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Topics About 'Prayer'.

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  1. This brought up much discussion about whether or not offering prayer falls within the scope of the nurse while providing spiritual care. Is it appropriate for nurses or doctors to pray with patients? Should a nurse ever offer to pray with a patient without a specific request from the patient or the family? How can a nurse appropriately provide spiritual care? or should that aspect of care be left to the chaplain? In the United States, Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHP) requires that a spiritual assessment be completed on every patient. Because nurses work closely with the sick and dying, they often find themselves called upon to address a patient's spiritual needs. At the same time, they may be concerned about the appropriateness of such activities, as well as have questions on how to proceed. Although not all nurses feel comfortable providing spiritual care in all situations, they should be sensitive to the spiritual needs of their patients. Many nurses feel both comfortable and confident in engaging in spiritual care activities such as praying with patients and listening to spiritual concerns. These activities may be appropriately carried out by the nurse only if acceptable to the patient and the family. In order to provide respectful care, it is necessary to refrain from using the clinical setting or professional authority to promote any type of religion or particular spiritual practices. It is not appropriate to pray aloud with/for every patient without patient request. Depending on the situation and the relationship the nurse has established with the patient, it may be appropriate to offer prayer. However, it is important to be attuned to the patient's already established spirituality. The clinical setting is not the place for proselytising, nor does the health care professional role properly include such activity. When a patient is faced with a health crisis, he or she may seek spiritual nourishment, even if this has not been a typical part of the person's day-to-day life. Patients who are members of a particular faith tradition, and those who are not, may want prayer or other forms of spiritual activities to be part of the care they receive from health care professionals. Or they may not. Either way, health care professionals who want to provide spiritually nurturing and ethically sensitive care need to think carefully about the place of spiritual care in professional service. Chaplains should not be the only providers of spiritual care for patients and their families. Much of the spiritual and religious support comes from other people, including parish nurses, clergy, family and friends of patients, volunteers representing different faith communities or congregations, and others. Although their personal spiritual beliefs may differ from those of the patient, medical staff can also address the spiritual needs of the patient. All medical personnel (believers and non-believers alike) must not let their personal beliefs get in the way of providing quality care for all of the patient's needs.....including spiritual needs.
  2. "Please pray with me," my patient pleaded as I gathered up my bag and prepared to leave our admission visit. The social worker and the patient's caregiver had already stepped outside and were talking on the porch landing. I looked at my patient whose eyes betrayed fear over what was to come after being diagnosed with an inoperable and widely metastatic cancer just a few days before. Still relatively young in his late 50's, he could see and feel that he did not have long to live. I put my things down and sat beside his bed in the chair I had occupied for the previous two hours while the hospice social worker and I went through the admission process with him. He offered his hand and I held it, praying a simple prayer for comfort and peace. As professionals, we are called to provide care for the body, the mind and the spirit. It is not often that we are asked to do something as overt as praying with a patient-but it does happen. How we feel about this can vary widely depending on our own faith walk and what we think about sharing that with others. Admittedly, in this particular situation, we had two hours of talking, listening, getting to know this gentleman; we knew where he was coming from. There were religious symbols in the house and he verbally confirmed his particular faith during our assessment. Hospice may be singular in the nursing realm in that spiritual care is an expectation, an active part of what we do. But in all fields-everything from office nursing to ICU to surgery-we meet our patients in times of crisis and fear. Spiritual comfort, when requested, can be a very helpful part of excellent nursing care. In practical terms, however, the very thought of praying with someone may send shivers of unease and discomfort down the staunchest nurse's spine. What if they are Christian and we are not? Or Muslim, or Jewish