Religion Needed to be a Good Nurse? - page 2

We just covered a spiritituality/religion lesson in our BSN course and the instructor (religious) came out and said good nurses had spirituality and would be there for whatever spiritual needs the PT... Read More

  1. by   Kabin
    Thanks everyone's input, it's nice to hear the views of the working class.

    I just checked the Nursing Code of Ethics and paragraph 1.2 says "An individual's lifestyle, value system and religious beliefs should be considered in planning health care with and for the patient. Such consideration does not suggest that the nurse necessarily agrees with or condones certain individual choices, but that the nurse respects the patient as a person."

    That makes sense to me!
  2. by   Kabin
    Quote from Nurse Ratched
    No, but you absolutely must have a BSN.
    I can't argue with that!
  3. by   tvccrn
    I agree with everyone who has said that religion and spirituality are two different things. I am not a religious person, but I honor my patient's religion when it comes up. I am not christian, but I have taken part in prayers when a patient asks if I would pray with them. Just because I don't recognize "GOD" as most people see him, doesn't mean that I don't recognize a higher power and that is what I pray to when asked.

    Jesus, God, Yawah, Jevohah, Isis, Astarte, whatever you call your diety doesn't figure into the care you give your patients. It's your attitude, your compassion, and your treatment of them that makes you a good nurse.
  4. by   judyblueeyes
    Absolutley not necessary. I am a non theist as are a couple of my coworkers. We are excellent nurses. It seems like it's still PC to bash non-theists, but nursing requires compassion and empathy among many, many other things. Those a not exclusive to religious people.
  5. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I am NOT religious, but consider myself spiritual. IF religion is needed to be a good nurse, well then I am sunk. The answer is NO, in other words.
  6. by   Daytonite
    No, nursing doesn't view good nurses to be spiritual or religious. I think your instructor was just expressing her own views on this. What you need to take away from this class is that we all need to be respectful of a person's expression of their religion or spirituality. Sometimes these beliefs extend into the kind of medical treatment they are willing to take. I make a distinction because to me, religion is more of a communal type of thing, whereas spirituality is more of a general metaphysical belief regarding our existance outside a physical one. Examples I could give you would be Jehovah Witnesses who refuse blood transfusions, Christian Scientists who refuse medications and surgeries, kosher Jews who follow dietary law, etc.
  7. by   fergus51
    As long as you respect your patients' views on the matter I don't think your own spirituality or religion matter at all. Some patients might not consider themselves spiritual either. The worst thing we ever had a nurse do in our family was try to christianize us when a family member was in the hospital. It was not welcome.
  8. by   ZASHAGALKA
    Quote from mjlrn97
    Yes, they are VERY different, and confusing the two is a very common mistake that can create much misunderstanding.

    The way I see it, being 'religious' means you worship a Supreme Being according to prescribed rituals and rules. That's fine for many, many people, who may feel they need external controls in order to stay "in line", and/or who enjoy belonging to a larger group that shares their particular belief system. I'm not knocking it; I was involved in organized religion for a good portion of my life, and sometimes I still miss the tradition and pageantry of my Catholic faith (although I have too many political and philosophical arguments with its leaders to remain in full Communion with the Church).

    Being a spiritual person, however, means acknowledging the value of all belief systems and the possibility that God---whatever you conceive Him (Her?) to be---is too big to be confined within any one faith tradition. To me, it's a more 'adult' form of are not following a set of rules made by human beings, but you take your direction from God Himself. You seek your Higher Power wherever you may be, whether it's out in nature, on the job, at home with your family, or traveling around the world. You listen for the inner voice telling you you're on the right (or wrong!) track, and you are open to the fact that all forms of worship have something of value to offer.........the only 'requirements' being a belief in something greater than yourself, and adherence to the Golden Rule: you treat others as you yourself wish to be treated.

