Working in a christian place while being an atheist?

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    I'm starting cna classes next week and when I find a job i would like to find something close and that pays good. The best thing I could find in my area was a place called christian living communities, they start at 12 or 13 depending on the shift, and they have many different shifts. I would love to apply there, the only problem is I'm an atheist and don't believe in god or jesus. Is that something they would ask? I don't have anything against other people's beliefs, and usually keep things like that to myself, but if they asked I don't think I could lie and go against my beliefs. Has anyone here worked at a christian based place and did they ask someone their religious beliefs. I'm not planning on working there forever either, just while I go to nursing school. Sorry for such a weird q's
    Joe V likes this.
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  3. 34 Comments so far...

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    I'm thinking that places of employment aren't allowed to discriminate but I wouldn't advertise that you are an atheist. I don't feel it's important to share your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, while interviewing. If any questions come up that hint around it, state something more specific to your personal values.

    Good luck in getting a job and in nursing school!
    nursecheryl likes this.
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    Quote from eatmysoxRN
    I'm thinking that places of employment aren't allowed to discriminate but I wouldn't advertise that you are an atheist. I don't feel it's important to share your religious beliefs, or lack thereof, while interviewing. If any questions come up that hint around it, state something more specific to your personal values.

    Good luck in getting a job and in nursing school!
    Thanks!
  6. 6
    Quote from mls4455
    I'm starting cna classes next week and when I find a job i would like to find something close and that pays good. The best thing I could find in my area was a place called christian living communities, they start at 12 or 13 depending on the shift, and they have many different shifts. I would love to apply there, the only problem is I'm an atheist and don't believe in god or jesus. Is that something they would ask? I don't have anything against other people's beliefs, and usually keep things like that to myself, but if they asked I don't think I could lie and go against my beliefs. Has anyone here worked at a christian based place and did they ask someone their religious beliefs. I'm not planning on working there forever either, just while I go to nursing school. Sorry for such a weird q's
    I consider myself agnostic and my co-workers have no idea.

    I live in a very religious area and I have NEVER been asked what my religion is, but I frequently get asked what church I go to...all I say is, "I don't go to church...organized religion is not really my thing." Tons of people have this belief and it's the truth. They have never asked anything else.

    When people invite me to their church I always say, "Sure...one day"...of course, that day never comes. It spares feelings.

    When most people will say, "I'll pray for you" I say instead, "I will keep you in my daily thoughts".

    There are ways to be compassionate without drawing attention to the matter. Trust me, it will do you no favors in the work place and will draw the wrong kind of attention and gossip. Best to keep it to yourself.

    However, when patients have said things like, "Well, God has a plan doesn't he?"...DO NOT use this as an opportunity to say, "Well, I don't believe in God"...they in despair or need support...I just say, "Yes, he does"..and go about my way. No need to cause a stir or uncomfortable conversation.
    kimsey, nightnurse28, anie10, and 3 others like this.
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    This shouldn't be an issue, I would think. Your job will be the same whether you're serving Christians, Hindus, or atheists, and you can do it just as well, no matter what your belief system or lack thereof.

    Go ahead and apply, set up your interview, and reach for the position. You really should not be asked any questions about your own faith. The most you might get asked is whether you are comfortable/happy to work for clients/residents who are devout Christians, in which case you can say yes.

    Once on the job, it probably won't come up. If a resident asks about your beliefs, you can give a noncomittal answer - the ones suggested above would work.

    Good luck!
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    You may find that it's more of a problem for YOU than it is for the facility. It depends upon how religious the facility IS. I took a travel assignment in a religious hospital one time, and the blaring of prayers and "music of praise" over the PA system and intervals throughout the day drove me nuts. It was pretty hard to ignore, because management insisted that all work come to a halt so that everyone could listen. If the assignment had been longer than 13 weeks, I might have gone postal!
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    Not only am I an atheist, but my name is Faith, so that tends to make people open up and talk about spirituality right away. But, I smile and nod in response to comments about the nature of religion and God. And, if asked directly (I constantly get hit with "Your name is Faith, so you have Faith in Jesus, right?"), I lie through my teeth and say "Yep! Absolutely!"

    It doesn't take anything from me. It doesn't change who I am. And, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Because it isn't about me. My job is to make someone as comfortable as possible. If I had a problem with it, I'd be in the wrong profession.
    anotherone and mindyfromcali like this.
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    Sorry had to change my post, I put it on the wrong comment. That sounds like a good idea, the only problem is I'm a terrible liar.
    Last edit by mls4455 on Sep 3, '12 : Reason: wrong post
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    Thanks everyone for your advice!
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    Quote from nekozuki
    Not only am I an atheist, but my name is Faith, so that tends to make people open up and talk about spirituality right away. But, I smile and nod in response to comments about the nature of religion and God. And, if asked directly (I constantly get hit with "Your name is Faith, so you have Faith in Jesus, right?"), I lie through my teeth and say "Yep! Absolutely!"

    It doesn't take anything from me. It doesn't change who I am. And, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. Because it isn't about me. My job is to make someone as comfortable as possible. If I had a problem with it, I'd be in the wrong profession.
    That's good advice, but every time I lie about things like that, I start stuttering, or I sound way too excited and it sounds phony. I remember at my last job this guy came in and asked me if I believe in Jesus, and I said "Yes, love him" really stupidly, I could tell he knew I was full of crap, and I was just saying it, cause he gave me a bible and told me to read it he said I have to follow the word of the bible to get into heaven. I didn't mean for it to come out sounding fake, but it did.


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