"Are you saved?" How do YOU deal with these types of questions - page 11

I would love to hear from some more experienced ppl some ways to deal with these types of personal questions. In my region, there are many devout evangelical Christian people who I think are... Read More

  1. by   NightNurseKathy
    So far, the best I've come up with is, "It sounds like Christ is important in your life. Tell me more about that."
    Thoughts? Opinions?
    You have had a GREAT PSYCHOLOGY teacher!!! That is exactly how do deal with it! Course you may get alot on a subject you really don't want to hear about, but I suspect you would deal WELL with that too!!!
  2. by   hannahwiseman
    Quote from porterwoman
    I would love to hear from some more experienced ppl some ways to deal with these types of personal questions. In my region, there are many devout evangelical Christian people who I think are genuinely concerned about the state of my soul. When folks like this are in the hospital, they're also feeling vulnerable, and they probably want to discuss their faith with someone who can help them feel more grounded. I am not necessarily that person.
    I get the questions, "Are you saved?" "What church do you go to?" "Have you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior?" etc. frequently in the hospital where I work. 1. I don't believe my personal religious stuff is my patients' business. 2. I do not want to be dishonest about my personal religious/lack of religious stuff.
    So far, the best I've come up with is, "It sounds like Christ is important in your life. Tell me more about that."
    Thoughts? Opinions?
    Rebecca, that agnostic porterwoman

    Well, I'd reply with , "Am I saved?" and then look at my watch and say "uh, not yet." Then quickly change the subject with a great smile.
  3. by   whitk87
    I am a Christian, and for me, my faith is the very core of who I am. And to me, it's not private, because it forms who I am, and hopefully how people perceive me. But I find it terribly ironic that other Christians use Christian-lingo like "are you saved?" with people and expect them to immediately fall to their knees and become Christians. And I can understand completely why you would be offended - especially after it happens over and over again. I'd get annoyed if a Buddhist or a Muslim did that to me repeatedly. And on behalf of all annoying pushy Christians, I apologize. But I would never take advantage of a weak, emotionally and physically unstable patient to "push" my views on that person. I love discussing religion and different beliefs, and my problem is that I also love debating, which means I can debate personal and controversial issues, and walk away not being offended while the other person thinks I hate them and they hate me! Lol.

    I have never brought up religion or God or anything like that with my patients (I'm still a nursing student). But I have had patients, especially older ones, who will simply begin talking about God, not in an evangelistic way, but in how he's helping them, and I'll agree with them, because God has certainly helped me in life. And I've found it really encourages the older people when they discover that there really are people of the younger generation who are still Christians.

    But I don't know exactly where I'm going with this....I think I'm done now...lol...
  4. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from tntrn
    It has to handled individually, like all patient care issues. I don't bring up my beliefs, but occasionally a patient will broach the subject. In my private life, I don't evangelize; in fact, I am offended by it. Anybody who describes themselves to me as a "good Christian" immediately brings the question to my mind "as if it's not apparent." Lead by example is far better in my book; and if one's example is exceptional, it doesn't really matter what religion it is, does it?

    With complete and total respect I have to tell you, as an atheist we respect nothing more than this attitude. When someone tells me what a good Christian they are, I make sure there is plenty of space between the two of us. When someone lives their beliefs, I have a great deal of respect for them. I may not agree with the beliefs but that isn't the issue. I completely and totally respect someone who honestly and sincerely lives what they believe to be true.

    I just wish there were more of you around! Honestly, I do. I was raised Roman Catholic, but it isn't in my heart. I can't say I believe that to be true. But I still relate to those who live their beliefs and I still respect them fully.
  5. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from fotografe
    OK, I guess I could fake it once in a while too. That is if I stop turning red.
    Awww, you know... I've been an atheist for 20 years or so. I've been an atheist longer than it was the in thing to be. :chuckle But the truth is that life is too short. Put yourself in their shoes. They *really* believe they are doing a good thing. Their intentions are good, regardless of how insulting we may see it. Do I see it as insulting to be asked if I am saved? You bet! But it comes down to our job. Our job is to do the very best we can for people. Sometimes that means eating a little pooh. It isn't going to kill us, it's okay.

    The best answer is really to refer to hospital policy. Best policy I've ever seen is Mayo's policy. Don't discuss religion and that policy was written by nuns. Gotta respect them for that! Make it clear that you are putting your job on the line by getting into religion too much. Let them know you respect where they are coming from and leave it at that. And isn't that the truth?

    When someone says they'll pray for me, I thank them. And more important, I mean it. They are doing what they can for me and I can respect that. Sometimes you have to look outside the box. I remember in my atheist newbie days I was most insulted when someone prayed for me. And today when I post on my atheist boards and someone comes to convert us all sure... sometimes I still catch myself rolling my eyes. Then I try very hard to remember they are doing their best in life just like I am.

