Religion and Nursing - page 3

So many nurses in my part of the world are Christians, and for some reason they expect me to be one, too. I NEVER discuss religion with co-workers, but I suffer in silence when they share cutsy... Read More

  1. by   iliel
    I recently worked in a large Mormon practice. I am no where near religious and my life style (living with b-friend, sometimes drinking, etc) went against what they stood for. but, they were the best employers I ever had. If I needed anything, they were there for me. There were times when their beliefs came out in the practice and I thought it was wrong, but, I just kept my mouth shut and found comfort in the other non religious office workers. I realized they really ment no harm and were good, honest people to work for.
    I know how you feel!
  2. by   ShelleyERgirl
    Glow worm, what a great post! It really got me thinking about a woman I used to work with. She was a minister's wife, supposed to be the image of a good christian godly woman, right? Wrong! This woman was the worst gossiping backstabbing hypocrite in the office! One minute she would be telling you about what a great church service they had on Sunday and the next she would be judging you if said the word "hell". I am a Christian and I am definitely not one to preach in your face but I am not a hypocrite, if I'm wrong about something or if I catch myself being a judgemental witch, I'll admit it. (usually ) Anyway, one day, I finally had enough of this woman, who was starting to make me doubt my faith and christians in general. She was gossiping about someone as usual when she turned to me to ask me a question about a rumor she had heard about a patient. When she turned to me, I yelled and ducked. She looked at me like I was nuts, and asked me what my problem was? Again, I ducked and backed up against the wall in mock horror. She was like "What?!" I said ," I can't talk to you until you pull that big wooden plank out of your eye, you almost hit me with it!" She shut up and she has never gossiped in front of me since!

    Anyway, I agree with many people here, if something makes you uncomfortable, no matter what it is, just smile, nod your head then gracefully bow out the conversation. You don't always have to put your two cents in. Hey and Good luck on your NCLEX! I bet you will do great!
  3. by   Belgndogs
    What a great thread to read through. I have found as well, since I'm not christian either, that it's best to just smile and nod even if I don't agree with the beliefs being expressed. IMHO, just because I don't agree, I don't have the right to invalidate their beliefs or experiences. After all, I wouldn't like for someone to tell me my beliefs or experiences are wrong (even though that's happened )
  4. by   Sable's mom
    IMHO, this thread could apply to many religions or social beliefs. For example, if you are practicing in a Native American setting, it is expected that you will allow/encourage/put up with(choose verb based on your own opinion) smudging. This has been a problem here because smudging puts a LOT of smoke in the air and those who don't believe in it are still forced to breathe it for a period of time.
    Anyways, just saying that Christians aren't the only ones who may assume that 'everyone' believes like they do.
  5. by   jacolaur
    Originally posted by Emery
    I am not a nurse (yet) but I am a christian. And I know that all christians aren't the same so I'm speaking for myself, but when I share with someone about my faith I can pretty much expect that they won't want to hear it, and if that is the case then I just leave them alone and pray for them....silently! I don't shove it down their throat...its not worth the trouble! I don't know about other christians but I share my faith because I'm excited about it, I mean, how often do you get a gift that is totally free? No strings attached? Just my opinion....

