Religious Studies: Spirituality in Nursing

Summary of assessment findings

Spiritual assessment refers to evaluating patients’ religious needs and values to find out whether they have effects on medical health (O’Brien, 2013). It would be important to indicate that most patients associate their illnesses with spirits (Aten, McMinn & Worthington Jr, 2011). Thus, they use faith to cope with their illnesses. It is imperative to address spiritual values of a patient because this can help to create an all-inclusive management plan, especially for patients with terminal health conditions.

Many researchers indicate that nurses should consider religious needs of a patient who has chronic pain, but they should not be his or her religious advisor (Aten et al., 2011). From the study, using HOPE as an evaluation tool, it is evident that the patient had a system of beliefs, which helped him to manage pain (Aten et al., 2011). He demonstrated that faith (spiritual aspect) was the source of hope, comfort, and affection.

The patient came from a strong religious background, which stressed on the importance of prayers in one’s life. He could pray four times in a day, especially when pain worsened. He also agreed that interpersonal relationships could only be developed through spiritual assessment. There is a strong between spiritual health and physical wellbeing of an individual (Aten et al., 2011). The client showed that spiritual aspect was key to his relaxation when pain became unbearable.

Significant discoveries made about the individual chosen

During the assessment, it was discovered that the patient’s faith in a supreme being was strong, and it gave him strength to face the next day. It was realized that the he expressed himself freely. In fact, he communicated with confidence to the assessor and showed that he was relieved. In addition, he was reluctant to go the hospital because he was expecting a miracle to happen. As a result, this made his condition worse. He was against activities such as blood transfusion for the reason that he believed that God is the source of life. Meditation is another significant discovery that was made during the examination. The patient thought about his life before he fell sick and during sickness.

What went well?

The assessment session was fine. The patient expressed his feelings with high levels of passion and hope with regard to facing the future. The client responded to all questions with humility and confidence. He showed concern about the source of spiritual power. The discussion was important because it assisted the assessor to associate spiritual needs of the client with his physical needs (Koenig, King & Carson, 2012). In addition, he demonstrated contentment with questions that were asked and showed interest in discussing more about his religious needs.

What would be done differently in the future?

In the future, questions would be framed and asked differently. Language to be used would be simpler than the one used in this evaluation. This would ensure that effective communication would happen. Non-verbal communication would be used for the reason that it was hard to utilize it due to limited time. More questions would be asked to learn about the client’s religious needs to assist him in better ways.

Barriers or challenges that inhibited the completion of the assessment tool and how they were addressed

The first challenge that was faced was inadequate time. The client’s religious needs could have been explored better if time was not limiting. The client was slow in responding due to his condition. Second, there was a lack of familiarity in relation to taking the spiritual history of the patient. As a result, fear developed that inhibited the assessment process. Moreover, it was difficult to identify patients who were willing to discuss religious needs without being persuaded (O’Brien, 2013).

It is critical to indicate that the challenges encountered can be manageable. If they would be tackled well, then spiritual assessment would produce excellent outcomes (Koenig et al., 2012). More time would be allocated for the task to be completed comprehensively. Training would be offered so that the nurse is acquainted with relevant skills, which would culminate in improved efficiency when conducting an evaluation. This can result in the development of high levels of confidence and quality assessment. Finally, terminally ill patients would be targeted since they are likely to discuss their religious issues.

Spiritual experience I had with the patient

Spiritual needs are significant to every individual. They could be used to inform a medical practitioner whether conditions of persons with terminal illnesses are affected by their faiths (O’Brien, 2013). The experience gave an insight into how people feel when they have no one near to give them comfort. Many spiritual values were learned during the assessment.

For example, reasons why some patients would not accept blood transfusions and why others would be reluctant to seek medical help. The experience was significant because it gave the assessor and the client an opportunity to share their religious beliefs. In addition, it helped to correlate physical health with spiritual health.


Aten, J. D., McMinn, M. R., & Worthington Jr, E. L. (2011). Spiritually oriented interventions for counseling and psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Koenig, H., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

O’Brien, M. E. (2013). Spirituality in nursing. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

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