Would You Pray if your Patient asked? - page 11

If a patient asked you to pray with or for them at the bedside, would you? I had this discussion with some other nurses and the responses were interesting. Some said they would have no problem,... Read More

  1. by   emtjena
    I am not a nurse yet, but I am an EMT. I have been riding since 1992, and I have said many prayers with and without my patients.
  2. by   LoveYaHon
    Im would pray to each religion like this:
    Christian-May G-d give you the grace...
    Judaism-May G-d strenghthen you
    Musilm-May Allah keep you...
    Hindu-May the G-d of all gods wattch over your spirit
    If you're Atheist,IMO you should still pray.How can you be offended by something you dont believe exists?Pretend like you're talking to yourself,= ] you might be able to bear the offending conversation with the invisible man.LOL.
    A Proud Pentecostal,
  3. by   mario_ragucci
    Right - saying prayers can neither harm nor help anyone. They can be deadly precursors, however, to tragic events. For example, both crews of both atomic bomb missions to Japanese cities prayed to Jesus for success with their missions. What is your opinion of possible responces Jesus and God had to those events in Aug, 1945, after people prayed for them?
    I think Jesus let those atomic bombs detonate, killing hundreds of thousands of Asians, because they didn't believe in him.
  4. by   KaraLea
    Not only would I, I HAVE...Even if the patient was unconcious and unable to ask, I would pray for them. Pain lessened, etc... Also, the Chaplain at my old job would ask the nurses to join her and the patient in prayer all the time. I always felt that this was part of my job of comforting and caring for the patients.
  5. by   KaraLea
    As I said, I would pray for the patient if asked. However, it would probably be OK to gently tell the patient that you are not comfortable with this and to offer to contact the Chaplain for them. I have called the Chaplain in the middle of the night and seen her come in to talk with a patient or family member who asked for her to be called.
  6. by   rdhdnrs
    Have and would again. Whatever helps my patients emotionally that's what I want to do. It helps that I'm already a praying person, I guess.
  7. by   indeed
    Hoooooo boy. Here we go...

    Huganurse: "Anyone who is a nurse and cannot pray with/for another person for the sake of the patient is being selfish. IMO At the very least just pray as you normally would and don't worry about what religion they are, they in thier own mind can substitute the name of thier own god during your prayer."
    I do not feel I am being selfish if I refuse to be insincere. I cannot pray, it is that simple. It has nothing to do with not wanting to help my patient. Would you be able to NOT pray for me if I asked you to??

    Agnus: "Yep. Will lead the prayer too if needed or expected. Any faith. It is part or total patient care. Falls under spiritual care. Very appropriate for nurses. Has nothing to do with my spiritual beliefs. Has to do with WHAT THE PATIENT NEEDS."
    momrn50: "Sure I'd pray with a patient..have many times...all part of the job, don't you think?"
    nurs2b: "Of course I would... I am not the most religous person, but if my patient asked me to, I would... Besides, it IS part of our jobs.. In school we are taught HOLISTIC nursing, which takes care of the mind, body, and spirit...."
    I agree, it is part of our jobs to take every aspect of a person into consideration. It is NOT part of my job to be a minister...there are people out there who would sincerely pray with my patients and would be glad to do so. I know who those people are (and just as importantly, who they AREN'T). I would not deny my patient support, but that does not mean I need to be the one holding the beads, as it were. Just as it is my job to ensure their airway...if they need intubation RIGHT NOW...you best believe I will be paging our CRNA STAT, and not attempting to do that which I cannot do.

