Spirituality in Nursing
Nurses encounter a wide range of individuals, many of which are often at low points, physically or mentally, or even close to death. Religion is one of the ways that people attempt to make sense of their illnesses. While many professional nurses believe that religion and spirituality have nothing to do with delivering care. Spirituality in nursing can be divorced from the specifics of religion or a particular church, but often stems out of the idea that all life is spiritual.
Many of the moments experienced by people in a hospital setting, from the birth of a child, through anxiety over an upcoming operation, or the death of a loved one, can have a profound impact on the individual. These emotion-fueled, life-altering experiences are often expressed and understood in spiritual ways. Nurses may find themselves in the middle of such experiences, perhaps even asked to participate in the patient’s spiritual expression, such as prayer.
Respect for the spirituality of the patient and compassion towards their expression is a hallmark of a dedicated, professional nurse. Spirituality, or the sense of connectedness to the world and fellow human beings, allows a nurse to have a greater understanding of the range of human experience. An affirmation of spirituality serves as the foundation for patient-centered care in which the nursing professional becomes connected to the whole of humanity.