    We are all in this world together... regardless of belief or lack of belief, we need to make the best of it and get along. There really isn't a better way.

    We didn't go into nursing because of religion, we went into nursing because we love science and how all those weird things work, and we love to make people better. Never forget that and the rest will fall into place. It's a natural thing, everything will fall into place when your intentions are on the right track.
  6. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from CHATSDALE
    azichelle...i agree with your post 100%..these people are scared out of their wits..this is the most horrible experience of their lives and they need someone to hold their hands and tell them that everything is going to be all right .. a nurse who makes a joke about saving poop/pee may feel like she is witty and with it and i am sure that it shuts up the patient but they give no comfort at all

    i believe that saying you prefer not to discuss this is the best solution...don't take offense when none is made...like others have said it is probably a conversation opener//if you don't want to answer change the subject
    I'm not sure I can fully agree and I'll tell you why. Take my Dad for example, he is going to die from colon CA. He's not going to live. I know that but thanks to his %^*& oncologist, he doesn't know that. He *needs* to talk about his faith. It gives him comfort. That is part of our job. I don't have to discuss my lack of belief in order to allow my patient to discuss their belief.

    I was raised Roman Catholic and although I am obviously not Catholic today, I relate to the belief. It does bring comfort. If someone wants to discuss THEIR spirituality, I'm all ears. Over the years I have learned to refocus the discussion to their beliefs, not my lack of belief. It does bring peace and comfort, our patients deserve no less.

    I have learned the art of letting someone discuss their beliefs and faith and if they assume I agree, that's okay. I'm not being dishonest, they make assumptions. That's all. Nothing in the world brings my Dad more comfort than his faith. Sometimes faith really is a good thing.

    Sometimes it is necessary to pull out hospital policy if push comes to shove. Other times it is a matter of allowing people their own space to discuss THEIR beliefs. One is okay, one is not. It is okay to let my patient voice their feelings, beliefs, what have you. It is not okay to put me on the spot and tell of my lack of belief.

    Sometimes we have to do distasteful things. Cleaning pooh and reinserting that darn foley time and time again... you know, when you want to go get the superglue to keep it in place once and for all! Other times patients do cross lines and it is okay to maintain the line. It is different for each person and nurse.
  7. by   JessicaInOr
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    Why do some healthcare workers feel offended when a patient ask about your chosen faith? If you are proud to have no faith, say so. If you are proud to be part of a certain faith, own it. What makes this topic get people all riled up?

    I ask in honesty, and NOT putting anyone down or to offend anyone. I just never thought so much about this topic as most of you seem to have based on what is written in each post.

    Thanks for sharing. And again......I'm curious.....not intended to offend anyone.
    HAHAHA... you have obviously never been an atheist in the midst of those wanting to save you! :chuckle

    I have been accused of secretly trying to kill people by going into nursing because one cannot possibly have morality and care for their fellow man while being an atheist.

    I used to work for Mayo. You know, I really believe you couldn't possibly stand on your tippy toes, twirl with arms outstretched and not hit an athiest. But not one of them will admit it in real time. People have lost their jobs for not believing in Christianity (not at Mayo, don't want to make it sound like that at all!). When your world is made up of Christians (I'm talking an individual world, not the whole darn thing) and you find yourself in the minority, it's not a good feeling.

    People view atheists as amoral, or without morality. That's just not true. We happen to believe in one less God than the Christians do. Do Christians believe in Buddha? What about all the Hindu Gods? No??? Well, we believe in one less God than the Christians. That doesn't go over well in most places of employment.

    Please don't misunderstand, I'm not bellyaching over it, it's just a reality. I don't discuss my lack of belief and nobody hates me. Life is simple. But I think you would be mighty amazed at how many people feel one cannot possibly have morality without religion. And the Christian religion at that!
  8. by   Candidnt
    I spent 18 years in NC, in fact the bulk of my health care career was there. The South is full of that, and difficult if not impossible to avoid. I got to the point where I would do one of several things; I'd try ignoring it, or politely brushing it off. Often that did not work; so I got to the point where I"d say "yes" just to get people off my back. Of course that often opened another can of worms where they felt they could discuss, pontificate, or whatever. It was one of many reasons I got out of the south (also originally being from the northeast). Now that I'm back in the northeast, I know it exists here, but I don't run into it with anywhere near the frequency that I did in the south.
  9. by   MedicalZebra
    When I was a patient on the surgical floor for kidney transplant rejection, I had a somewhat aggressive Born-again nurse who talked about Jesus every time she came into my room. At the time, I was interested in religion so it didn't really bother me-- but boy did it bother my parents! You could almost see my mother flinch every time the word "Jesus" was said! My mother was really ticked off about it-- we're Catholic, and she felt like this nurse was trying to convert me. Because I had read a lot about Born-agains, I knew that one of their 'commandments' is that they have to 'share the Good News' with as many people as possible, so I knew that this nurse was just doing what she felt her religion required her to do. I might have been offended had I not known this.

