Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 6

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... Read More

  1. Visit  HvnSntRN} profile page
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    I haven't read the entire thread, but I pretty much agree with the idea that Nursing can be a very spiritual vocation without actually involving religion or religious ideologies.

    Before I became a nurse, I left a very rule-oriented, high-control religious group (Jehovah's Witnesses) and no longer follow any religious path (other than helping other ex-JWs exit the group). I do not believe that religion is a pre-requisite for delivering excellence in nursing care, although respect and tolerance for the beliefs and practices of my patients is an integral part of being the kind of nurse who can facilitate open communication and trust with my patients.

    I can't imagine being a patient with a specific set of beliefs (or non-beliefs) and being subjected to a barrage of health care professionals wanting to "bless" me or pray for me, and I'd probably be quite offended.

    To my way of thinking, the nurse is there to facilitate a patient's own belief system (arranging pastoral care, finding a Bible, Koran or Torah, etc. if they want one and don't have their own, sitting with them while they pray if they ask me to, finding them a private place to pray or providing a blanket and letting them know which way is East, and so on) and NOT to proselytize them or plant doubts about their beliefs.

    I have learned SO much from my patients by inquiring about and respecting their beliefs and cultural/religious practices, and I think that it's made me a much better nurse than I would have been if I simply put up the mental roadblocks that tend to come with strict or intolerant religious beliefs.
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  3. Visit  JohnBearPA} profile page
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    While I don't feel religious involvement to be a prerequesite for being a good nurse, I can't imagine how anyone can look at the wonder of human life without believing in some kind of higher power. I considered myself spiritual before I attended and graduated nursing school, but as the complexities of the human body unfolded before me in A & P, Micro, and Growth & Development, I found myself amazed that humanity has reached the level we're at without some kind of divine help.

    On a lighter note, I've seen all too often how a person's religious beliefs can help them recover against the odds from a life threatening disease or injury. I myself have had a bit of a spiritual awakening during the decline and death of my Mother from Vulvar ca last month.

    Do you need to be religious to be a good nurse? NO, but I think the spirituality sort of comes with the job and grows stronger the longer you work in the field.

    BTW, I consider myself a "recovering catholic", and I work in a Jewish facility, and most of my friends are pagan/wiccan, so I support everyone's right to believe and pray as they wish.
  4. Visit  stevenking} profile page
    1
    Quote from JohnBearPA
    BTW, I consider myself a "recovering catholic", and I work in a Jewish facility, and most of my friends are pagan/wiccan, so I support everyone's right to believe and pray as they wish.
    This is interesting...

    As a Christian, I humbly submit that my religion makes very exclusivistic claims. I, too, support people to believe and pray as they wish---even if I think they are dead wrong. If someone in the workplace says, "Gee, Steve...I know you're a Christian and what do you think of blah, blah, blah...", then they should be prepared for my honest answer. As a Christian, I do not advocate religion anyway...I am an advocate of Jesus Christ and the relationship I have developed with him.

    Nursing care has very little to do with religion, methinks. I feel that as a Christian, I offer better nursing care when I take my religion seriously. If I were teaching a class on effective nursing care, I would mention that acceptance does not mean agreement. I would differ ferociously with Mormons, JW's, Satanists, Pagans, Wiccans, and those who did not think that Ferris Bueller's Day Off was a cinematic masterpiece. [OK, the last statement was offered tongue-in-cheek...but I think you all get the idea.] I have very strong beliefs...because, after all...they are MY beliefs. Although I would violently disagree with a JW about their stance on theology, Christianity, etc.---I would still give him the best possible care I could within my scope of practice...

    I think that is the bottom line with which, we can all agree...


    Last edit by brian on Nov 7, '05 : Reason: change emphasis
    ChelseaLynn1623 likes this.
  5. Visit  mtnmom} profile page
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    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    I know it's off topic, but the concept of a Sep of C/S is a pet peeve of mine and it was used directly in a rebuttal against one of my posts. I'm responded to the content of the post only, but I'm going to take up this idea of Separation of C/S a bit further.

    Timothy.
    I am impressed by your knowledge of this subject. Interesting material...you would be fun to get together with sometime for dinner, drinks or coffee, etc. if you lived near us.
    (BTW, I'm married...thats not a pickup line...just like good stimulating intellectual conversation)
    Keep the faith and we need more out there like you!!!
  6. Visit  GrnHonu99} profile page
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    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    The stereotype that nurses are 'angels' is deeply rooted in the fact the modern nursing has its roots in religious orders.

