"Are you saved?" How do YOU deal with these types of questions

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I would love to hear from some more experienced ppl some ways to deal with these types of personal questions. In my region, there are many devout evangelical Christian people who I think are genuinely concerned about the state of my soul. When folks like this are in the hospital, they're also feeling vulnerable, and they probably want to discuss their faith with someone who can help them feel more grounded. I am not necessarily that person.

I get the questions, "Are you saved?" "What church do you go to?" "Have you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior?" etc. frequently in the hospital where I work. 1. I don't believe my personal religious stuff is my patients' business. 2. I do not want to be dishonest about my personal religious/lack of religious stuff.

So far, the best I've come up with is, "It sounds like Christ is important in your life. Tell me more about that."

Thoughts? Opinions?

Rebecca, that agnostic porterwoman :confused:

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VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.
I would love to hear from some more experienced ppl some ways to deal with these types of personal questions. In my region, there are many devout evangelical Christian people who I think are genuinely concerned about the state of my soul. When folks like this are in the hospital, they're also feeling vulnerable, and they probably want to discuss their faith with someone who can help them feel more grounded. I am not necessarily that person.

I get the questions, "Are you saved?" "What church do you go to?" "Have you accepted Jesus as your lord and savior?" etc. frequently in the hospital where I work. 1. I don't believe my personal religious stuff is my patients' business. 2. I do not want to be dishonest about my personal religious/lack of religious stuff.

So far, the best I've come up with is, "It sounds like Christ is important in your life. Tell me more about that."

Thoughts? Opinions?

Rebecca, that agnostic porterwoman :confused:

That's a very appropriate and diplomatic response, and I can imagine you probably get a lot of conversation in return. If you don't want to go even that far (and there's no reason to, unless you're genuinely curious) you can gently put such talk to rest by saying, with a smile in your voice, "You know, my parents taught me never to discuss politics or religion in public!" and then change the subject. :)

Most of us over a certain age were brought up the same way, and even younger ones will usually get the hint. :p

nrsjo

87 Posts

I ran into this when I moved to the midsouth 4 years ago from Wisconsin. The first time someone asked me if I'd been saved, my response was "from what?" I had no clue what they were asking. I try very very hard to avoid discussions of religion. Especially here. So.............I ignore the question. Until I can't anymore and then I just tell people I don't discuss religion. I won't even discuss it with the hospital chaplain when he comes through pushing the religious literature. It's bad enough every meeting at the hospital is lead with prayer.

It's just over the top and in your face here, and I have never adjusted to it.

Specializes in Oncology/Haemetology/HIV.

I know that they mean well, but it is a rather rude question.

I tell them that I am Jewish and that there is nothing that I need "saving" from.

Of course over the years, I have quite a collection of "Jews for Jesus" books, tracts and "Jesus was a Jew" pamphlets that have been given to me by patients/fellow staffers, etc. It grates on my nerves at times but I just smile weakly and bear it.

My issue is that there is this assumption that everyone is a Christian. It is the coworker that greets you with, "Are you having a Jesus filled day? in front of patients and visitors. Even after you have explained your beliefs to him.

I had a coworker that said the usual "Merry Christmas", whereupon I responded with a "Happy Holidays". I was then treated to a diatribe on how awful it is to secularize holidays, and why couldn't I just say, "Merry Christmas". One of the other employees pulled her aside to explain it to her. She then proceeded to treat me like dirt for the rest of the assignment.

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It is also the attitude that gets displayed among nurses. People who ask how can an atheist be a good oncology nurse. The "You are so sweet, you must go to a really good Church" comments. The "Atheists can't be good moral people, because without G-d dictating behavior to us, humans cannot possible be good, etical people capable of moral behavior" attitude. It is sad that people have such a low opinion of mankind that cannot conceive of being good " for goodness sake" without threat of G-dly punishment over their heads.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Nursing Education. Has 4 years experience.

Question:

"Are you saved?"

Jeepgirl's Answer:

"Why, are you going to get me out of this hellhole?"

That is what I would want to say...

Specializes in 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER.

"It's sounds like Christ is a big part of your life, and while i realize that Christ is to a lot of people, it's just something that i do not feel comfortable discussing in the workplace."

simao pt

48 Posts

(...) 1. I don't believe my personal religious stuff is my patients' business.

2. I do not want to be dishonest about my personal religious/lack of religious stuff. (...)

I've come up with is, "It sounds like Christ is important in your life. Tell me more about that."

(...) :confused:

I totally agree with you. And I admire the way you found to turn the question from you. :yelclap:

In my country this doesn´t apply often, because we almost all share the same religion. That means we learned the stuff when we were were young, not that we make it the center of our lives.:idea: I may be wrong, but to my experience, the one's who are always with God on the tip of their tongues aren´t the most kind humans.

P.S.: I'm almost an agnostic. My mother keeps saying " What have I done wrong?!" :wink2:

debRN0417

511 Posts

Specializes in LTC, ER, ICU, Psych, Med-surg...etc.... Has 31 years experience.
are you saved?

why, are you going to get me out of this hellhole?

thats what i would want to say...

I believe in God and don't want to insult anyones religion.. .but I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I read this...this is a hoot!....I wish I had the nerve to say this too!!! :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

While I have a personal relationship with God, it is not allowed to discuss my religion or lack thereof here at work. I will be glad to call a member of our staff clergy for you. They can spend time with you, answer any questions you may have or pray for you as you wish. Is this acceptable? If you are asking me to pray for you, then I would rather read the 24th Palsm. I feel that I offend no one, offer assistance, and read one of the most soothing passages in the Bible if agreeable. Works for me. Now if I have a person who knows me well then we may pray before they go for a test, more as friends. Some friends asked for me to be their nurse, I rarely refuse, if it gives them comfort and I can do the job, I do. Some I refuse to take because of family members expectations.

Dixielee, BSN, RN

1,222 Posts

Specializes in ER. Has 38 years experience.

While I prefer Jeepgirls answer, I have never had the guts to use it!:chuckle

I am LDS, you should try being a Mormon in Georgia where I grew up. While I embrace my religion and do my best to lead my life according to it's teachings, I recognize that many do not agree with me. I had a doctor ask me where I went to church once. When I told him, he began the tirade about how I was going to hell, blah, blah, blah. Since then, I decline to answer.

It is not that I am ashamed of it, I just believe there is a time and place for it. I would not expect an answer from someone if I ask them who they voted for as well. There are some things that just do not need to be discussed in a setting such as the hosptal.

I have no problem praying with a patient if they wish. I respect other beliefs and try to be invisible if someone has their clergy with them. But, when I have been asked that question, I now answer, that it is a personal issue and I prefer not to discuss it at work. When pressed, I will say that I am Christian and am comfortable with my salvation, and then turn it back to them if they wish to discuss their own beliefs, but I never argue about it.

Specializes in Pediatrics, Nursing Education. Has 4 years experience.

well, while that is something I would want to say... I don't think I could! But, I am kind of offended by those sorts of questions, so I want to shoot off an offensive answer! Even though most people who ask are not trying to offend... they really are. You just can't win with those sorts of questions!!

zenman

2 Articles; 2,806 Posts

"Yes, I'm saved. Let us pray now that I don't accidently kill you in my tired frame of mind!"

"I find it difficult to discuss this while I'm looking at your a**!"

"I'm a Zen Baptist and I have nothing to save."

"Yes, I'm saved. While we're on the subject have you ever had a foley?"

"Yes, and we also want you to save your urine right here in this jug!"

"Yes, and the next time you poop save it for me also!"

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