    Personally, I believe I'm quite versatile as a 'spiritual' nurse, because I find it easier to accept different faiths and to follow the patient's wishes along those lines. I'm comfortable praying with and for patients, yet I can also step gracefully out of the room while their spiritual leader performs a ritual in which outsiders cannot partake, and I can even let them express anger at God for 'allowing' them to be sick and miserable and dying.

    Just my $.02 worth.:wink2:
    Religion and Spirituality are not completely different - they may not be the same, but they are related. Religion is a subset of spirituality - but not the whole sum. Being religious, from my viewpoint, is the same as being spiritual. But being spiritual might not be the same as being religious.

    mjlrn97 - your definitions of spirituality and religion above are a quite negative and inaccurate account of religion. You state you are spiritual - that you just don't subscribe to the structure of the church, and then you basically say that the view that God reigns supreme in someone’s life is a 'rule of man' to constrain behavior by using external controls. In one place, you dismiss organized religion as the culprit of leaving your faith. In another, you seem to allege that God is the creation of man. In claiming that you weren’t knocking it, in fact, you were.

    I completely disagree with your condescending take on my religious beliefs.. My worship to God provides an internal pacing to my life. If you look at most religions – they are structured like pyramids – the very peak of religion is the worship of God. The base of religion, however, is a moral code for interaction with each other. It is no accident that murder and theft are sins. Are we being religious when we outlaw these things? Or are we acknowledging the obvious: that many key tenets of religion have to do with society building.

    My religion can be summed up in the view expressed by Jesus: Honor God above all else and as a close second, love (phileo – not the kind of love extended to family and mates – but brotherly love – caring about the best interests of) your neighbors.

    Whether you agree with religion or not – it is organized religion that has set the moral compass necessary to create society – whether you are talking about Christianity, pagan rites, or the medicine men of Early America. It’s a disservice to dismiss that as only being needed by the weak to have external controls governing their lives.

    Marx said ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses’. But he was an idiot. Religion is the glue that has massed us together. And as a result, it is the glue of our history.

    Last edit by ZASHAGALKA on Oct 27, '05
  9. by   Nella
    Of course religon is not needed to be a good nurse. Cripes, I was offended to even read that question.

    I can respect the beliefs of others without having to share them.

    And religion might be a hinderance. I work with a nurse who charts things like the pt was blessed by such and such etc. She says it in her conversatiions as well. To me, a nrse should not be saying and/or charting things like. They do not belong on a medical record. And she doesn't know what religion her patient might be when she starts tossing around statements that include obvious references to religion. I like the woman, don't get me wrong. She's very nice. But totally unprofessional in this aspect of her nursing.
  10. by   Tweety
    Quote from nurse ratched
    no, but you absolutely must have a bsn. :d

    i am totally just kidding (ducks rocks hurling at me .) feeling kinda wicked today .

    no - you don't need religion to be a good nurse.

    you so bad!:roll
  11. by   Tweety
    I'm not going to get real involved with this thread.

    As nurses we are to assess and take care of the total patient, including pyscosocial, emotional and spiritual needs.

    One does not need to be religious or spiritual to do this

    Most if not all hospitals have resources in the form of a hospital Chaplin, or local pastors to assist us. It's their job and I usually leave it to them.

    I don't shy away from spirituality with my patients, that's my job, but if they need prayer, I call those whose job it is to pray with the patients. They can address those needs so much better than I can.

    My religion and spirituality doesn't really come into play much when I assess and "treat" another's spiritual distress or need. It's about the patient, not about me.
  12. by   Q.
    Quote from ZASHAGALKA
    Or are we acknowledging the obvious: that many key tenets of religion have to do with society building.
    Interesting perspective.

    Marx ...was an idiot.

    Yes, yes he was.
  13. by   sunnyjohn
    I'm a Christian,

    I've always used my Faith, my common sense and my "home training" as my guide for excellence in everything I do.

    During my travels I have befriended many people of varying faiths and those who are not spirtitual who strive for the same standard of excellence.

    Do you need religion to be a good nurse?


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