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Are healthcare professionals afraid to discuss spiritual needs with patients?

  • Comments (10)

Last week our #SNTtwitchat highlighted some anxieties about raising spiritual issues with patients and what we mean by spiritual needs.

 

Let’s discuss….

How do you define spirituality?

What is the role of the nurse in meeting spiritual needs?

Should nurses ever discuss their religious beliefs with patients?

 

 

  • Comments (10)

Readers' comments (10)

  • Anonymous

    You only have to look in nursing and residential care records and see all the blank sections marked end of life care, religion, funeral wishes, etc etc to realise this is still a taboo subject. It shouldn't be. We are all born, and we all die. It's a fact of life that we should all accept and be able to talk about. If a patient doesn't want to discuss it then that's fine and their choice/right, but a care professional should not be afraid to bring it up for fear of the answer or few minutes of awkwardness. It's part of our role or it wouldn't be in the records in the first place.

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  • Anonymous

    I don't know about the blank section,s I work in a hospice and recognise that death is as individual as the personality who passes over. We will not always get it right and it is difficult sometimes to be emapethetic as it depends often on our own individual experiences. Just listen to the patient and their loved ones and go from there

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  • Anonymous

    Spirituality is playing an essential Role in human existence .
    We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, We are Spiritual beings having a Human experience.
    Today are many Laws and Rights for Religions such as: Muslim, Hindu...and like those We the Christians We have the right to say what we believe and what we believe and what we believe is this :

    Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. Acts: 4:12.
    Jesus ,Son of God is the only way to Salvation.
    Jesus is the only truth that makes you free .
    Jesus is the only one who can give you eternal life.
    This Superficial and postmodern thinking ignore the truth and also ignore God's existence ,but I will not be relative .
    The truth that I say is ABSOLUTE.
    Today you are free to be sexual, or the gay marriage is legal in a Post Christian Country but you are not allowed to say you are Christian, to be moral.


    Especially as a part of the medical staff as a professional, to show compassion and love and care, as a Christian these are daily basis living.
    What about when a patient who is severely ill and ask you '' Am I going to dye?
    Am I going to hell?
    What you will say !will you excuse and leave the room and the poor soul in agony only because the low forbidden you to speak about God?
    At least Why the hospitals or Nursing homes ....don't have a Pastor or a reverend or a priest to call him if patients are concerns about their spiritual life.

    ”The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty -- it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There's a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”
    ? Mother Teresa, A Simple Path: Mother Teresa

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  • Anonymous

    Anonymous | 16-Jun-2014 5:53 pm

    you have every right to your own views as does everybody else but you have no right to impose your views on others anymore than they do upon you. we have to accommodate and tolerate everybody's beliefs and values as long as they are not radical, interfere with the lives of others or cause them harm.

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  • I had no role in meeting anyone's "spiritual" needs (whatever that actually means): I was a nurse, not a peddler of fairy stories...

    Fine, believe whatever fairy stories you want, but my job was healthcare...

    And I have never spoken to anyone who can tell me what "spiritual" means.

    Why does this sort of question get asked?

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  • Anonymous | 16-Jun-2014 5:53 pm

    The persecuted Christian myth?

    In a country whose legislature contains members of the hierarchy of a Christian church...

    In which there are Christian places of worship everywhere (I can see 2 from my house)...

    In which Christians feel they have the right to knock on someone's door and harangue them (as happened to me on Sunday)?

    Of course one can claim belief in one's Christian fairy stories in the UK: don't be ridiculous! However, claiming particular privilege on the basis of those fairy stories should not be allowed. Is that what you are getting at: that you want your "beliefs" to accord you privileges over anyone else?

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  • Discussing a patients thoughts and feelings on this subject is one thing, to have a member of nursing staff impose their views on to the patient is quite something else.
    I have heard comments from patients being told by a nurse, if you believe in God eh would make you better ... and a patient with mental health problems being told, their mental illness was a punishment from god for being bad in a former life!
    With stories like this, perhaps it is best not to discuss spiritual needs!

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  • Anonymous

    I hope you reported the nurses in question for their comments Shurleea as they are completely out of order and unprofessional. I am a Christian Spiritualist and my faith is very important to me but I would NEVER push my views on anyone else, and I am completely against approaching people about religion if they don't approach you first as it feels like harrassment when for example Jehovah's Witnesses knock on the door of my private space/home. I don't mind a leaflet being pushed through the letter box because then it is MY choice whether to respond or bin it. However if someone asked me a question directly about my opinion I would answer honestly but with tact and diplomacy and would leave things out if I felt it would be inappropriate. And anonymous 5.53pm I respect your views as I am as passionate about mine as you appear to be about yours, and I agree with some of your comments, but with respect we need to be careful we are not coming across as preaching as our enthusiasm sometimes does. Of course we have the right to say what we believe but there is a time and place for everything in life.

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  • Anonymous

    I am a student and I am concerned about patients and their spiritual care, when patient's are admitted and going through pain and illness medical intervention targets to heal their physical bodies yet their spiritual aspect are overlooked, I don't know how to provide spiritual care to patient even though it means a lot to me and I mean spiritual care all through patients time in hospital from admission until they are being discharged.

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  • Anonymous

    I am a nurse who practices the art and science of nursing and all the technical skills and emotional support of my chosen career I have been trained in. Spiritual care is the hospital chaplaincy department where there are individuals who specialise in practicing this art and science for the benefit of patients and who offer support to staff who wish it.

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