The Role of Nurses in Providing Spiritual Care to Patients

Role of Nurses

Spiritual care holds a prominent position in healthcare. You can trace these roots back to when nurses looked after injured soldiers and hummed religious hymns or soft songs to calm them down. Medical intervention alone isn’t enough to help a patient heal. Your cold, detached bedside manner will also not help patients. Instead, they need a medium to connect to a higher power, entity, or belief system that will drive them to get better. 

As a nurse, you can be this vessel of spirituality and help patients find peace, resolve, and strength to carry on. This concept goes beyond religious connotations and works based on core values. By adopting these values, you will have the tools to provide care in more than one way. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Let Patients Become Comfortable In Asking For Care

A form of spirituality is to provide care and support with no hesitation to all your patients. Apart from ensuring the patient has their medicines, you should also extend your service by being there for them. A patient may have many needs when it comes to recovery. Some need your silent companionship while lying in bed, while other patients need your active engagement. You’re also better positioned to provide support to your patients when you have the tools to participate in their well-being. 

Part of spiritual care also has adequate education to identify symptoms and work on a patient right away. As nursing education can get pricey, look up nurse practitioner scholarships to learn better caring techniques and better comprehend your patient’s wants.

  1. Be a Supportive Ear for Them

Patients need answers beyond medical science when they want to talk to you. Your patient may feel scared, apprehensive, or doubtful about recovery. They may even feel worried about dying and become nihilistic about living. ( It is not your job to debate the patient about religion and higher power in all these cases. It would help to let your patients voice all their concerns, encourage them to name their specific troubles, and ask how you may help. 

A patient may need you to assure them about their health or want you to say a prayer for them. While providing assurance, make sure you don’t mislead the patient but remind them how doctors are trying and how the patient’s resilience to live will facilitate the process. The best support you can offer your patients comes by asking them to talk about faith and the power of faith healing. Help your patients recall what gives them the most hope. 

  1. Engage the Power of Touch

Through informed consent, you should touch your patient gently. This will help you establish a connection with your patient, and they may benefit from the warmth you offer. You may hold their hand, touch their shoulder or their arm. This shows your empathy and care. 

During the pandemic of 2019, many isolated older patients were offered rubber gloves with hot water filled in them to provide a sensation of touch. The makeshift hand gave older patients hope comfort and made them feel less lonely as they battled the infectious virus. Your touch will do the same. You should also think about healing your patient and focus your energy on ensuring calm in your presence. Silent gestures can convey more meaning than words. 

  1. Support the Patient with the Power of Their Faith

There is a widespread belief in death in certain regions like Mexico. You should ask the patient what their belief lies in and help them find spirituality on their terms. The death nurse called the doula helps severely sick patients prepare for death by consoling them about their faith. These nurses ask specific questions about the afterlife, allowing patients to remain steady in their beliefs as they prepare for what’s to come. 

You don’t need to know the Holy Scriptures and hum along with the patient. Not everyone believes in a God or higher power. Some like to derive their faith from their own beliefs and principles, controlling their morals. It would help if you didn’t hesitate to help your patients channel their energy. Let your patients lean on their source of comfort. You can ask them about what they want their deity to be known as, how they wish to pray, or what makes them feel comfortable as they think of a higher power. 

  1. Engage In Inspirational Words and Music

Some patients don’t want a structured belief system. Instead, they want you to offer words of inspiration. You may choose words from scripture, talk about the universe as a whole, and refer to both profound and meaningful sayings. This will rejuvenate the patient’s spirit and help see the bigger picture. You can also read from the patient’s book of choice, such as poetry, to encourage spirituality. Music also has healing properties. 

Songs make you emotionally happy or motivate you to keep trying. You should ask your patient if they have a particular song that they enjoy. You may sing it yourself or play it on a CD. Chronic patients such as those with arthritis may find that the music distracts them from their pain. Patients will feel more connected and less inflicted with the thought of their illness. 

Final Thoughts

The medical sector is intertwined with spirituality. Medication, injections, and a detached hospital staff alone cannot cure a patient. These individuals need a deeper form of connection that you can provide through spirituality.

You can also help patients heal by providing them with a sense of comfort through your touch. You should also not hesitate to explore your patient’s faith and use it to support them. Sometimes establishing a connection may be as straightforward as singing or reading. Don’t be afraid to provide patients with love and care to facilitate their recovery no matter the desired method.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *