. I was just a bit bitter that I was so busy yesterday, yet got chosen to take this case. It was tough because the children were coming to see their dad for the last time and one asked me "is my daddy going to die?".

    I think religions are indeed a gateway to compassion, afterall there are few better examples of compassion than Jesus Christ. So I understand. I take exception with the idea that it's the only way, and that the better nurses are the one's with religion. I'm respectful of those who have another opinion however, as we are all entitled to say what our opinion is.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 30, '05
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    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:
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I think that not being 'religious' makes you a better nurse, but a sense of spirituality does. I'm not religious in the least but I am very spiritual and gain comfort from knowing that it's ok to be open-minded and willing to accept another's faith.

    I don't pray with patients -- I will call upon the chaplain who can be much more realistic and sincere with patients. I would never ignore and often encourage patients to take advantage of spiritual or social services if that patient didn't have family with them.
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    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.
    Marx's doctrine of equal distribution of wealth among a population is not idiotic, it's brilliant. It's also a philosophy.

    The idiocy lies in the subsequent bastardization of his pure philosophy -- called communism, and run as any truly corrupt governmental entity on the planet. The current regime comes to mind -- this country was founded on the separation of church and state, and that constitutional absolute seems to be eroding. And yes, organized religion did evolve to control others through fear and intimidation as well as take collect money from those members.

    But as for nursing, the less you are involved in your own set of rules, the more perspective and compassion you will be able to show your patients. You don't need to be religious, or even spiritual, really, but you do need to recognize the need in your patients for spiritual support.
    ChelseaLynn1623 likes this.
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    Quote from Stitchie
    Marx's doctrine of equal distribution of wealth among a population is not idiotic, it's brilliant. It's also a philosophy.

    The idiocy lies in the subsequent bastardization of his pure philosophy -- called communism, and run as any truly corrupt governmental entity on the planet. The current regime comes to mind -- this country was founded on the separation of church and state, and that constitutional absolute seems to be eroding. And yes, organized religion did evolve to control others through fear and intimidation as well as take collect money from those members.

    But as for nursing, the less you are involved in your own set of rules, the more perspective and compassion you will be able to show your patients. You don't need to be religious, or even spiritual, really, but you do need to recognize the need in your patients for spiritual support.
    The idiocy of Marx is he tried to philosophize a system for the government of man without bothering to take the time to understand man.

    Marxism works great on paper, but has always been and will always be a disaster in actual application because it ignores human motivation. It's great to say that everybody puts in and everybody gets out. The problem is that, If somebody has no motivation to get more, then why work harder? And over time, any such system becomes a repetitive downward cycle of the gov't trying to keep up a standard of living for everybody without the real input of anybody.

    Or as a former Soviet instructor once quoted as a popular slogan at that time: "As long as they pretend to pay us, we'll continue to pretend to work."

    Let me put it another way - would any of you on this forum do what you do for the pay of somebody that works at Mickey D's? If you think that your extra work and labor to train and become experienced in your job deserves the extra pay and benefits that come with it, then that itself is a repudiation of Marxism.

    Designing a system of gov't that completely ignores human motivation may be vastly intelligent and/or brilliant, but it is also idiotic.

    Marx was an idiot.

    ~

    And this country was never founded on the concept of separation of church and state. It's not in the Constitution. Our forefathers would be appalled by the concept. Separation of church and state, as a modern concept, is 60-70 yrs old; it's a bastardization, to use your term, of the principles upon which this Republic was founded.

    I defy you to find the words 'separation of church and state' in the Constitution or in the Federalist papers. The Constitution merely prevents the gov't from imposing a religion; it does not impose the need to remove all concept of religion from the state. Even the most agnostic members of our founding fathers understood that religion was very important to government.

    (Jefferson mentioned the phrase 'separation of church and state' in his private writings, but not his public ones. Grant made mention of keeping the church and state separate. But neither made an attempt to incorporate that into the fabric of our laws. That concept (to incorporate Sep of C/S into our laws, mainly by judicial legislation) took hold in the post progressive movement of the 1940's and 1950's.)

    (From J. Madison, Federalist#51: "In a free government the security for civil rights must be the same as that for religious rights." Madison believed the gov't should be as interested in civil rights as it would be in religious rights. His intent, I believe, was to put civil rights on a higher footing, but only as high a footing as religious rights.)

    And one final quote from Madison, if you will, "Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government."

    Sep of C/S in not textual to the Constitution. By invoking it, we have indeed separated the actual text of the Constitution from its original meanings, and so, from its historical background.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 30, '05


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