In a diverse community like ours, health care service providers are increasingly meeting religious and culturally divergent needs while planning and expanding health services. With nursing focusing more on the holistic form of care and reflection at a certain point, today most of our healthcare environment is technologically driven with spiritual nourishment occupying a prominent place in the contemporary issues that affect our care (Larson, 2003).
Whereas most health care workers and providers are equipped to assess and provide care for a psychological, physical, emotional, social and cultural aspect of the patient, it is worth noting that many of them are not well trained to deal with the spiritual concept of care. It is hugely owed to the fact that many professionals are uncomfortable with assessing their client's religious beliefs with others believing that the most relevant aspect is developing a tool that can help assess the client's spiritual needs because of the metaphysical components that surround the element of spirituality (Eham et.al, 1999).
Indeed, there have been efforts that mandate or allow a regulatory and accreditation bodies as well as the need to honor and respect the values that are observed by the clients and caregivers. As such, health fraternity is increasingly recognizing that clients need a holistic approach to care. Based on the views mentioned above, it is fair to say that spirituality is an underlying, profound and personal issue which involves a persons deepest fears and aspirations which provide an individual with a worldview and a context to which life has value and meaning (Singh, 2000). Therefore, an understanding of spirituality and its effect on health caregivers provide compassionate and ideal spiritual care.
In this study, the paper shall explore the spiritual need assessment tool that allowed me to have a clear insight into Johns spiritual perspective on life. Spiritual assessment is a component of health assessment as a practical step to include patients spiritual needs into practice. For the study, FICA tool and Hope Questions are known to provide and aid caregivers in providing spiritual assessment process. Examination of research done on the tools indicates that they are both easy to use and provides basic data on patients spirituality.
The Faith, Importance, and Influence, Community (FICA) spirituality history equipment gives a pathway for clinical officers to combine open-ended questions into a conventional medical history which can be used by any healthcare professional (Garber & Johnson, 2001). The tools give the prevalence of faith, the benefit of spirituality and the influence both have on the healthcare decisions that they take, involvement in spiritual community and interventions that look into spiritual needs.
On the other hand, HOPE knew as Comfort, organized religion, personal spirituality and effect on medical care put the focus on helping medical students to fuse spiritual assessments in the medical interview through open-ended discussion of a patient's spiritual resources and further address key areas of a formal spiritual assessment.
1. In my session with John, I sought his opinion on religion.
To John, religion is a beautiful thing to ever happen to humanity. He believes that religion through an understanding of God's Holy book drives most of our knowledge, hold the social fabric and guide man from committing evil acts. Faith strengthens our relationship with God, and as such, we can live in peace and tranquility. Under religion, we allow God to take control of our lives and health, and in appreciation, we should be thankful to God for He is the giver of good health.
2. Me: Do you believe that going to church is akin to having a good health?
John: Yes, before I started being an active church attendee, I was frail with the endless ailment, but that changed a great deal when I started attending church service, and today I am a believer, and I believe that attending church sermons leads to better physical and mental health. One poignant aspect of my life is the fact that I have developed self-discipline and sense of meaning and purpose in life. Through this, we can live healthily and support one another as a family.
3. Me: How do you and your family perceive some of the ailments?
John: In my family, we believe and put our faith in God during trying moments. We have developed a general concession that spiritual beliefs and practices have to be in line with the belief that only God has power over our family health and when things happen, the power of prayers helps us to understand what is going on. We are always willing to accept God's will and rely upon Him for good tidings.
4. Me: Have you ever been faced with an illness that spiritual wellness helped you heal and overcome?
John: Yes, there was a time I was developing tumor near my heart which required a surgery. With all the uncertainties that happen in the theater room, we had a lot of fear, but with the help of prayers and frequent visits by my pastoral leaders, I could overcome the difficult moment, and I believe it helped me overcome.
5. Me: What your general perception towards health and caregiving?
John: To me, caregiving is a gift that comes from God and as such those entrusted need divine interventions to overcome the hurdles that come with the profession.
In the summary of the question and answer interview with John that took place at his home in Baltimore, Maryland, I realized that John has lived in the city of Baltimore for more than thirty years and today he has a wife and three lovely children. He works full time at local manufacturing industry for five days a week. John is a devoted Christian who attends church every Sunday, and at some point, he has led various church committees. Based on his dedication to church activities, John considers himself together with his family as devoted Christians who are dedicated to attending church functions, offering tithes, getting spiritual nourishment from reading the bible and being kind to the people around him and the less fortunate in the society.
In my interview with John, I was marveled by the fact that he is open minded and very accommodative in sharing some of the most sensitive aspects of his life, this helped create a great bond with him. However, John has devoted most of his time in church, and he believes that it's the only way we can get redemption with very minimal space he leaves for contrary views.
In addressing spiritual healing and assessment tools, I opine that medical students must be enlightened and given a proper orientation to know how these gadgets work. It will be important in bridging that knowledge gap that currently exists. This tool guides the auctioneers in asking and addressing the challenges that patients face without infringing on their private and sensitive spaces. Yes, John's delicate coronary tumor brought him so close to God because he believed that only God could cure and get him to the theater.
Larson K. (2003). The importance of spiritual assessment: One clinicians journey. Geriatric Nursing 24(6): 370371.
Graber D., Johnson J. (2001). Spirituality and healthcare organizations. Journal of Healthcare Management, 36, 3952.
Singh K. (2000). Spiritual competency: An open letter to hospice colleagues. American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care 16(4):616618.
Ehman J., W., Ott B., B., & Short T., H. (1999) Do patients want physicians to inquire about their spiritual or religious beliefs if they become gravely ill? Arch Intern Med 159:18031806.
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