The paradigm of communication between a patient and a nurse, to secure positive outcomes, should exist far beyond the discussion of one’s health condition and treatment options. The notion of care encompasses various aspects of interaction with a patient, including one’s emotional response to health status. Such a process is known as spirituality, or one’s ability to seek life’s purpose and answers through the connection to the universe.
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When thinking of personal perception of spirituality, the most relevant definition of spirituality will be based on Christina Puchalski’s definition. It states that the phenomenon of spirituality exists beyond religious affiliation and describes the processes of people finding meaning in life through connections with the moment, oneself, and the environment (Ferrell et al., 2020a). Since 2014, the notion of integral spiritual care has been acknowledged as a significant contributor to the quality and meaningful palliative care, whereas some scholars promote the implementation of spirituality to all aspects of medical care (Ferrell et al., 2020b). Such a conception of spirituality, while focusing on the process of connectedness, plays a critical role in terms of nursing care.
Spirituality has been proven to positively affect patients’ well-being in several ways. First, spirituality has helped patients tolerate both physical and emotional demands for an illness (Rachel et al., 2019). Second, it is capable of decreasing stress levels, pain, and negative emotions associated with the health condition. Finally, spirituality positively affects the patients’ satisfaction with treatment and hospital stay, as they feel more connected to the personnel and, thus, confide in nurses (Rachel et al., 2019). Hence, it may be concluded that the perception of spirituality as one’s connection with the outer world in the pursuit of life purpose influences patient care considerably. Indeed, nurses are to pay more attention to patient’s emotional responses to any health condition and treatment.
Ferrell, B. R., Handzo, G., Picchi, T., Puchalski, C., & Rosa, W. E. (2020a). The urgency of spiritual care: COVID-19 and the critical need for whole-person palliation. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60(3), e7-e11.
Ferrell, B. R., Handzo, G., Picchi, T., Puchalski, C., & Rosa, W. E. (2020b). Spiritual care in the global sphere. Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, 60(6), e28-e29.
Rachel, H., Chiara, C., Robert, K., & Francesco, S. (2019). Spiritual care in nursing: An overview of the measures used to assess spiritual care provision and related factors amongst nurses. Acta Bio Medica: Atenei Parmensis, 90(Suppl 4), 44-55.