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In this article, Ian Govier suggests that patients will benefit if nurses adopt a systematic approach to assessing spiritual needs. However, it may be necessary to evaluate one's personal spirituality before applying this approach.
The nursing process, especially the assessment stage, used in conjunction with a conceptual framework or appropriate guidelines, will enhance spiritual care in nursing and
promote the recognition of spiritual care needs in the formulation and delivery of care plans.
Spiritual care is an essential component of nursing practice and often the arbiter of how
someone responds to his or her illness and associated life experiences. It would appear that when people encounter certain life events like serious trauma and illness, fundamental spiritual issues emerge that question their very existence. If medicine involves the recovery of the body, spiritual care involves a recovery of the patient as a person.
These areas do not sit in contention, but aim to complement each other and remind us that:
‘There is no profit in curing the body if in the process we destroy the soul’ (Anon)