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What is the professional nursing standards in the care of spiritual, religious, and cultural influences that impact the health of clients

What is the professional nursing standards in the care of spiritual, religious, and cultural influences that impact the health of clients

Professional Nursing Standards in the Care of Spiritual, Religious, and Cultural Influences that Impact the Health of Clients

Spirituality is a common theme in the field of healthcare research, as it is an important component of emotional wellness for many patients, particularly for those facing serious illness or nearing the end of their lives (Duquesne University, 2022). However, spirituality is not synonymous with religiosity, as it can encompass various beliefs, values, and practices that transcend the material world and give meaning and purpose to life (Murgia et al., 2022). Therefore, nurses need to be aware of and respect the spiritual, religious, and cultural diversity of their clients, as well as their own, and provide holistic and patient-centered care that meets their spiritual needs.

This paper aims to examine the professional nursing standards in the care of spiritual, religious, and cultural influences that impact the health of clients. It will first define the concepts of spirituality, religiosity, and culture, and explain their relevance to nursing practice. Then, it will discuss the main challenges and barriers that nurses face in providing spiritual care in pluri-religious settings. Finally, it will suggest some strategies and recommendations to enhance nurses’ competence and confidence in delivering spiritual care.

Spirituality, Religiosity, and Culture: Definitions and Relevance to Nursing Practice

Spirituality is a broad and multidimensional concept that can be defined in different ways depending on the context and perspective. According to Murgia et al. (2022), spirituality is “the human dimension that gives meaning to life through connections with oneself, others, nature or a higher power” (p. 2). Spirituality can also be understood as a dynamic process of seeking harmony, wholeness, and transcendence in relation to oneself, others, and the ultimate reality (Puchalski et al., 2009).

Religiosity is a specific aspect of spirituality that refers to the adherence to a particular set of beliefs, doctrines, rituals, and practices that are associated with a formal or organized religion (Murgia et al., 2022). Religiosity can influence how people cope with illness, suffering, death, and ethical dilemmas, as well as their preferences for treatment options and end-of-life care (Duquesne University, 2022).

Culture is another complex concept that can be defined as “the shared values, norms, traditions, customs, arts, history,
institutions,
and experiences of a group of people who have a common identity” (Leininger & McFarland,
2006,
p. 3). Culture can shape how people perceive health,
illness,
and healing,
as well as their expectations,
attitudes,
and behaviors toward health care providers
and services
(Leininger & McFarland,
2006).

Spirituality,
religiosity,
and culture are relevant to nursing practice because they are integral components of human dignity,
well-being,
and quality of life
(Puchalski et al.,
2009). They can also affect how clients respond to stressors,
cope with challenges,
and make decisions about their health
(Duquesne University,
2022). Therefore,
nurses need to assess,
respect,
and support the spiritual,
religious,
and cultural needs
and preferences
of their clients
as part of holistic
and patient-centered care
(Murgia et al.,
2022).

Challenges and Barriers in Providing Spiritual Care in Pluri-Religious Settings

Providing spiritual care in pluri-religious settings can be challenging
and difficult
for nurses for various reasons. Some of the main challenges
and barriers
are:

– Lack of education
and training on spirituality,
religion,
and culture. Many nurses do not receive adequate education
or preparation on how to assess
and address the spiritual needs
of clients from different religious backgrounds
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They may also lack knowledge
or awareness of the beliefs,
practices,
and values
of various religions
and cultures
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Lack of skills
and confidence in communicating
and interacting with clients about spirituality,
religion,
and culture. Many nurses do not feel comfortable
or competent in initiating
or engaging in conversations about spirituality,
religion,
or culture with their clients
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They may also fear offending
or imposing their own views on their clients
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Lack of time
and resources to provide spiritual care. Many nurses face heavy workloads,
time constraints,
and competing priorities that limit their ability to provide spiritual care to their clients
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They may also lack access to appropriate tools,
guidelines,
or policies to support them in delivering spiritual care
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Lack of role clarity
and support from the health care team. Many nurses are uncertain about their role
and responsibility in providing spiritual care to their clients
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They may also feel isolated
or unsupported by their colleagues,
managers,
or organizations in addressing the spiritual needs
of their clients
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Lack of personal
and professional boundaries. Many nurses struggle to balance their own spiritual,
religious,
and cultural beliefs
and values with those of their clients
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They may also face ethical dilemmas
or conflicts when their personal
or professional values clash with those of their clients
(Duquesne University,
2022).