    But.

    I don't think it's a requirement to be religious/spiritual, although it IS a requirement to not only respect but empathize w/ someone's religion. Nursing deals alot w/ death - it is important to be able to support that 'experience' from that person/family's perspective. That doesn't require identifying w/ those beliefs, but it does require being understanding and even supporting of them.

    And sometimes the best medicine is a good ear. It's a shame that administration doesn't feel the need to allot time for that in nursing care anymore.

    Realiistically, if religion were required to be a good nurse, then we'd need to specialize nursing along religious lines - only Methodists could take care of Methodists, Catholics Catholics, Muslim Muslims, etc. etc. And nobody is suggesting that.

    I don't have to be Catholic (and I'm not) to seek last rites (I know, not called that anymore) if it is desired - and to be respectful of that, well, rite.

    BTW, I'm a very religious person. I think you SHOULD be more spiritual - and I think it would make you a better nurse. But you can be a good nurse in any case, and my case for you seeking spirituality would have more to do for your own benefit. There's so much more to us than a physical core.

    Or lilke the bumper sticker I saw the other day: We are not humans having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

    ~faith,
    Timothy.
    exactly, well said.
  7. Visit  fergus51} profile page
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    Quote from thekingster
    This is interesting...

    As a Christian, I humbly submit that my religion makes very exclusivistic claims. I, too, support people to believe and pray as they wish---even if I think they are dead wrong. If someone in the workplace says, "Gee, Steve...I know you're a Christian and what do you think of blah, blah, blah...", then they should be prepared for my honest answer. As a Christian, I do not advocate religion anyway...I am an advocate of Jesus Christ and the relationship I have developed with him.

    Nursing care has very little to do with religion, methinks. I feel that as a Christian, I offer better nursing care when I take my religion seriously. If I were teaching a class on effective nursing care, I would mention that acceptance does not mean agreement. I would differ ferociously with Mormons, JW's, Satanists, Pagans, Wiccans, and those who did not think that Ferris Bueller's Day Off was a cinematic masterpiece. [OK, the last statement was offered tongue-in-cheek...but I think you all get the idea.] I have very strong beliefs...because, after all...they are MY beliefs. Although I would violently disagree with a JW about their stance on theology, Christianity, etc.---I would still give him the best possible care I could within my scope of practice...

    I think that is the bottom line with which, we can all agree...
    I think you have a good view of things.

    Off topic, but there are Christians who do not believe in the exclusive rightness of Christianity. I was raised going to UU church, which was founded as a Christian church and many members would still call themselves Christian, but the "universalist" part of UU means that a person would not be denied salvation or heaven or whatever simply because they didn't believe in Jesus. Oh, and I LOVE Ferris Bueller's Day off!!!
    Last edit by brian on Nov 7, '05
  8. Visit  Tigger Nurse} profile page
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    [FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]
    I would have to agree that religion is not necessary to be a good nurse...but...I personally would not have made it this far without my Christian beliefs. I've been in the field for over 30 years and can still remember sitting at the bedside of a dying patient when I was 20yrs old. She was extremely anxious and afraid. First I asked her if she believed in God..to which she said "yes," then I comforted her by saying that there was nothing to be afraid of, "God is with you and waiting for you in heaven...He will take the pain away; just relax and let go." She smiled and said "thank you" as she gripped my hand tightly...she died 5 minutes later. I sat there and cried but also thanked God for helping me help this desperate patient. There have been numerous times since that moment long ago and I'm still praising God for helping me with all my accomplishments. I don't think I would be as good a nurse without Him.
  9. Visit  MichaelLooney} profile page
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    When I took the BNA class they made it clear that we are NOT to share our religious preferences with residents since they may NOT have the same religious beliefs as us, and we should refrain from sharing in there's as well since it can be misconstrewed by another resident who doesn't have the same religious beleifs as whomever you do decide to share with.
    If that makes any sense.
  10. Visit  nurse4theplanet} profile page
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    Wait a minute, what were we talking about? Oh yeah...

    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?
    After re-reading your post a little more carefully, I think I believer your instructor either did not explain herself appropriately or you may have taken it more sensitive because you do not consider yourself spiritual in a religious aspect...which is quite alright.

