What is Spiritual Care and How Can It Help You? Spiritual care is a type of health care that focuses on the inner person (spirit/soul) in order to help you or a loved one cope with health issues. Concerns or questions concerning personal meaning, purpose, legacy, hope, and faith may be raised.
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What is your definition of spiritual care in nursing?
Spirituality has been defined as the essence of being human (Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016), and it is experienced differently by different people and groups (Clarke & Hunter, 2019). Many experts regard spirituality, which is broader than religion, as the essence of human beings that gives meaning and purpose to each person's existence, regardless of beliefs (Nixon, & Narayanasamy, 2010; Surbone & Baider, 2010). For some people, religion is an expression of spirituality, whereas for others, spirituality has nothing to do with religion (Nixon & Narayanasamy, 2010; Surbone & Baider, 2010).
Spirituality is a crucial component in health and healing, according to most health care practitioners (Dossey, 2016, Penman, 2018). Wright (1998) asserted that within the concept of holistic nursing care, spirituality is viewed as being interdependent and interrelated with the physical and social components of all other human dimensions, and is thus central to the delivery of holistic care in a classic work on the professional and ethical implications of spirituality in nursing care. Dossey (2016) highlighted mending the complete person as the purpose of nursing practice, which involves “interconnectedness with self, others, nature, and spirituality” (p. 3).
The overarching purpose of spiritual nursing care is to address patients' anxieties, concerns, and suffering with the goal of reducing anxiety, instilling hope, and empowering patients to achieve inner peace (Weathers, McCarthy, & Coffey, 2016). Spiritual nursing care, according to experts, comprises caring for the human spirit through developing caring relationships and interconnectedness between the nurse and the patient in order to promote spiritual health and well-being (Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016; Carr, 2008; Watson & Woodward, 2010). Carr (2008) recognized spiritual nursing care as vital to nursing practice in a study evaluating the significance of spiritual nursing care as articulated by health care professionals. Spiritual nursing care was defined by participants, including nurses, patients, and chaplains, as the establishment of caring relationships between the nurse and the patient, supporting comfort and well-being. Watson (2012) described how, via the process of transpersonal caring and healing, nurses might seek, connect, and embrace the spirit or soul of the other by being in true interaction in the moment.
Despite differing definitions, experts agree on the role of spirituality in supporting health and wellbeing, and spiritual nursing care includes connection and caring relationships between the nurse and the patient. Spiritual nursing care practices (SNCPs) are, nevertheless, unseen in many health-care settings due to a lack of focus to spirituality in nursing practice and education. The goal of this article is to look into the variables that contribute to SNCPs' invisibility and give specific solutions to improve SNCP visibility at the individual nurse, educational/professional, and organizational levels.
What are examples of spiritual care?
Caring for those who are dying can be extremely taxing. It may cause you to ponder your own mortality, your beliefs, and your search for meaning and purpose in life. Take some time to care for your spiritual well-being. Spending time with family and friends, meditation, physical activity, reading, spending time in nature, and adhering to religious rituals are all examples of spiritual self-care. If you're having trouble, you might want to talk to your boss, a counselor, a psychologist, or a religious leader.
We were lately examining Iranian nurses' spiritual care competencies as nurse researchers. Using a self-directed instrument, we discovered that nurses are unfamiliar with the notion of spirituality and how to provide spiritual care.
How do you promote spiritual care?
Religion brings spirituality to some people, but it does not bring spirituality to others. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to spiritual well-being. Here are a few ideas to get you started if you're not sure where to start.
According to a Gallup poll, 43% of Americans claim to be members of a church or other religious organization. These houses of worship provide a variety of opportunities for those living with mental illnesses to connect with others in their communities.
Reconnect with someone or an organization that shares your ideas and thoughts, whether online, over the phone, or in person. Find ways to connect with like-minded people in your religion community who can support and encourage you by reaching out to a pastor or spiritual leader.
“Many people's support mechanisms were taken away from them during the pandemicchurch, volunteering, support groups,” Wester added. “It was especially difficult for individuals who were already dealing with mental health concerns.” I advise people to reconnect with their religion group as soon as they are physically secure to do so.”
It's fine if you don't have a faith community. Finding a cause that resonates to you and giving back is another way to feel connected to your spirituality and faith. Working in a food pantry, becoming a mentor or tutor, or fostering an animal are all options. As a result, your community will develop and you will be able to meet individuals who share your interests. It will offer you a sense of purpose and thankfulness to serve others.
You don't have to be a yogi to benefit from the practice's spiritual benefits. Yoga is suitable for people of all ages and abilities. It can improve your mind and spirit, as well as strengthen and stretch your body, by lowering stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms.
