Health system struggles with spiritual care

  1. from healthleadersmedia.com:

    health system struggles with spiritual care

    doctors and nurses are usually uneasy when it comes to talking about god because they fear that they might be imposing their religious beliefs on others or appearing unprofessional. doctors also are unsure what to say. so, most often, they ignore the issue.
    usatoday, feb. 15, 2007
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    About NRSKarenRN, BSN, RN Moderator

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    5 Comments

  3. by   GardenDove
    I agree, it's a very awkward subject, I feel the same inhibition.
  4. by   ertravelrn
    I have not encountered a problem with this. I am a spiritual person and truly believe in the power of prayer. As a nurse, I have asked patients (or families) if it is okay with them, that I would like to pray for them and add them to a prayer chain. My husbands cardiologist is a Christian and he asked if he could pray with us before doing my husbands heart cath. I found that refreshing. My own personal physician knows that I am a believer in prayer and he deals well with it. Of course, I am also living in the middle of the bible belt.
  5. by   kidznurse
    Reading many postings on this website have made me realise just how prevalent religious ideology is in nursing in the States. It is obviously a cultural element .

    Here in New Zealand, we are reluctant and ill advised to bring beliefs from the private domain into professional nursing care. Political, philosphical, and religious beliefs are considered personal and do not transgress the public domain which as nurses we represent . Likewise our political leaders do not utter public proclamations of their private beliefs (no God bless our country or we have a God given duty as a nation to act in a certain way).

    I would no more offer to pray for a patient than offer them a Buddhist chant, read them sections of Das Kapital, offer an incantation or spell, sell them Amway or whatever might be my personal belief.

    I would however, respect any patients desire to pray, or meditate, or face Mecca, or hold a crystal , or whatever the patient needs to do to help them through. I would ensure the appropriate space, time, and support, to do what they need to do.

    I believe spirituality in nursing is in genuinely " being with" a patient and making a loving connection . Spiritual nursing 'moments' occur when I massage a patient, hold their hand, laugh with them, cry with them ,hold them when they die, respect their bodies,treat the dead with reverence, understand and accept them .
  6. by   Tiwi
    Quote from kidznurse
    Reading many postings on this website have made me realise just how prevalent religious ideology is in nursing in the States. It is obviously a cultural element .

    Here in New Zealand, we are reluctant and ill advised to bring beliefs from the private domain into professional nursing care. Political, philosphical, and religious beliefs are considered personal and do not transgress the public domain which as nurses we represent . Likewise our political leaders do not utter public proclamations of their private beliefs (no God bless our country or we have a God given duty as a nation to act in a certain way).
    Same here in Oz. At our hospital we offer pastoral services, some of which are ecumenical. And we will contact anyone the person/family so wishes at any time. Sometimes being 'spiritual' can be sitting down and listening to a person's end of life concerns. We do have a chapel open 24 hrs, plus a service there every Sun.

    We also have to consider aboriginal beliefs...for example
    1. not mentioning the name of someone who has passed on - even if someone else has the same name they cannot use their own name (this is very common in central regions)

    2 that the person you are caring for will have an active expected role in the funeral...so if patients go AWOL that can often be the reason.

    3. depending on the beliefs, the hospital itself can be considered a place of death, as no cleansing rituals can be carried out, such as "smoking" of the rooms - that would set the fire alarms off! Thus often our patients are very scared of the place, because they only come here when they are really ill and their communities are hundreds of miles away.

    4. the land itself, of which they are a part, is considered part of healing spiritually...and they are away from it.

    I am speaking very generally here: indigenous cultures here speak different languages and have some different beliefs - we ask them literally which "country" are they from? And an increasing amount of ppl are used to 'our' system.
  7. by   pickledpepperRN
    I don't ask patients but have often prayed with patients and their family when asked.

    I have also taken down the crucifix from the wall of a non Christian patients room at a Catholic hospital. The chaplain agreed it was the right thing to do.

    I've had crystals and pyrimids under the bed, magnets or stones on the patient. As was said we are there for our patients.

    When my uncle died a couple years ago three nurses came in and offerred to pray with our family. We appreciated their kindness. It was a small town where he was loved by generations of Boy Scouts and their families.

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