Write a 4-5 page paper using APA format and address the following areas:
Define the concepts of religion and spirituality supporting these definitions with citations from professional literature that you have read.
Describe the difference between religion and spirituality.
Discuss your personal definition of spirituality.
Describe the role of spirituality in providing holistic nursing care.
Describe a spiritual assessment tool that you have found through your research. Several tools are known by their acronyms, such as CSI-MEMO, FICA, HOPE, SPIRIT, and FAITH.
Describe your personal comfort level with assessing and providing spiritual care. Would you ever consider using one of these assessment tools?
Describe effective ways to deliver appropriate nursing interventions to address spiritual needs.
Discuss ways to provide spiritual care to patients who are not of the Christian perspective.
Describe a personal clinical experience of providing spiritual care.
Spirituality and Religion in Nursing
Healthcare practices by nurses aim to achieve patient wellness by restoring their initial welling. The focus is often on the physical and emotional conceits of the patients. In achieving full wellness, medical practitioners such as nurses have to consider the spiritual and religious wellbeing of patients. Primarily, spirituality and religion are sources of comfort for most ill people, and even though they do not expect physicians and nurses to talk about it, patients innately require caregivers to implement particular spiritual coping mechanisms. Therefore, for better outcomes, medical practices should also consider matters of religion and spirituality. However, for this to be achieved, nurses, as well as physicians, need to identify their own spirituality and religion perspectives and understand those of the patients. Understanding the patient’s spirituality is vital, especially in contemporary settings, as diversity exists almost in medical settings. Therefore, the focus of this analysis is to help nurses evaluate their perspectives on religion and spirituality to help open their eyes to the spiritual needs of their patients.
Religion and Spirituality: Definition and Differences
Religion refers to the worship and belief in a super being that has the power to control, which is often attributed to a personal God or gods. Religion is often depicted by interest or pursuit that is flowed with significant devotion. On the other hand, spirituality refers to a particular sense or feeling of connection to an entity that is bigger than the standard human persona (Weathers, McCarthy, and Coffey, 2016). Usually, spirituality is centered on searching for the meaning of life, thereby making it a universal experience for humans.
Spirituality and religion are intertwined in many aspects. However, the two concepts are also different in particular terms. The principal distinction between the two terms is their focus (Kittrell Chitty, 2005). Ideally, teachings in religion focus on the soul while rejecting material goods, especially those that are in excess. On the other hand, spirituality focuses on maintaining a firm belief in something (Jones, 2018). Furthermore, there is a variation between the two terms about their doctrinal development. For instance, spirituality centers on developing a person’s autonomy over their understanding of the spirit and soul, while religion focuses on participating in communal practices as well as interpreting worship practices and divine belief.
Personal Perspective on Spirituality
Different people have varying definitions of religion and spirituality. I view spirituality as having the same meaning as religiously. In this regard, they are the demonstration of utmost faith in a particular concept depicted within a person. Therefore, for spirituality to exist, one must be aligned religiously towards a particular concept and carry out practices aimed at cementing the connection between the person and the concept (Rogers & Wattis, 2015). For instance, a firm belief in God leads one to be prayerful, to fast, and even sacrifice to God. These activities demonstrate the spirituality of an individual meaning that spirituality is a connection as well as all activities aimed at strengthening this connection.
Role of Spirituality in Providing Holistic Nursing Care
Spirituality is vital in nursing care because it is the embodiment of compassionate care. As such, it helps in serving the patient in whole by considering the patient’s physical, spiritual, social, and emotional self. Primarily spirituality is vital in nursing care is that it helps in helping patients cope with their illness, life stress, and pain. Consequently, they develop a positive outlook towards life and nursing care, which enables them to appreciate the role of nurses and provide them with proper feedbacks. Nurses, on the other hand, use this feedback to identify issues with the patient, thereby developing proper and effective diseases management approaches. Spirituality promotes the effectiveness of nursing care by increasing the recovery chances for patients. According to Weathers, McCarthy, and Coffey (2016), patients who participate in religious activities recover fast from illness and surgery as they have more hype that pushes them to practice healthy living practices and adhere to the instructions of nurses. Consequently, outcomes from nursing care are better as patients demonstrate high self-esteem and fail to miss any follow-up visits.
Spirituality is vital for nurses in the prices of providing holistic care for various reasons. Primarily, spirituality is significant in the understanding of the diseases by patients. For instance, if a patient assigns a spiritual cause to diseases such as being a punishment for irresponsible behaviors, it may be challenging to have them adopt a disease management plan. Therefore, it is vital for a nurse to understand the patient’s spirituality to know how to approach the patient and ways to use to realize the best health care outcome (Swinton & Vanderpot, 2017). Similarly, spirituality is vital in realizing proper nursing care as particular religious convictions may influence the healthcare decision making experiences. For example, most Jehovah witness followers reject blood transfusion. Therefore, with a proper grasp of such spirituality practices, a nurse may ensure that he or she coaches the patient in advance about the significance of a contentious medical practice.
