Would You Pray if your Patient asked? - page 7

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   donmurray
    Assumptions again! Religion per se has no monopoly on spirituality.
  2. by   nightingale
    A certain amount of overlap. Interesting to hear some interpretation on this.


    According to Webster's:


    sensitivity or attachment to religious values
    the quality or state of being spiritual


    1 : of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : INCORPOREAL <man's spiritual needs>
    2 a : of or relating to sacred matters <spiritual songs> b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal <spiritual authority> <lords spiritual>
    3 : concerned with religious values
    4 : related or joined in spirit <our spiritual home> <his spiritual heir>
    5 a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism : SPIRITUALISTIC


    1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
    2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
    3 archaic : scrupulous conformity : CONSCIENTIOUSNESS
    4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
    - re-li-gion-less adjective

    B. lol... oh no now I am doing it!
  3. by   MayeRN
    I would pray for a client if asked and often pray for clients when not asked.

    I agree with the posts that have said that it is a part of nursing care - especially when we are suppose to be caring for the whole person - this includes their spiritual needs.

    For those who have a strong faith in God, pray is comforting. I have prayed in the presence of patients but have also ensured that a minister, priest, etc. was involved in their care. I find this a very important aspect in the care of palliative clients.

  4. by   LasVegasRN
    Micro: well put. That is my hope of all nurses, no matter what faith and in the absence of faith.

    Nightengale1998: ruh roh. Now you've done it.

    Agnus: I'm going to really be politically incorrect and say this, and know it comes from my heart, from one nurse to another - Dear Father, there is a person here who needs to feel your touch and know of your love. Please let them know that with you and through you that all things are possible. Please touch them in your special way and help them to feel your presence so that we may all know and truly appreciate your grace. Amen. :kiss

  5. by   Cameo
    I'm a student, and I already know that I'll be praying for my patients before they ask--and I hope they'll ask, and I'll be able to tell them I had already!
    Folks, I LOVED reading how many of you pray with your patients! God Bless!
  6. by   willie2001
    Yes, I would pray for and with a patient if asked. I was taught that a good nurse ministers to the whole person, not just the the physical side. Prayer can be very comforting and healing. I have even seen a couple of our docs pray at a patient's bedside.
  7. by   micro
    Originally posted by donmurray
    Assumptions again! Religion per se has no monopoly on spirituality.
    as always, so few words, but SO GREAT A POINT! dm
    Last edit by micro on Apr 30, '02
  8. by   Agnus
    This is not an arguement just something to think about. I was laying in bed this morning thinking about, in another context, invocations are frequently led at various non-sectarian gatherings, where beliefs are varied with out offending.

    I remember a Jewish Catholic wedding I attended officiated jointly by a priest and a rabbi. When the priest said to the Jewish groom, "repeat after me. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit." The groom responded, "In the name of God." The priest prayed in his tradition and the groom in his. Each respecting the other's rights.

    I hear much discussion here about praying to gods by other names. Yet, I have NEVER (although I guess it could happen) heard anyone object or offer offence to a prayer addressed to simply, God. Even those who primairly worship a goddess or goddesses acknowledge a god, and are not offended.

    I recently attended a Wiccan Wedding where the majority of guest were Catholic and a few other Christians. The ceremony was carried out in full Wiccan tradition without a single guest being offended. I know all of these people intimately and so there is no question of this. Not one walked away feeing they had participated in or witnessed something contrary to their own beliefs.

    There have been a number of Wiccan and other religious based weddings where even the parents of the bride and/or groom were wildly opposed to their children's religion and the ceremony was carried out without offending the parents or any others.
    It can be done.

    Just something to contemplate. Not an arguement.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 1, '02
  9. by   Agnus
    I truly thank you from my heart. I am not without a spirtual side. I just don't know and wonder. I am comforted by prayer.:kiss
  10. by   traumaRUs
    Of course, I'd pray with any pt. I work in a Catholic hospital and always try to observe pts beliefs.

    I wouldn't want to sing to my pts though, because it would be anything but soothing...they wouldn't ask a second time!!!
  11. by   Agnus
    Originally posted by micro
    to me prayer is talking and being with.....
    there may be somethings I cannot do.......
    like specifics of a religion.....and that is k'
    but I can and won't shy away from a patient that wants and needs to talk and cry with a shoulder that can bear it.....
    religious, agnostic, hell's angel, mentally retarded, atheist, or
    specifics of a religion.....if know them I may use them if I am comfortable.....but that is also where the experts should be called in........
    the chaplains.......where I am they are great.........
    regardless of the denomination or lack of denomination that they are.....they are educated on the specifics of multiple belief systems and treat patients as individuals first then address the holistic nature of their need, then address any specifics if that is requested by the patient and family.....
    nothing is forced on the patient.........
    and sometimes the chaplains(the great ones), know when to just come in and talk and listen......and get outside "assistance" and not trying to enter every arena.........

    but i worked too long tonight, but the hour is late.........and I drone on.............and just getting over a hoopsy whimdinger of a cold/flu.........

    so i close for now and try to sleep and dream.........
    Beautifully said, micro. My point exactly. Our job is not to take the place of clergy. Yet, we do at times have a place in filling spiritual need. There have been time when I was the only one available as no clergy were able to respond in a timly enough fashion. I've even had them say I don't want clergy I want a nurse to pray with me.
    I frequently call clergy but only after asking if the person wants them. Even devoute people have refused their own clergy.
    This is such a sensitive area that we must not assume that the person wants clergy but we must offer to call them.

    Get this (happend more than once to me) Knowing person is XYZ religion and offered to call a clergy of that faith the person says, "no, call someone from ABC religion." So, I have learned to be real specific when I ask these questions. If there were an avitar that hunched it's shoulders it would go here.
    Last edit by Agnus on May 1, '02
  12. by   Agnus
    I gave you fair warning my singing would cause you pain. Now do you want me to continue? Cause frankly now that I've started I really like doing it. It is not very often I get the opportunity and if you are perfect pitched, don't assume that the pleasure from singing equals good singing. If you are the singer it doesn't matter. But I warned you.
  13. by   Agnus
    Oh, I asked a 75 year old woman on admission if she had a religious preference. She replied, "None that I would want my family to know about. I have been know to subscribe to the National Enquire from time to time."

    Yes, she did understand the question. She has the most fabulous dry sense of humor.