Asnurses, it is our duty to examine our patients holistically. This involves considering the patientas a whole, evaluating their physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Spiritualityis an integral part of compassionate care giving, and greatly affects how anurse interacts with their patients. Spirituality is one of the most importantaspects of life, and is the foundation on which people build their morality andvalues. The purpose of this assignment is to discuss personal and differentspiritual beliefs, and to use this information to explain why spirituality isan important part of holistic health care. PersonalReflection Having a Christian worldview, I attend church, attend bible studies, anddo devotionals when I can.
As a Christian, I believe that God has placed me inthis field because He has plans to use me for His glory. Personally, I havelots of experience in a hospital setting, both as a patient and as staff. Afterrecovering from two years of hospitalizations and surgeries, I beganvolunteering at a local hospital in Las Vegas. There, I had the opportunity tosee what a hospital is like from the perspective of a nurse. Patients with uniqueexperiences and worldviews come in every day, and a day at the hospital isusually not a good day for them or their families. As a nurse, it is myresponsibility to provide consolation, comfort, and the best care possible foreveryone I interact with. This is one of the hardest parts of being a nurse, maintainingexcellence in my behavior and practice, regardless of how I am treated or how mypatients behave. Jesus called His followers to love their neighbor greater thanthemselves.
Applying this commandment, means that I will treat my patients withlove, respect, kindness, and compassion in what may be some of their darkestdays. Interviewee Prior to interviewing a friend, I hadprepared several questions to guide our discussion about faith. As theinterviewee identified as Catholic, there were many interesting topicsavailable for discussion. During our conversation, the interviewee explainedsome of the religious practices she regularly incorporates into her life. Thisincludes: using a rosary, attending mass, receiving the Eucharist, attending adoration,and reading the Bible. She explained that using a rosary is simply a prayertool, and that there does not have to be a reason to use it.
While, rosariesare utilized when one has special intentions or during times of death, they aremost often used to worship or meditate on Christ, (Catholic Online, 2018). A crucial part ofthe Catholic faith is the seven sacraments. The seven sacraments are physical actsduring which, Catholics believe that God is present and directly interacts withthe human spirit. The seven sacraments include: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist,reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony. Each ofthese are associated with meaningful spiritual change for those that take partin them. For example, baptism represents commitment to the Christian faith andmatrimony represents eternal committal to a spouse (Saint Clement Parish, 2016).
The interviewee expressed that these practices are pivotal to her faith,especially during times where life is challenging. SpiritualityImpacting Treatment” As our conversation continued, I asked herif some of her spiritual practices would provide her comfort if she were ahospital patient. She expressed that she would be very relieved to have apriest visit to perform the anointing of the sick, hear her confession, andprovide the Eucharist. I then asked her what kinds of situations she thought wouldbe most appropriate for these practices. She then explained that if she wereclose to death, about to have an operation, or had experienced trauma thatthese practices would be quite comforting. After asking how she would feelafter these events, she indicated that it would bring her peace, help her copewith suffering, and make her feel loved and protected in her last moments.
Shecontinued, saying that she is afraid of dying without the opportunity to participatein these acts. This is why acknowledging a patient’s religious and culturalbeliefs is so important. It allows medical staff to provide the most individualizedand comforting care possible. Spiritualityin Health Care”Whilean ethical debate exists regarding whether spirituality has a place in healthcare, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that incorporating them togetherhas great patient benefits. A patient can be greatly comforted and relieved bybeing cared for on a spiritual level. While health care providers and patientsmay have different spiritual views, medical staff can still assist in arrangingspiritual comfort for a patient. For example, a nurse can arrange to have apriest, rabbi, pastor, or other religious leader come to visit a patient. However,nurses have been suspended or even fired for offering unsolicited prayers topatients, (Ellis,Narayanasamy, 2015).
Unfortunately, caring for patients on a spiritual level isnot always appreciated. For those that do not identify with any religiousgroup, it can be interpreted as an unprofessional imposition on the patient. However,a nurse can still practice their spiritual beliefs without directly exposingthemselves.
For example, a nurse can express kindness, compassion, forgiveness,honesty, and empathy in all their actions. This also can provide comfort and relieffor the nurse, knowing that their spiritual ideals are modeled for everyone theymeet. A nurse must use their assessment skills to notice spiritual identifierson their patients. Examples of this can be tattoos, cross necklaces, orreligious clothing, (Abbasi, Farahani-Nia, Mehrdad, Givari, Haghani, 2014).This opens the door for the nurse to ask if they can provide spiritual accommodations.
Conclusion Spirituality is a subjectiveexperience for everyone. While religious groups may have differing opinions, itis undeniable that a sense of community is established when patients are caredfor on a spiritual level. Stable emotions and positive mental states are key factorsthat affect a patient’s pain management, emotional status, and healing process.
Patients often need to achieve contentment and spiritual peace when they areclose to death, especially those in long-term or end-of-life care. This is a crucialpart to holistic health care. A nurse must consider that a patient’s spiritualneeds are equally as important as their physical, mental, and emotional needs.Not only will a patient achieve solace from balanced health care, but theirloved ones will be comforted knowing that the patient felt love and security intheir final moments.