The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray? The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray? - pg.6 | allnurses

The Nurse's Role in Providing Spiritual Care - Is It OK to Pray? - page 6

This brought up much discussion about whether or not offering prayer falls within the scope of the nurse while providing spiritual care. Is it appropriate for nurses or doctors to pray with... Read More

  1. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    3
    Quote from charlieccrn
    Unless the RN is interfering with the hospital process, there is no reason to terminate just for offering to pray.
    I would wager there were other issues.

    Here's the thing, it sounds like the RN in question was addressing his or her OWN spiritual needs instead of the patient's. That's a no-no.
  2. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
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    "I agree that a health setting is not the place for prosletising too, but if a patient asked me about my faith I think it overides what I do as a nurse. Although great care is needed here."

    This was in an earlier post. I am a teacher of nursing assistants, and I would just like to get a little more clear about this matter, on how to explain these things to future nurses who have a strong personal faith. So, what if a patient did ask a Christian CNA or nurse about their faith? What if they asked the nurse to pray with them so that they could be saved? If the patient themselves brought it up, and they wanted the nurse (assuming the nurse was comfortable with this) to pray for their salvation, could said nurse have her license suspended because people thought she was "proselytizing"? (I do not live in the deep South, so this sort of thing I imagine is frowned upon.) What are the professional boundaries that must be respected if a nurse wants to keep her/his license?
  3. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    2
    Quote from conscientiousnurse
    "I agree that a health setting is not the place for prosletising too, but if a patient asked me about my faith I think it overides what I do as a nurse. Although great care is needed here."

    This was in an earlier post. I am a teacher of nursing assistants, and I would just like to get a little more clear about this matter, on how to explain these things to future nurses who have a strong personal faith. So, what if a patient did ask a Christian CNA or nurse about their faith? What if they asked the nurse to pray with them so that they could be saved? If the patient themselves brought it up, and they wanted the nurse (assuming the nurse was comfortable with this) to pray for their salvation, could said nurse have her license suspended because people thought she was "proselytizing"? (I do not live in the deep South, so this sort of thing I imagine is frowned upon.) What are the professional boundaries that must be respected if a nurse wants to keep her/his license?
    If a patients asks a nurse to "pray with them so they could be saved" then that nurse should immediately get ahold of the chaplain so he or she can facilitate the "saving" process. This isn't just a quick prayer.

    Here's the thing. Patients are labile. A nurse walks into a room one day and the patient wants to be "saved by my Christian nurse" so she does it. A couple days later the patient has been NPO all day, waiting hours to be picked up from a procedure and has to wait a few extra maddening minutes for a call light to be answered. Now she's tweaked off and wants some revenge. How difficult would it be for this patient to report to the nurse manager about "some Christian nurse trying to save me"?

    Patients are not your friends or your spiritual companions. Nurses advocate for their patients, they don't "save" them.
    Tenebrae and Not_A_Hat_Person like this.
  4. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
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    Thanks for your input, MN nurse. So I could tell my students that they risk their license if they do this?
  5. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
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    Another question is: would it be appropriate in such a case, to offer to the patient to contact an evangelical-type clergyman (not the nurse's own pastor, but any such clergyman of the patient's choosing?)
  6. Visit  tnbutterfly profile page
    1
    Yes, offering to contact the chaplain or any clergy of the patient's choosing is quite acceptable. That is meeting spiritual needs.
    Not_A_Hat_Person likes this.
  7. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    0
    Quote from conscientiousnurse
    Thanks for your input, MN nurse. So I could tell my students that they risk their license if they do this?
    I highly doubt it. I think they might risk getting in dutch with their superiors.

    In general, it's the wrong way to go about things.
  8. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    0
    Quote from conscientiousnurse
    Another question is: would it be appropriate in such a case, to offer to the patient to contact an evangelical-type clergyman (not the nurse's own pastor, but any such clergyman of the patient's choosing?)
    Yes. That sounds like a nurse doing their job.
  9. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
    0
    I personally don't feel there is anything unethical about the nurse praying with the patient in a situation like this where the initiative was clearly on the patient's side, and they specifically asked the nurse to do this. Some nurses would be willing to even put their job on the line in order to meet this person's spiritual need right away, rather than jumping through what appear to be political hoops and delaying them by having to go get the chaplain or clergy. What if the patient was about to die, and you delayed their request to go find the chaplain, etc., and by the time they got there it was too late? What if a nurse decided to go ahead and pray with them, or give them a sample prayer, asking the patient to pray on their own when the nurse left the room? And what if the nurse documented everything about her assessment of spiritual distress, the request for prayer, and what the nurse did, in the chart? Or, what if the nurse waited till her lunch break or after she clocked out for the day, and came back to fulfill this request on his/her own time?
  10. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    3
    Quote from conscientiousnurse
    Or, what if the nurse waited till her lunch break or after she clocked out for the day, and came back to fulfill this request on his/her own time?
    Seriously? What do you think would happen?

    It is completely inappropriate to do something like this.

    Arranging appropriate spiritual care is not "jumping through political hoops" any more than arranging Social Work, PT/OT, Chem Dep, or any number of other services is.

    As for the other items you mention, I have a very strong feeling that if the patient's request for spiritual treatment were not specifically of the Christian faith, you would not be so eager to render such heroic measures.
    Last edit by MN-Nurse on Jan 30, '12
    Nurse Leigh, leslie :-D, and skyegirl like this.
  11. Visit  conscientiousnurse profile page
    1
    Maybe I made too big of a deal about it. In most cases, there would be time for a chaplain or clergy man to get there. But some nurses may feel comfortable going ahead and helping the person pray since they did ask, and I wouldn't blame such a nurse.

    I admit that if it weren't of the Christian faith, I wouldn't be so eager to render such heroic measures and put my job on the line. I would simply contact the chaplain probably; if it wasn't my faith, I wouldn't be too comfortable praying with the person anyway and the chaplain would do a better job. It is true that my own beliefs influence how I would react in this case.
    lamazeteacher likes this.
  12. Visit  skyegirl profile page
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    Quote from conscientiousnurse
    Maybe I made too big of a deal about it. In most cases, there would be time for a chaplain or clergy man to get there. But some nurses may feel comfortable going ahead and helping the person pray since they did ask, and I wouldn't blame such a nurse.

    I admit that if it weren't of the Christian faith, I wouldn't be so eager to render such heroic measures and put my job on the line. I would simply contact the chaplain probably; if it wasn't my faith, I wouldn't be too comfortable praying with the person anyway and the chaplain would do a better job. It is true that my own beliefs influence how I would react in this case.
    What you wrote makes me sad, even though you were being honest. I am not a believer in any gods, but I would be happy to hold someone's hand, of ANY faith, while they prayed. I would also be quite happy to call a chaplain if preferred. I have found christianity/christians to be very cliquish.
  13. Visit  MN-Nurse profile page
    0
    Quote from skyegirl
    I have found christianity/christians to be very cliquish.
    No more than others in my experience. Ingroup/outgroup dynamics drive a lot of behaviors. Heck without that feature there probably wouldn't even be religions!

    Imagine...

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