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Nurses want more guidance on providing spiritual help


Nurses consider spirituality to be a fundamental aspect or nursing but want more guidance on the issue, according to study findings.

The RCN surveyed 4,054 of its members in March 2010 in what it believes is the largest UK survey to date on nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care.

The authors said: “Nurses recognise that attending to the spiritual needs of patients enhances the overall quality of nursing care.

“However… the majority of nurses still feel they require more guidance and support from governing bodies to enable them to support and effectively meet their patients’ spiritual needs.”

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Readers' comments (4)

  • is spiritual care and pastoral care the same?
    i am not up for the later as there are people better qualified to offer that and i do not consider it my role. my own beliefs are my private affair and i need to spend my time concentrating on the complexities of delivering evidence based empathetic and technical nursing care whilst at the same time ensuring that the holistic needs of my patient are being met by myself and my interdisciplinary team.
    I am always open and interested to learning something new and would welcome more information on spirituality and can then decide and choose what i need to use for the benefits of caring adequately for my patients.

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  • evidence for the benefits of delivering spiritual, empathetic and technical nursing care is provided by koenig, h:

    or for a more nuanced, uk, perspective:

    and there are various drivers, not least the 2001 revised patient's charter: "nhs staff will respect your privacy and dignity. they will be sensitive to and respect your religious, spiritual and cultural needs at all times" p29.)

    but don't panic! often, in practical terms, the nursing role is sensitive spiritual assessment and signposting. for an extreme example, there are specialist chaplains, rabbis, imams, etc trained in mental health who can work through with the patient the spiritual and delusional aspects that may occur in their psychosis. and of course, whatever your speciality, spirituality is an important aspect of good end of life care.

    Peter gilbert's spirituality and mental health care is a good place to start:

    i don't know if there is a similar resource for general nursing.

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  • Religion is the route of all evil on the planet, why encourage it?

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  • @ anonymous 20-mar-2011 1:30 pm

    first off, you're conflating religion with spirituality,

    secondly, have you heard of evidence based medicine, re the second post?

    thirdly, even atheists have spiritual needs, as you will no doubt one day become achingly aware of ;)

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