This essay declares that nursing education does not prepare nurses to offer spiritual care in any form. If recognized as a responsibility it is too often seen as part of the patient’s psychosocial assessment or the responsibility of pastoral care workers such as hospital chaplains and their staff…
As the discussion stresses pragmatically though it is nurses on the ward, rather than staff who only visit occasionally, and often only when requested, who are best placed to deal with this part of holistic nursing care. This is especially so where life-threatening illness is involved and there is much one to one interaction between nurse and patient. Thompson in 1993 spoke of the way in which by maintaining a bond with a distressed patient the nurse is making an act 'unconditional love'.This paper highlights that there are any number of variations on the subject of spirituality. It is defined most often as the quality or state of being spiritual . this doesn’t get you much further on unless you then look up what spiritual means. This however can be defined as simply to do with the spirit. It then follows that one must first of all define spirit. The Concise Oxford Thesaurus gives the soul, the psyche, the ego and the inner self, before going on to include such things as ghost and life force. Further still spirit is linked to attitude, frame of mind, point of view. Spirituality provides a means for service providers to empower and encourage patients to engage in their healing process. According to this experienced hospice nurse spirituality may or may not include a particular religious beliefs. She points out that nurses are best placed to deal with a patient’s need for a spirituality dimension, especially she says when caring for those with mental illnesses or who are terminally ill. ...
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