You don't have to be an expert meditator like you don't have to be an experienced yoga practitioner. Because it takes so little time, meditation is one of the easiest disciplines to keep. “Some people believe you must sit and be silent, but this is not the case,” Wester explained. “You can walk while meditating, paying attention to the sensations of your feet on the ground and the intricacies of your surroundings. Simply slowing down your body can help you calm down your mind.”
Even five minutes of meditation can help you reduce stress, despair, and worry while also increasing your mindfulness. There are numerous fantastic guided meditation applications, such as Calm or Balance, if you need help.
Writing can help you process your emotions, raise your awareness, and provide a nonjudgmental space for you to express your feelings in the present. Start a daily thankfulness notebook with prompts or write down your anxieties and fears.
Spending time in nature, whether you live in the mountains, the desert, or near the ocean, can improve your spiritual health. You can't seem to get away from your phone, your day, and your problems. Even a few minutes spent watching the birds, trees swinging in the breeze, or crashing waves on the shoreline can be relaxing.
Find activities that you enjoy, such as knitting, coloring, cooking, sports, or working out. Focusing on things you enjoy might help you regain a feeling of purpose and stay present in the moment, even if only for a short time.
If you're having trouble connecting with your spiritual side or your mental health, get help from someone who is specially trained or someone you trust.
“Chaplains are specifically equipped to deal with religious issues in a clinical setting,” Wester added. They can assist validate your feelings without sweeping them under the rug. They can help you get back on track spiritually.”
What spirituality means?
Spirituality is defined as the awareness of a feeling, sense, or belief that there is something more to being human than sensory experience, and that the greater total of which we are a part is cosmic or divine in nature. True spirituality necessitates the opening of one's heart.
What is a spiritual care worker?
Spiritual Health Practitioners are scientifically trained to promote patients' and families' spiritual health, regardless of their beliefs, cultural perspectives, or practices.
Practitioners of Spiritual Health promote spiritual well-being. This is an individual's experience of connection with self, others, and what is seen as ultimate/Other. A sense of meaning and purpose is essential to spiritual well-being.
Spiritual Health Practitioners also assist other health-care professionals in comprehending the role of a patient's and family's beliefs in treatment decisions and spiritual needs expressions.
Why is spiritual health important in nursing?
Spirituality and religion play a significant role in the lives of the majority of Americans, according to a study published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine titled “Teaching Health Care Providers To Provide Spiritual Care: A Pilot Study.” Religion is vital to almost 77 percent of people, and over 75 percent believe in God or a higher force. Spirituality has been shown in studies to help patients manage with stress, make important medical decisions, and improve their overall quality of life.
Spirituality was not previously considered a part of nursing treatment.
Nurses are increasingly being challenged to recognize and fulfill spiritual requests as the focus shifts to holistic care and recognizing and responding to unique patient requirements. Advanced practice Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) nurses, who work as leaders to drive healthcare teams, are at the forefront of the transformation.
Nurses are employing screening tests to swiftly identify patients who want spiritual therapy in order to meet these requirements. The Rush Protocol, created by Chicago's Rush University Medical Center, is usually regarded as the most reliable spiritual screening technique.
Spiritual histories are also taken by nurses to get a more in-depth look at the patient's spiritual and religious background in order to select the most appropriate support.
For spiritual screenings and histories, Dr. Christina Puchalski of the George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health in Washington, D.C. gave the following suggestions:
- Spiritual requirements should be assessed as soon as a patient enters the healthcare system.
- Professionals in the medical field should be taught to spot signs of spiritual suffering.
What is spiritual care in hospitals?
Spiritual and religious themes and activities play a crucial part in dealing and adjusting to life during and after cancer, according to the spiritual care team of University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
Spiritual treatment, like medical care at UH Seidman Cancer Center, is tailored to the individual requirements of each patient. The spiritual counselor assists patients and their families in dealing with the stress and other difficult emotions that commonly accompany cancer treatment.
Spiritual Care Bolsters Physical and Emotional Well-Being
Spiritual care counselors and chaplains give intelligent, non-threatening counseling based on religious and spiritual principles. Their work supports the clinical and psychological services provided by the UH Seidman Cancer Center's care team. Spiritual counseling can help a patient's physical and emotional well-being by including the counselors in the following activities:
- Assist in the investigation of one's relationship with oneself, others, God (or another higher force), and nature.
- Examine meaning and value while encouraging patients to maintain relationships and involvement outside of cancer treatment.
- Assist the patient and family in dealing with their fears, anxiety, pain, frustration, and bewilderment.
Spiritual care counselors approach their work without prejudice or prejudice. Their services are open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof. Counselors in spiritual care are available to talk about any difficulty, big or small. They can provide companionship and fellowship, or they can simply listen.
Spiritual Care Team Helps Patients Cope
Our spiritual care counselors serve as a link between the patient and the clinical team, exploring methods in which caregivers might assist in meeting the patient's spiritual needs. Counselors are trained to use a number of methods and approaches to assist patients adapt and adjust, including: