Modern researchers tend to put a particular emphasis on the role of spirituality and religious beliefs in health assessment. Thus, numerous studies are carried out to evaluate the strength of the relevant interconnection and define the outcomes it might potentially imply for clinical decision-making. The paper at hand is, therefore, aimed at elucidating the interpretation of spirituality that current literature provides and applying personal experience to the problem analysis. The key idea of the paper resides in the assumption that spirituality is an important internal factor that has a powerful impact on healthcare processes associated with both employees and patients.
First and foremost, researchers insist on distinguishing between the concepts of spirituality and religion. While the latter is referred to as a “set of values, doctrines, and principles” that shapes one’s moral framework, the former is defined as a “religious tendency” that represents a personal interpretation of the religious postulates (Kumar & Kumar, 2014, p.346). In other words, religion serves to be the basis of spiritual values and attitudes.
My spirituality relies on Christianity and the associated concepts. In the nursing context, it assists me to carry out a holistic approach to care delivery. In other words, apart from physical and psychological dimensions, I, likewise, consider spiritual and religious aspects while evaluating the needs of my patients. Additionally, spirituality helps me resist work-related stress. Hence, Christianity principles are closely associated with tolerance, so I strive to develop this useful quality and apply it to prevent occupational burnout. From this perspective, my experience is not unique. Hence, recent research has revealed that workplace spirituality reduces stress and anxiety (Kumar & Kumar, 2014).
Patients’ spirituality also plays an important role in shaping care delivery. Numerous studies show that apart from positive implications, religious beliefs might likewise imply some attitudes that impede the treatment process (Jaul, Zabari, & Brodsky, 2014). My practice shows that a large number of religious patients are particularly skeptical and cautious about medical interventions. For example, one of my patients refused to undergo a blood transfusion due to her conviction that this procedure contradicted religious principles. Therefore, I had to examine the relevant literature to reshape her vision of this intervention and persuade her that blood transfusion could not abuse her religious values.
The most critical nursing concern related to spirituality that should be discussed is the prejudices associated with religion. Hence, the lack of relevant knowledge and cultural competence makes nurses generate ungrounded assumptions about the need of a patient when they learn his or her religious status. My observation can be supported by the relevant statistics that show that a wrongful assessment of the patients’ needs is commonly connected with the biased interpretation of their spirituality (Elliot, 2011). Therefore, I might conclude that religion-related competence is not fully integrated into the health assessment system. From this standpoint, my spirituality lets me understand the important role of religious principles in shaping the psychological attitude towards the environment. As a result, in the future perspective, it will also impact my interaction with patients significantly. Thus, for instance, when the health history is already completed I will examine the key postulates of the indicated religion to target an effective communication strategy and help my patient acquire a positive reinforcement in the process of recovery.
It should be concluded that spirituality plays an important role in health assessment and should be considered along with such dimensions as physical and psychological factors. Religious values and beliefs cannot be imposed on a nurse; meanwhile, the latter is obliged to develop the religion-related competence to provide a high-quality and multi-sided assessment of the patients’ needs and requirements.
Elliot, R. (2011). Spirituality, mental health nursing, and assessment. Journal of Community Nursing, 25(3), 4-10.
Jaul, E., Zabari, Y., & Brodsky, J. (2014). Spiritual background and its association with the medical decision of, DNR at terminal life stages. Gerontology and Geriatrics, 58(1), 25-29.
Kumar, V., & Kumar, S., (2014). Workplace spirituality as a moderator in relation between stress and health: An exploratory empirical assessment. Applied International Review of Psychiatry, 26(3), 344-351.