    One interesting thing this nurse did was to ask me to pray for her while I was at my dialysis session-- she was convinced that the prayers of ill people 'count' more with God. I don't necessarily believe that, but I did pray for her that day while I was on the machine... and I got so relaxed during prayer that I fell asleep. In this case, the nurse turned my attention away from my bad medical situation and onto something positive.

    I no longer have the same religious feelings, so my reaction would now be quite different:

    Nurse: "Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?"

    Me: "Well, I wanted to, but the praying-mantis aliens told me that that was all a bunch of crap!"

    I can almost guarantee that this would be the END of that conversation! :chuckle
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from danu3
    since you are catholic, you can potentially answer "yes, i am a christian". or where you are catholic is not consider to be christian?

    refer back to my post. people who ask "are you saved?" or "are you a christian?" usually don't really want to know about your religion. they want to talk about theirs. it's really none of their business whether i'm a catholic, agnostic, buddhist or jew. and since i don't usually have the time (or interest) to debate religion or endure an attempt to convert me, i'm not usually inclined to answer them. if they want to discuss relgion, i'm happy to call the chaplain for them.
    [color=#4b0082]ruby (who wonders if you were trying to be insulting.)
  11. by   fotografe
    Quote from cheerfuldoer
    Why do some healthcare workers feel offended when a patient ask about your chosen faith? If you are proud to have no faith, say so. If you are proud to be part of a certain faith, own it. What makes this topic get people all riled up?
    Actually, I would not be riled up if a patient asked me, just extremely embarassed and tongue tied. It is too personal to me and it is like, as I said, discussing my sex life, which I do not do.

    However, the question asked, "Are you Saved?", asked by others, who claim it is their right, is not a question about my religion, but a question about why I am not part of their religion, irregardless of my own beliefs. It is condescending, insulting and and invasion of my privacy as well as a VIOLATION of my freedom of religion. Please think about this before you start spouting your religious beliefs around. It isn't benign or welcome by any means and I will be sure to avoid you like the plague if you ask me.
  12. by   Tweege
    Quote from JBudd
    LPN 90, you're not alone. I'm saved too, and always glad to support my patient's spiritual needs. Which has included getting people's crystals out of the laundry basket (lots of new Agers here).

    And Sharon, I'm sorry you've had bad experiences with "us", but not all of us care only about "new business" or passing judgment, a true Christian really does care about the individual in front of them. :kiss

    As for how to answer it, saying "I'm going to hell" is a slap in the face. a mere "I don't care to discuss religion" should be enough. Then, if they don't let go, you can get rude

    I get more guff for being a different race than I do for being a Christian.

    Good response JBudd, and LPN 90 you are not alone.

    I'm not a nurse yet, but working on it, and it's good to hear from all of you concerning this area, which by the way is a great concern to me. I want to be able to do my job and work with people who may not have the faith in God that I have. I do believe that our lives should be an open book, and that just by living the example of true godliness, we can speak louder than with words. The way we handle situations and people will be reflection of who we truely are. :innerconf Therefore, being rude or verbally crass, shows what? " A kind word turns away wrath :kiss, but a harsh word stirs up anger. " And I feel that if there is something that I can't discuss with the person , or don't feel comfortable discussing, there is nothing wrong with finding someone who will. We treating a patient, and isn't that part of the job.
  13. by   brwnlegs
    Being a person of faith, having a relationship with God, I think that it is intrusive to approach someone and ask "If they are saved". As previously stated by some members, it is a work area, a hospital where people are trying to recover. If they are going to die, if they do not know Jesus, then leave it to God to send someone to introduce that person to Him. The Bible teaches us several things, one being that a person can only know Jesus by God first calling him, and it is up to that person to open thier heart to recieve Jesus as thier Lord and Saviour. The second thing, the Bible tells us is to not debate the word of God. Regardless of what your beliefs are, they are displayed in your lifestyle and your treatment toward others. If someone is supposed to know Jesus, leave it to God to send the appropriate person to "plant the seed" and allow God to water it so that it may grow.
    At work, I don't display, discuss or badger anyone about my beliefs. If I am lead to speak with someone about my beliefs, it is because they asked me, not vice-versa.
    Now, how should you respond, simply smile and say, that you don't think this is the time or the place and for them to not continue to badger you. It is as simple as that. Just remember that everyone that professes to be Christian is not a Christian. A lot of people do a lot of things in the name of religion, and when what they do offends others, it's ususally because they are doing it outside of the true beliefs of that religion.
    All religions talk about respect and loving one another, regardless of what they believe, their economic status, thier life choices. love is love, and it should be unconditional to all people.