Spirituality And Nursing
As our society continues to become more technologically oriented, there is less and less time to have interaction with others, especially during this trying time. In addition, in nursing, we rely so heavily on technology and are usually “knee deep” in watching monitors, taking vitals, performing assessments, doing treatments, passing out meds and charting on the computer that we can’t take as much time as we would like for our patients for their psychosocial needs.
We all have learned to address the patient as a whole: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Yet many times, the spiritual and psychosocial aspects are neglected due to time constraints.
Nevertheless, what if spirituality can help a patient heal? Let’s take 2 patients the same age with the same diagnosis and same background, yet one survives while the other does not.
My only thought that might account for that is spirituality and their mind set.
What, you may ask, is spirituality?
I am referring to spiritually not in religious terms but in a connection to the higher self by knowing we are here for a purpose and we are not alone.
As nurses, I believe we have a duty to address our patients’ spiritual concerns and support them in this process to promote healing. I believe the purpose of all nurses is to promote healing. And one of the ways that we can do that is through spirituality.
Again, I am not saying that it must be in the form of organized religion but in terms of addressing the patient’s spiritual needs to improve healing. I would love to see that a spiritual history be taken, not just religion. What is the person’s relationship to their higher power? How important is that to them? Has faith been important to the person at other times in their life? Does faith make a difference? Does it help to talk to someone about spirituality? Those things make a difference.
Would you like to explore spiritual matters with someone? Talking to someone about a spirit history is a powerful intervention in and of itself. When patients are reminded of their beliefs and how important they are to them, they will come to also appreciate the nurse’s sensitivity to these issues just by bringing up the topic.
Dr. Masaru Emoto was a pseudoscientist studying consciousness and the author of the New York Times bestseller, “Hidden Messages in Water.” Dr. Emoto experimented with water. Emoto would recite beautiful and positive things to the water and look under the microscope at its configuration and the crystals were all beautifully organized. Then he would speak negatively and disparagingly to the water, look under the microscope, and see that the crystals appeared disjointed and ugly.
As our bodies are comprised of a huge portion of water, our thoughts and feelings affect the configuration in our bodies and in our patients’ bodies. By reminding our patients of their spirituality, their prayer and the way that they talk to themselves and the way we talk to them could positively affect the molecules in their bodies.
Danielle LaPorte, bestselling author, speaker and entrepreneur on conscious goal setting, did a similar experiment with apples. She picked 2 apples at the same time which were of same size and ripeness. She found the apples to which she spoke positively had a longer life than the apples to which she spoke negatively to had decomposed more quickly.
Our patients are living beings, if talking, and thinking nice things to them and helping them to think positively and connecting with their higher self could make an impact on their health, then I say let’s incorporate spirituality into our nursing practice.
I would love to hear your thoughts below.