    Thats nice that you want to share your religion with others because your excited about it. However, what would you feel when someone of the Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, or whatever religion may be excited about their own beliefs and would like to share it with everyone around them. Do you want to listen? Probably not, so why should everyone assume that everyone else wants to listen or share cutsy e-mails about just Christianity. JMHO, sorry not trying to offend anyone, but it should be fair for everyone and I'm not so sure other religions would be as accepted a topic in the workplace. Would you engage in the lively discussion and not be offended? Would you be excited and want to listen to them? I think religion is probably not the best subject at work, better to discuss this in a different atmosphere. Until the day comes when all people can accept that religous differences are ok and everyones religion is just as important to that person as their own religion is important to them, it won't work. My children go to a tremendous private school that teaches about all religions. Education took away the unknown and brought on a great many educated discussions on each childs religion. It has been wonderful, but sadly, it is not the real world. They get out of that safe environment and todays predjudices are astounding. It sometimes comes out of the least likely of people. If a patient wants me to pray with them I would stand there hold their hand and allow them to pray to whomever their supreme being is. I would support, care, and comfort, them. However, as excited as you are about your religion, the person working day in and day out next to you, who is every bit as compassionate and caring as you, may be more excited about thier own religion and not share that same enthusiasm about your belief.There are many other wonderful topics to converse about during the course of many hours together.
    Last edit by jacolaur on Jun 27, '03
  6. by   RN auditor
    It seems like "preaching" at work could constitute some form of harrassment. I think your personal religious beliefs should not be shared with co-workers or patients unless asked. Now, if a patient asked you to pray for them and you were not a christian, what would you say? Just wondering if there were some good answers that may help others if they were ever in the situation.
  7. by   VickyRN
    I am a Christian nurse. I hold firmly to the belief, that it is WHO I am, not WHAT I AM SAYING, that is the most important witness. Am I a loving, kind, empathetic person? Do I gossip, am I mean-spirited, do I return "evil for evil?" How do I handle rejection and unkind and unjust treatment? Do I truly love my neighbor as myself and treat others as I would want to be treated? Do I walk in 1 Corinthians 13-type love? (The answer, sadly, in my life, is often "no.") This is the "witness" that people notice, not the preachy words. Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Sadly, our true "witness" as Christians (our light, our life) often doesn't measure up (I speak on behalf of myself, I am ashamed of some of my behavior among my non-Christian peers). You see, our true character, who we REALLY are, is what comes out during very stressful times. This is our light, our witness that people notice, not words.
    Last edit by VickyRN on Jun 27, '03
  8. by   fergus51
    RN auditor, when a patient asks me if I will pray for them I either say "Of course you'll be in my thoughts" or "I'll do everything I can for you".
  9. by   jacolaur
    Originally posted by VickyRN
    Sadly, our true "witness" as Christians (our light, our life) often doesn't measure up (I speak on behalf of myself, I am ashamed of some of my behavior among my non-Christian peers). You see, our true character, who we REALLY are, is what comes out during very stressful times. This is our light, our witness that people notice, not words.
    Are you saying you were influenced into bad behavior by your non-christian peers, or you are ashamed of how you were towards your non-christian peers?
  10. by   Good_Queen_Bess
    Your rights and views as an atheist are as valid as any other people's POV on their religion. I always respect the views of other religions, but will not be preached to. Just explain to them that it's not about who or how you believe, but how you behave in life that matters.
  11. by   sbic56
    Good answer, Bess.
  12. by   VickyRN
    are you saying you were influenced into bad behavior by your non-christian peers, or you are ashamed of how you were towards your non-christian peers?
    interesting question, jacolaur (hadn't thought of it in those terms).
    let me quote from the apostle paul, i corinthians 13
    13:4 love is patient and is kind; love doesn't envy. love doesn't brag, is not proud, 13:5 doesn't behave itself inappropriately, doesn't seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 13:6 doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 13:7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 13:8 love never fails. but where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. where there are various languages, they will cease. where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 13:9 for we know in part, and we prophesy in part; 13:10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 13:11 when i was a child, i spoke as a child, i felt as a child, i thought as a child. now that i have become a man, i have put away childish things. 13:12 for now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. now i know in part, but then i will know fully, even as i was also fully known. 13:13 but now faith, hope, and love remain--these three. the greatest of these is love.
    the above is the standard for the christian. you see, the life of christ transforms the christian on a day-to-day basis and it is a process, often taking years to be conformed into his image. and in response to your question, no one is responsible for others' words or deeds, only our response (which is a choice). often there are emotional trigger points (we all carrry a lot of emotional baggage) which signify we need healing in an area. as the love of christ heals us in an area, and the holy spirit transforms us within, we are freed from being "triggered" in an area (it doesn't matter by whom), to responding in christs' love. hope this answers your question :kiss
  13. by   Token Male
    Tolerance is the WORD;
    We all have our own beliefs or lack of beliefs but the work place is not the venue for seeking converts; however we are there to tend to the needs of others. This includes the spiritual plane and we must include this in our care if it is in our patients best interests. I work in the care of acutely ill elderly and the prospect of meeting their maker is often of concern to them. It is important to them therefore it should be important to us.