Throughout many years, multiple people have believed that spiritual practices can help with illnesses, or even that some illnesses can start from bad spirits. There are different kinds of spiritual practices and beliefs based on diverse religions. Even though there can be good connections between a nurse and a patient, there are barriers that can cause some tension in their relationship. Nurses have to face many conflicts with spiritual practices and beliefs. It is important to realize that the way to be good as a nurse is to keep a patient happy, that even means by appreciating their religious beliefs.
Last summer, I took a Nurse Assistant course at Walker Medical and my instructor was as strict as any trainer could be. She was tough and as a student, we had to do everything perfectly. She had many important things to say, but the main one that stuck with me was to make sure you don’t give a patient the wrong medical assistance that goes against their religion. As someone who works in a medical field, it is critical to enforce that everybody working with a patient that cultural diversity, illness, and communication that will be encountered by many different backgrounds and cultures.
Immigrants have brought new spiritual practices and more options that Americans can choose for their spiritual beliefs. Today, there is a dramatic amount of different religions that people can choose, or a few people will not choose not to be a part of spiritual practices. There is an increase on people who prefer not to be associated with a religious group. Albert L. Winseman, on Gallup, used information information gathered by Gallup of percentages of America’s religious liking for more than fifty-five years.
In Figure 1, Winseman shows that the percentages have been increasing throughout time, which means that the idea of religions are becoming more broad. People need to understand the differences between religions and the spiritual practices that each religion contains. There are multiple different kinds spiritual practices and many of them are unknown to even be a practice. One spiritual practice that started since the 750 AD was when people began to say “God bless you’’ after another human sneezed because they believed it was a short prayer for protection.
People believed that the person who has sneezed could be getting sick with the plague or another kind of disease. Another idea of the sneeze superstition would be believed that when sneezing it will omen the sneezers spirit and future, for example a German folklore told by Christo Hall was, “it is understood that if a bride or groom sneeze during their wedding ceremony then the marriage is bound for disaster, yet in contrast if a child sneezes before their own baptism then it couldn’t be luckier: the child will grow strong, intelligent and successful,” which means that a the omen had a chance of being good or bad.
The sneeze was seen as a possible health scare, but now everyone says “God bless you”, as a habit, which makes it the most spread blessing. The number of spiritual practices are increasing and becoming more complex, but many people wonder if spiritual practices work, especially people in the medical field. Andrew B. Newberg, an American neuroscientist, performed a research of a neuroscientific study of spiritual practices. There are many types of spiritual practices, like prayer, meditation, mediumistic trance states, drug-induced experiences, and many more.
Through many studies, people have seen an abundance of different effects of spiritual practices. For example, several studies recorded in Newberg’s report showed a leading parasympathetic activity during spiritual practices, which include a decreased in heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and oxygen metabolism. The human body can experience multiple effects due to spiritual practices, but there is a scientific factor that can cause a problem on the power of spiritual practices.
Andrew wrote, “ placebo effects pose another interesting problem in the study of spirituality or religiosity, and require careful consideration when designing a study so that there is an adequate placebo or control group. ” Most of the population knows whether or not if they are actually practicing spiritually, so there is nothing clear on where the placebo would represent. There is a potential overlap with both the placebo and spiritual responses in the body functions, causing no straight answer on what is causing the effects on the body.
The most important thing is to understand the spiritual practices of a patient and their family. A waiter most common saying can be, “the customer is always right,” can also be used in the medical field. There may be a misunderstanding between a nurse and her or her patient because of different spiritual practices. Also, the different spiritual practices may cause tension between because there could be a disagreement between religions. It is important for nurses to realize the significance to keep their religion to themselves.
Another thing that nurses may get with patients is confusion. A patient may be confused on their outcome of illness or injury. A Catholic person may be confused on why God has not healed them yet or why God even wanted them to be hurt or sick in the first place. For nurses, it could be key to find a priest, is they are Catholic, to talk to them about their outcome. Or many parents will pull their children out of the hospital or even deny treatment for their child that may save the child’s life.
A nurse can not tell parents what to do for their children, they can only recommend what who be better. Nurses have to understand that some religions cause changes in diets and have to pray at certain times. Figure 1 shows that there is a higher chance of having nurses that are not associated with a religious organization, which could cause a higher tension in between relationships and be confusing on how to treat a patient.
Spiritual practice can help the nurse, the patient, and the patient’s family. In The Importance Of Spiritual Care In Nursing Practice, by Sage Journals, it was noted that based on nurses experiences as being a caregiver to patients and families in a very complex service environment, they emphasize the values and importance of spiritual care, by understanding that they are the patients and families subjects of care and source of support.
It Is important for nurses to realize the different kinds of spiritual practices that they will face in the medical field. Spiritual practice is important for helping one’s self or by helping others. That could be one of the main things that motivate or that does help people through their journey of illness and injuries. Also, it is important to realize that different religions use different spiritual practices to help oneself.