Nurses work in an increasingly complex environment that requires a multidimensional approach to practice. Differentiating between religious, spiritual, and cultural needs of patients contradicts many care practitioners. Spiritual, cultural, and religious beliefs or preferences differ across different people and are extremely important in providing high-quality care. Nurses should learn how to incorporate culture, spirituality, and religion into healthcare and the significance of such concepts in their practice.
Nurses can incorporate religion and spirituality into their practice by listening to and engaging with patients and families. Care practitioners should acknowledge patients’ beliefs and gain an understanding of how sick people relate to their health. Nurses can integrate spirituality and religion into their practice by considering clues about religious and spiritual practices and beliefs. Clues that healthcare practitioners may consider include clothing, possessions, actions, or comments with religious or spiritual significance. Nurses can ask the diseased where they obtain their strength and what or who supports their life. The questions should be not intruding and they should be open-ended to allow diverse answers. Patients’ needs must be documented and all nurses should understand them comprehensively (Oxhandler & Parrish, 2018). Religion and spirituality are important because care practitioners can integrate patients’ needs into treatment care and planning.
Care practitioners can incorporate culture into their practice by overcoming language barriers, building rapport and trust, avoiding making assumptions, and being aware of other people’s cultures. Healthcare practitioners need to identify their culture and beliefs as well as developing self-awareness to understand biases and culturally imposed beliefs. Self-awareness enables caregivers to control personal biases that may affect the quality of care. Nurses should offer patients acceptance in regards to their complexities and problems. Additionally, healthcare staff should ask for clarifications when in doubt while providing sensitive care to diverse patients (Purnell & Fenkl, 2019). Incorporating religion, culture, and spirituality promotes collaboration and respect as well as improves the quality of care in hospitals.
In conclusion, nurses should understand how to integrate religion, spirituality, and culture into healthcare and the importance of such concepts in their practice. Spirituality and religion can be integrated into nurses’ practice by listening to and engaging with patients and their families. Care practitioners can integrate culture into their practice by practicing acceptance and awareness. Overcoming language barriers, avoiding assumptions, and building rapport or trust can help to integrate culture into nursing practice.
Oxhandler, H. K., & Parrish, D. E. (2018). Integrating clients’ religion/spirituality in clinical practice: A comparison among social workers, psychologists, counselors, marriage and family therapists, and nurses. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 74(4), 680-694. Web.
Purnell, L. D., & Fenkl, E. A. (2019). Handbook for culturally competent care. Springer.