In a diverse society, care providers often have to interact with other professionals and patients from different backgrounds. Providing high-quality care to various patients requires an in-depth understanding and practice of spiritual care. In their article, Anandarajah (2005) explores culturally sensitive care and related concepts, including spiritual care. According to the author, the primary definition of spiritual care is that it reflects the therapeutic aspects of medicine and spirituality (Anandarajah, 2005). There are two more definitions provided in the reading, which discuss general and specialized spiritual care. The former reflects the practices of “bringing presence, compassion, understanding and listening to each encounter” (Anandarajah, 2005, p. 372). This type of spiritual care can be provided by anyone at any time and focuses on meeting a person’s spiritual need without discussing God, religion, or beliefs. Specialized spiritual care, on the other hand, means addressing the patient’s individual spiritual needs (Anandarajah, 2005). Specialized care is provided either by physicians or by trained spiritual care counselors.
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My definition of spiritual care is slightly different from the one provided in the reading. I believe that spiritual care involves listening to a person and providing for their spiritual needs in a manner that fits both the care providers’ and the patients’ worldview. I think that spiritual care should be rendered by all types of care providers, including counselors, nurses, physicians, and other professionals. My definition creates opportunities for all providers to help patients who need comfort, hope, or consolation. It also implies that providers should understand how to balance conflicting beliefs in a way that promotes trust and connection. In my opinion, facilitating spiritual care based on these principles and ideas will help to improve patients’ emotional well-being and foster holistic care.
Anandarajah, G. (2005). Doing a culturally sensitive spiritual assessment: Recognizing spiritual themes and using the HOPE questions. AMA Journal of Ethics, 7(5), 371-374.