or Hindu, or Buddhist, or Agnostic? How does all that work and how do we help without hurting? There are no easy answers to this question but let's explore together some ways we can prepare to offer spiritual care if requested. Listen first People will very often answer frankly and let you know what would be helpful. Ask a question, "How would you like me to pray?" or "What do you want me to pray for?"Sometimes just holding their hand and having a moment of silence can bridge the space between us and our patients, helping them to know that we are on their side and will help however we can. Plan ahead for how to respond If you are uncomfortable with any type of faith discussion, it is important to still allow the patient to feel validated. If you are unable to pray or provide the comfort they seek, have a Plan B ready. Tell them, "I know that this is a difficult time. Let me call the chaplain to talk with you about this. Thank you for sharing with me." Thanking them for sharing helps them not feel embarrassed for asking and lets them know it's ok. In planning ahead, we might also consider using some more universal prayers, things like "The Serenity Prayer" or a beautiful poem that speaks to us or the 23rd Psalm if the patient is Jewish or Christian. Be respectful While providing nursing care, part of our professional duty is to give spiritual care-according to the patient's needs and beliefs, not our own. So this would not be the time to proselytize but instead, to respond according to the faith journey that the patient has expressed, letting them guide the conversation. If we believe firmly in our particular faith (and to be a good practitioners of our faith then we surely must!), it can be hard to simply accompany the faith journey without interjecting our own beliefs, but this is one of the ways we show care and compassion in providing spiritual care. We can remain true to ourselves and at the same time be true to our charge as excellent professionals who seek to offer healing to the whole patient: mind, body, and spirit. Use the gift of presence and touch as part of the whole approach We have all known the patient who "lays on the call bell" or calls the office every day or has 101 complaints when they talk with us. While frustration can be our knee-jerk reaction, our professionalism calls us to look deeper, to move beyond the surface complaints and to listen with the ears of the spirit, asking ourselves, "So what is really going on here? Is there something I'm missing?" Loneliness, fear, pain are all aggravated by and expressed in illness. As nurses, we cannot underestimate the power of the gentle touch on the shoulder, the eye contact, the active listening that says, "I truly hear what you are saying," or the simple, "I'm sorry you are going through this." After our prayer, I reviewed our plan for a return visit and reminded my patient of our plan of care and asked him to call with any questions or concerns, hoping in this way to give him tools to manage his anxiety. Then I told him, "We will walk this journey with you." Those words seemed to help and I saw his shoulders relax against the pillow, the tension easing for the moment. You may have experiences with being asked to provide spiritual care. How did you feel about it? What did you do? Do you have any tips that might help other nurses in the same position?
  3. Petitionary prayer focuses on requesting or petitioning for something, such as guidance for oneself or others. Even though prayer is normally connected with organized religion, one does not need to be religious or a 'believer' in order to pray. In fact, a secular person may engage in the practice of prayer for its calming, meditative, and relaxing effects. Moreover, one does not necessarily need to pray to a deity or a god to reap the benefits of praying. Prayer also provides an escapist form of stress reduction, and this may certainly come in handy during those stressful shifts at work that feel disorganized and chaotic. I am assured that the majority of healthcare workers have worked more than one shift that felt as if it was a bottomless pit of hot wax that never seemed to end. However, petitionary prayer allows the employee to ask for something to happen, calms and soothes him or her in the midst of craziness, promotes relaxation during a time of anxiety, and bestows a small sense of control upon the person doing the praying. Do not get me wrong. Our technical skills, application of knowledge, experience, and ability to critically think are the things that truly keep our patients alive and safe. However, sometimes we need that added boost to get through a tough day, and petitionary prayer can serve as that dynamic inspiration for those who desperately need it. Although I am not a religious person, I am spiritual and do believe in the power of prayer. The following is a non-religious, secular petitionary prayer for healthcare workers who might be going through one of those seemingly hopeless shifts at work. It will only consume a few minutes out of one's hectic day.
  4. TheCommuter