Strategies and Recommendations to Enhance Spiritual Care in Nursing Practice

To overcome the challenges
and barriers in providing spiritual care in pluri-religious settings,
nurses need to adopt some strategies
and recommendations that can enhance their competence
and confidence in delivering spiritual care. Some of these are:

– Seek education
and training on spirituality,
religion,
and culture. Nurses need to update their knowledge
and skills on spirituality,
religion,
and culture through formal
or informal education
or training programs
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They can also use online resources,
books,
journals,
or databases to learn more about the beliefs,
practices,
and values of different religions
and cultures
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Develop communication
and interpersonal skills. Nurses need to improve their communication
and interpersonal skills to facilitate effective
and respectful dialogue with clients about spirituality,
religion,
and culture
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They can use open-ended questions,
active listening,
empathy,
and non-verbal cues to elicit
and respond to the spiritual needs
of their clients
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Make time
and space for spiritual care. Nurses need to prioritize
and allocate time for spiritual care in their daily practice
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They can also create a conducive environment for spiritual care by ensuring privacy,
comfort,
and safety for their clients
(Duquesne University,
2022).

– Seek role clarity
and support from the health care team. Nurses need to clarify their role
and scope of practice in providing spiritual care to their clients with their managers,
colleagues,
or organizations
(Murgia et al.,
2022). They can also seek support from other health care professionals, such as chaplains, social workers, or counselors, who can provide specialized or complementary spiritual care to their clients (Duquesne University, 2022).

– Maintain personal and professional boundaries. Nurses need to respect and uphold the autonomy, dignity, and diversity of their clients and refrain from imposing or judging their spiritual, religious, or cultural beliefs and values (Murgia et al., 2022). They can also reflect on and address their own spiritual, religious, or cultural needs and values and seek supervision or counseling when they face ethical dilemmas or conflicts (Duquesne University, 2022).

Conclusion

Spiritual care is an essential component of holistic and patient-centered care that can enhance the well-being and quality of life of clients from diverse spiritual, religious, and cultural backgrounds. However, providing spiritual care in pluri-religious settings can be challenging and difficult for nurses due to various factors. Therefore, nurses need to adopt some strategies and recommendations that can enhance their competence and confidence in delivering spiritual care. By doing so, nurses can fulfill their professional nursing standards and provide compassionate and respectful care to their clients.

References

Duquesne University. (2022). Spiritual Care in Nursing: Guidelines and Tips. Retrieved from https://onlinenursing.duq.edu/blog/spiritual-care-in-nursing/

Leininger, M., & McFarland, M. (2006). Culture Care Diversity and Universality: A Worldwide Nursing Theory (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Murgia, C., Notarnicola, I., Caruso, R., De Maria, M., Rocco, G., & Stievano, A. (2022). Spirituality and Religious Diversity in Nursing: A Scoping Review. Healthcare, 10(9), 1661. https://doi.org/10.3390/healthcare10091661

Puchalski, C., Ferrell, B., Virani, R., Otis-Green, S., Baird, P., Bull, J., Chochinov, H., Handzo, G., Nelson-Becker, H., Prince-Paul, M., Pugliese K., & Sulmasy D. (2009). Improving the Quality of Spiritual Care as a Dimension of Palliative Care: The Report of the Consensus Conference. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 12(10),

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