FICA Spirituality Assessment Tool
The FICA tool for spirituality assessment was created in 1996 by Dr. Christina Puchalski, together with other three physicians. The tool offers means through which the clinician can integrate open-ended question efficiently into standard medical history for use by medical professionals. The questions help the physician understand the spiritual elements of patients, especially those relating to medical care. Over the years, the FICA Spirituality tool has undergone several reviews using anecdotal feedback obtained from early users (Kittrell Chitty, 2005). Notably, it is based on the four significant domains of spiritual assessment, which comprise the presence of meaning, belief, or faith; the significance of spirituality on a person’s life as well as its influence; the interventions useful in addressing spirituals needs; and the spiritual community of the individual.
Personal Comfort Level
Spirituality assessment is vital in providing spiritual care to patients. Individually, I am always comfortable while offering spiritual care to patients. However, assessment practices are often tense as some patients are not comfortable discussing matters associated with their religion. Usually, I have to create an enabling environment where the patient will feel comfortable and asses his or her spiritual needs. Therefore, it will be challenging for me to use the FICA Spirituality assessment tool, as it is a structured approach. As such, many patients may not be comfortable. Overly, I can use the tool though in an unstructured way where I will memorize the questions and ask them to the patient as part of our social conversation or interaction process. The approach helps ensure that the patient is comfortable and the responses obtained are reliable.
Nursing Interventions for Spiritual Care Needs
Meeting a patient’s spiritual needs is crucial to ensuring that holistic nursing care is offered. The primary intervention for delivering nursing care for meeting the spiritual needs of the patients involve being there, which helps in focusing on the patient and connecting spiritually even without speaking. Another approach is to listen actively, in which you affirm what the patient says. That way, the patient will feel considered and understood. According to Rogers & Wattis (2015), sharing experiences, reflecting, and touching are also vital as they give the patient hope and feelings of empathy. Therefore, the patient feels valued. Additionally, one can use inspirational words with an accompaniment of soothing music to encourage the patient and relax him or her.
Providing Spiritual Care to Non-Christian Patients
Being a Christian, dealing with non-Christin patients, will provide me with a challenge of handling individuals with a different worldview. Therefore, in offering care, I will not make any assumptions, as I lack knowledge of their faith. Thus, some assumptions may be derogative in their view. Secondly, I will seek to establish a common ground where I can encourage the patent to explain some aspects of his or her religion without being worried about my religion. The approach will help me to learn about the patient’s spirituality. Thirdly, I will seek to establish a meaningful dialogue to help me learn more about the patient’s religion. Lastly, I will validate every action or statement before using it on the patient to ensure that it does not elicit any negative thoughts, views, or feelings.
During my internship at a large community hospital, a middle-aged woman came in requesting for a HIV test since her husband had tested positive few days earlier. As is the norm, I took the woman’s blood sample and tested her. Later, I informed her that she had tested positive. The results shocked her as she began to speak on her own. I requested her to tell me what the issue was, and she informed me that the infection was a punishment from God as she had procured an abortion a few years ago. She said that she knew that the punishment would come and there was no need to have a medical plan for managing the virus. I had to talk to the woman based on her spirituality as well as healthcare knowledge, informing her about the love of God and the scientific ways of contracting HIV. It took long, but she later agreed to take a plan after I had encouraged her and gave her hope that she could live long even with the virus.
Religious beliefs and activities are practiced all over in the United States. Currently, 96 percent of US citizens have a firm believer in s superhuman power. On the other hand, spirituality is a comprehensive concept as compared to religion as it encompasses factors such as transcendent, life’s purpose, personal relationship, and faith. Notably, illness is closely associated with transcendent events in nature. Therefore, illness is considered as part of spirituality. Therefore, physicians should never ignore the concept of illness as being a part of spirituality as it will amount to an assumption of the vital element in the experience of diseases. Therefore, spirituality in healthcare should be used as a source of coping and guidance for most patients, especially those who are religious and are facing serious illnesses. Moreover, spirituality could be vital in nurse-patient relationships as it helps increase understanding between the two.
Jones, K. F., (2018). Spirituality: More than just religion. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association, 21(2), 12.
Kittrell Chitty, K. (2005). Professional nursing: Concepts and challenges.
Rogers, M., & Wattis, J., (2015). Spirituality in nursing practice. Nursing Standard, 29(39), 51-57.
Swinton, J., & Vanderpot, L., (2017). Religion and spirituality in nursing. Spirituality and Religion within the Culture of Medicine: From Evidence to Practice, 215.
Weathers, E., McCarthy, G., & Coffey, A. (2016, April). Concept analysis of spirituality: An evolutionary approach. In Nursing Forum (Vol. 51, No. 2, pp. 79-96).