    What really makes you a GOOD nurse is being able to accept others spirituality, relious needs, and such without being judgemental. You don't have to agree with them, but you do have to bust your butt to meet their needs just as you would want a nurse to do for you whether she agreed with your beliefs or not.

    Meeting spiritual needs does not mean just PRAYING with the patient...don't know if your instructor said this or if you just interpreted it that way. Nor are your required to PRAY with your patient. As a Christian, prayer is very important to me, but I would not pray with a Buddhist, seeing as how we differ so greatly. But I would seek out that religion's spiritual leader to allow them to have a companion of the same conviction to pray with.

    Now, if you share the same religious views with your patient then I see nothing wrong reading to them from a religous scripture or praying with them at the bedside...of course if time permits, and you are ASKED. But the safest and most appropriate thing to do as a nurse is to seek out a professional in this area.

    So to answer the last question in your post the nursing profession would view good nurses as those who can accept and provide equal care to patients of all spiritualities, and be sensitive to their needs. Was your nursing instructor taking liberties with the topic...well, you didn't go into much detail about what was said in your post...so that would be something you would need to discuss with others who heard the lecture.
  11. Visit  Tigger Nurse} profile page
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    Quote from MichaelLooney
    When I took the BNA class they made it clear that we are NOT to share our religious preferences with residents since they may NOT have the same religious beliefs as us, and we should refrain from sharing in there's as well since it can be misconstrewed by another resident who doesn't have the same religious beleifs as whomever you do decide to share with.
    If that makes any sense.
    I do not share my religious beliefs without the patients consent! If they believe in God and are begging for help, I try to assist them with their dilemma, especially if there are no family members or other close friends to comfort them. I live in a mostly Mormon community now and religion is a very important factor in their lives. I respect all religious beliefs and just refer to my own when it is appropriate.
  12. Visit  stevenking} profile page
    0
    Quote from fergus51
    I think you have a good view of things.
    I always love to see that...

    Quote from fergus51
    Off topic, but there are Christians who do not believe in the exclusive rightness of Christianity. I was raised going to UU church, which was founded as a Christian church and many members would still call themselves Christian, but the "universalist" part of UU means that a person would not be denied salvation or heaven or whatever simply because they didn't believe in Jesus. Oh, and I LOVE Ferris Bueller's Day off!!!
    About Christianity - I would simply label Christians who did not believe in the exclusive rightness of Christianity as something other than Christians, then.

    About Ferris Bueller's Day Off - a classic which should be imbued with legendary status. :chuckle
  13. Visit  fergus51} profile page
    0
    Quote from thekingster
    I always love to see that...



    About Christianity - I would simply label Christians who did not believe in the exclusive rightness of Christianity as something other than Christians, then.

    About Ferris Bueller's Day Off - a classic which should be imbued with legendary status. :chuckle
    I would argue that the loving and merciful nature of God would preclude him from abandoning his children in the afterlife simply because they didn't say "Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation" when they were alive. Course, I could be wrong and that is why universalists are considered heretics by some but, hey it works for me:chuckle IMO, it's a relationship with Christ that determines whether someone is a Christian or not and I wouldn't call myself a Christian. People in every religion do seem to pick the points that matter most to them and pay less attention to what doesn't. To me, the necessity of a belief in a certain creedo or only ONE way to God doesn't make sense. I once heard some tv commentators talking about this referring to catholics who choose to use birth control despite the church condemning the practice. One said "Well, religion should be an all or nothing thing. If you don't believe in all the tenets of catholicism, you aren't a catholic. You can't pick and choose. Why would you buy raisin bread if you don't want raisins?" The answer was quick and to the point: "You buy it for the bread". That makes a lot of sense to me and it explains why some Christians are universalists and not exclusivists when it comes to religion.

    I do think God will be angry with anyone who says anything bad about Ferris Bueller's Day Off though.... very, very angry:angryfire
  14. Visit  stevenking} profile page
    0
    Quote from Tigger Nurse
    I do not share my religious beliefs without the patients consent!
    I try to live my beliefs so I don't have to speak them...

    Quote from Tigger Nurse
    If they believe in God and are begging for help, I try to assist them with their dilemma, especially if there are no family members or other close friends to comfort them. I live in a mostly Mormon community now and religion is a very important factor in their lives. I respect all religious beliefs and just refer to my own when it is appropriate.
    I, too, respect people's religious beliefs...even those I believe to be dead wrong.

    Just my $.02,
    Last edit by brian on Nov 7, '05


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