Spiritualityin Nursing and Patient Care
Spiritualityin Nursing and Patient Care
Satisfyingpatients’ spiritual needs has proven to be a big challenge fornurses to fulfill.This is because of the misunderstanding andignorance surrounding spiritual issues. Spirituality can be definedas the universal need for hope, love, value and relatedness (McSherryetal.,2012).Thus it is important to understand the effect of spiritualityand religion on a patient when a nurse practices patient-centeredcare. Spirituality and religious needs are intrinsic in nature. If anurse practices spirituality well while caring for a patient, thismay help the patient cope better with his/her illness (Wright, 2012).Spiritual needs are those essentials that result in an individual’smind, body and soul growth. It also makes the individual morethankful for everyday milestones and they will live a more holisticlife (Dossey, 2012).This paper is an analysis of spirituality innursing and patient care.
Spiritualityis a very sensitive matter especially when it is being incorporatedinto nursing care. However, it is important for nurses to understandthat there is a difference between spirituality and religion.Religion is a system made up of beliefs, symbols, rituals, andsharing of texts by a community that has a common faith or beliefsystem (Cobb, Puchalski & Rumbold, 2012). Hence a nurse shouldunderstand the different dimensions of spirituality that people have.Therefore, it is the nurse’s responsibility to understand thedifferent spiritual requirements that govern every culture orindividual. This is crucial as most cultures and religions areinterrelated and you cannot have one without the other. Someone maybe spiritual but doesn`t necessarily practice any religion. It is therole of the nurses to ensure that they respect every patient’sbelief system and spirituality. Spirituality is intertwined with thehealing of the mind body and soul. Thus an understanding of howspirituality and medicine interact with different cultures goes along way in patient-care. In the past researchers found out that somecultures had no distinction between spirit and body they saw them asone, physical illness was treated as a sickness of the soul (McSherry& Jamieson, 2013).
Therole of a nurse in providing spiritual care for patients involvesunderstanding specific religious needs of the patient (Ross, 2014).This may mean belief in a bigger deity, for example among Christiansthey believe in God as their protector. So as a nurse, affirming tothe patient’s belief will give them hope and strength, trust,forgiveness and a meaning for their life (Wynne, 2013). A patientusually goes through a lot of spiritual issues when ill, having anurse that can help them cope will greatly benefit their health.Where they feel hopeless, the nurse can guide them. Teach them aboutthe importance of love and relationships.
Thenurse is charged with helping a patient who is at the neediest pointof their life. Where they feel hopeless and not deserving, the nurseshould not just provide medicine but be there with them as thepatient finds hope and love. When it comes to patient care, the nurseshould use the same detail as used in treating physical needs inproviding treatment for spiritual needs as well (Timmins et al.,2015). For example, being very observant helps. The nurse can lookout for clues that a patient has underlying spiritual needs.It may bethrough the patients’ withdrawal, where they are always sad, orpersonal things such as meditational books. To set sometime andlisten to what the patient has to say and help them through this timeprovides spiritual and physical nourishment (Phelps etal,2012).
Inconclusion, spirituality in patient care hastens the process ofrecovery. However, a nurse should be careful not to impose theirbeliefs on the patient, and they should not also use the position toconvert the patients to follow their religions. This is consideredunethical (Meezenbroek etal,2012). It is also important to learn when the problem has grownbeyond one`s expertise and it is time to refer to another individual.That way the patient is assured of a comprehensive spiritual care.
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