Spiritually and nursing

  1. What does it mean to meet the spiritual needs of a patient?

    We have a few questions on our admission assessment such as "how can we support you spiritually?. What have any of you done to spiritually support your patients? Can you do this without crossing the line of the nurse patient relationship?.

    I really don't like asking the question on the assesment, I feel like we have too many other priorities. Otherwise I never bring up religion or faith unless the patient does first.

    I'm interested in your thoughts/stories on the subject.
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    About VAC

    Joined: Oct '01; Posts: 163; Likes: 69


  3. by   peggywi_RN
    i just ask during my admission if they have any spiritual issues they would like to discuss with me or a member of the clergy..have never had one that wants to discuss it with me!!
  4. by   SandyB
    I usually tell them there is a chaplain available and to let any of us know at anytime if they want to have a visit from the chaplain.
  5. by   memphispanda
    We had to do a "spiritual needs" assessment last semester. I was SO uncomfortable filling out the stupid form we had. "Do you feel like you have a connection with the universe?" Blah. I think most people prefer to have their spiritual needs met by their family, preacher, friends, or the chaplain. I think we have a responsibility to make sure we aren't breaking some religious rules/customs of patients if possible, but we can't possibly meet the spiritual needs to all the different types of people who come to the hospital.
  6. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Both places, we ask if they have any special spiritual needs we can help them address. So what is the big deal? If they say yes, (which is so rare), I ask how. Usually it would be contacting a minister or spiritual leader/church/synagogue or the person of their choosing to help with this. Having a chaplain available is a good start but not enough if the need they have does not relate to Judeo-Christian religious areas. Some have spiritual guides/advisors/others whom they wish to contact. So I leave it VERY open as to what they need/and who to call. It's part of addressing the whole person we are treating......an important part of the intake assessment we do.
  7. by   WashYaHands
    I was taught that spirituality does not necessarily mean religion. But, religion can be an aspect of a person's spiritualtiy. Assessing a person's spirituality is basically finding out what gives them strength during times of stress. This can be a higher power, family, friends, pets, rituals, humor, poetry, art, culture, ethnicity, etc. You may have to ask this in your assessment, but you'll learn the most about a persons spirituality by observing and listening. Do they mention pets at home, do they show you pictures of family, do they have cards on their table (who are they from and what is the nature of the card).

    "It has been said that a religious person believes in hell and a spiritual person has been there."

  8. by   cactus wren
    I don`t have a problem asking the spirituality questions...or getting the appropriate clergy called if wanted......

    but I do have problems asking an 85 year old grandma about her sex life...this is the question i skip......
  9. by   duckboy20
    The only question on our assessment form about anything spiritual is if they have any concerns that would hinder certain treatment as in receiving blood. I think it is a subject that really needs to be addressed in hospitals because many individuals are at their ends and the only thing they possibly could rely on would be God in the situation they are in. But like you said it is a fine line that would have to be walked. But I do think it is important.
  10. by   Christian Nurse
    Helping a person with their spiritual needs can be anything from getting the appropriate clergy to them to informing doctors, CNA's, and other faculty if the patient has certain times of the day that they pray.
  11. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I have also had patients ask for me to pray with them. And there have been occasions where I asked the patient if they would like for me to pray with them. As far as the question on the admit form... ours says something like "are there any spiritual/cultural concerns during your hospital stay". And this is when I tell them that there is a chaplain available, and ask if there are any special diets, forbidden foods, or not wanting blood products.
  12. by   VAC
    Good common sense answers from all of you.

    Shandy, do you think we cross the line of professionalism if we pray with patients?, or otherwise discuss faith if their faith is similar to our own, and if the patient requests it?
  13. by   opalmRN
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    It's part of addressing the whole person we are treating......an important part of the intake assessment we do.
    Perfect answer!