    The Power Of Prayer in Healthcare

    According to Oxford Dictionaries, prayer is defined as a solemn request for help or expression of thanks addressed to God or another deity. Although people usually associate praying with organized religion, prayers can incorporate spirituality without necessarily being religious. Prayer is also rather versatile because an individual can pray aloud, silently, alone, with a group, at a place of worship, or in the privacy of one's home. In recent years, research has indicated that prayer might result in a multitude of beneficial outcomes for patients in healthcare facilities and in the community. According to Schiffman (2012), regular prayer and meditation has been shown in numerous scientific studies to be an important factor in living longer and staying healthy. Growing evidence suggests that prayer might positively impact pain levels, stress and anxiety, severity of symptoms, recovery time, emotional well-being, interpersonal relationships, longevity, and other important aspects of patient's lives. Studies have actually shown that those who pray are physically and emotionally healthier than those who do not (Miller, 2008). Praying might very well be the driving force that helps some patients live longer and with enhanced quality of life. A recent survey reported in the Journal of Gerontology of 4,000 senior citizens in Durham, NC, found that people who prayed or meditated coped better with illness and lived longer than those who did not (Schiffman, 2012). Moreover, praying can sometimes ward off illnesses associated with stress or unhealthy living. In one National Institutes of Health funded study, individuals who prayed daily were shown to be 40 percent less likely to have high blood pressure than those without a regular prayer practice (Schiffman, 2012). Prayer can be utilized as a powerful technique for drug-free stress reduction. According to Schiffman (2012), a wide variety of spiritual practices have been shown to help alleviate the stress levels, which are one of the major risk factors for disease. In general, patients are in relaxed states during times of prayer and meditation. Perhaps it is this meditative process that gives prayer one of its most outstanding benefits (Miller, 2008). Furthermore, prayer may have an effect on patients' responses to disease processes. A 2011 study of inner city youth with asthma by researchers at the University of Cincinnati indicates that those who practiced prayer and meditation experienced fewer and less severe symptoms than those who had not (Schiffman, 2012). Also, research suggests that patients who are religious have speedier recovery times after major medical procedures. Research at Dartmouth Medical School found that patients with strong religious beliefs who underwent elective heart surgery were three times more likely to recover than those who were less religious (Schiffman, 2012). Another positive aspect regarding the power of prayer is that it helps patients' social and interpersonal bonds with people become stronger. When we pray for those we know and love, it helps us to understand that person a little bit better (Miller, 2008). Prayer can be the glue that forges that intangible connection with people. Science strongly indicates that patients who engage in prayer and meditation experience health benefits. Some of the benefits of the power of prayer are measurable, while others cannot directly be measured or observed. These findings are exciting and certainly warrant further study. In summary, if our patients feel spiritually and emotionally at peace while praying, who are we to stop them? work-cited.txt
  5. Tyanna

    Prayer goes a long way.

    I felt a strong feeling as a teenager that nursing would be in my future. I helped my mother take care of my grandmother, and watching her slowly die was more than heart felt for me. To see someone happy in her last few hours talking about God was amazing. I was only 16 years old and I knew right then and there I wanted to help take care of people. As a caregiver, the key word giver, you have to give more than just physical care. You can physically care for some one while that person's mind is dead. Everyone has heard the saying "My body is there but my mind isn't." That is true; taking care of a person involves caring for mind, body, and soul. Can you imagine watching someone in severe pain and there is not much you can do, but keep them comfortable as possible. That's when prayer comes in. Having a spiritual relationship sometimes takes the pain off of the mind of the patient. Praying soothes the soul, when you have a relationship with God you are at peace with yourself, so it impacts the patient as well. You can keep them uplifted at that moment when they have had just about enough; that one verse, or that one little prayer keeps them going another day. Taking care of a elderly person or sick person its not a job; it becomes personal as they become a love one. So you want most to meet every aspect of their needs. Working in Hospice is the most rewarding because they know that they are dying. And they sometimes ask about religion and spiritual needs to keep them at peace. You watch that patient as they go through the various stages of denial, anger, frustration, confusion. They even ask why me? A true caregiver cares you just don't tell them what they want to hear, but what they need to know! It is okay I am here with you. Having a spiritual relationship of your own can help you to better assist the resident or patient in coping. Religion and spirituality has a lot on impact on how you care for a patient; give them your all. Even if they do not want you to pray for them, do it in your mind. Prayer goes a long way; it saves lives. I love being a caregiver. if you have so much love instilled in your life and heart you can not help but give.