    LasVegasRN: "All I can say regarding the agnostic/atheist nurses is that if a patient asks for them to say a prayer on their behalf when that patient is unable to do so on their own that you will make the effort to find someone QUICKLY who can. However, if I were that patient, I'd feel that nurse abandoned me in my greatest time of need. I know... I know.. shouldn't discuss religion & politics, BUT I'm quite sure (as do I, but no need to answer) there are patients who would wonder how someone could go into a healing profession without having a spiritual base. AGAIN, no need to answer this, but just MHO"
    I would be stricken to find that a patient of mine felt abandoned because I did not pray with them, and I would be wondering what, if any, difference could be made by everything else we do (short of "prayer") for that patient. And although you do not want an answer, I will tell you that my ability to be a compassionate, empathetic, and caring nurse has come from being a human being, regardless if this human believes nothing but her parents "created" her.

    secondcareer: "Though I do agree with many that I could not pray to a God other than my own."
    LoveYaHon: "If you're Atheist,IMO you should still pray.How can you be offended by something you dont believe exists?Pretend like you're talking to yourself,= ] you might be able to bear the offending conversation with the invisible man.LOL."
    Then why would it be unacceptable for me to not pray to a being I cannot believe in when it is unacceptable for you to pray to a being you do not believe in? Pretend like you are talking to your god then....you might be able to bear the offending conversation with your god by any other name? Not so funny anymore, is it? I am not writing any of this to offend, I just would like you all to realize that not having any belief is just as serious a thing to me as your beliefs are to each of you. I do not think this makes me less of a nurse. I can and do hold my patients' hands and think of them often, and I have seen how their beliefs bring them comfort. I will never deny them that, nor will I ever expect anyone to belittle or deny me of my beliefs.

  8. by   LasVegasRN
    I thought I'd revive this since we have so many new people on the board. Still a valid question, so many good points brought out by all.
  9. by   JonRN
    In all my years on the job, I can't remember a patient or family ever asking me to pray for them or with them. Pretty strange huh? If they had asked I would probably have suggested a silent prayer. I consider myself to be a secular humanist, but I am not militant about it. As far as someone without a faith going into the healing professions, I had a faith at one time but now it is gone forever.

  10. by   micro
    hey, lvrn
    agree, prayer, sincerity and thought for our patients.....
    yes, if a patient asked me to stay with them while they prayed, I would.....
    do I have the words for their prayers....no I do not.....
    and if they cannot say the words.....I can hold their hand and stay with them.....
    there is power in being there for another....... .
    everyone has a belief system of one kind or another.....
    it is not place to be part of, etc.
    but it is my place to respect and help them to express and pray if they choose and want to.....in their care.....
    and if I start to feel out of time or out of my element, I can ask the pastoral department to come in to assist with the situation.....
    I will always state, that where I am at, the chaplains rock.........
    they may have their various denominations or faith, but when it comes to out on the floors, they do not preach in anyway.....but they do look to support, listen and help the emotional/spiritual side of the patient.......and even the staff..........
    I even know a chaplain that is of no denomination................now I think that rocks..............to care for people, without the stricture of religious dogma. Maybe that is my next career in my next lifetime.......
    now i tangent off,
    time to get off,

    las vegas,
    good thread to restore
    my opinions as just mine.........
    and I am in the mood to gab/type,
    plain and simple.. yes
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    Neat thread. Even tho I am an atheist, I would and have prayed with patients in the past when they have asked it (and it happens with some regularity in oncology.) I don't tell them what my religious beliefs are. If it makes them feel better, I see it as no different than administering pain medication or giving them a backrub. It doesn't offend me and I don't feel hypocritical; they are merely words to me but may have a positive impact on those I care for.

    Now that I work in psych, if my pts ask me about religion, it's usually because religiosity is a symptom of their mental illness and I steer the converstaion elsewhere. Was sort of a strange shift to make when I started, but definitely necessary in this field.
  13. by   Joycean
    I have been asked to pray with patients before and it has always given me a special feeling. I was approached by the family of a patient I had cared for in the past, (she was not my assigned patient that day, but we had previously developed a relationship). As her family was leaving for the night they asked me to go in and pray with her. I held her hand and cooled her head with a moist cloth like I did when she was responsive, and prayed. She died peacefully later that night. Being asked to pray with a patient is ultimate in caring I can give both my patient and myself. God Bless You.