The role of physical caring is the same for different religions as well as the importance of prayer for believers as part of spiritual interventions. For instance, prayer can be a part of nursing care when it is provided to other family members. As recorded in Genesis 25:21, “Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant” (Biblica, 2011). However, patients and/or their families may refuse the spiritual interventions offered as a part of the nursing care (Shelley & Miller, 1999, p. 230).
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The difference between religions should not influence the way nursing care is delivered. However, some nurses may have specific religious views and beliefs that do not coincide or may even contradict the beliefs of the patient and the family. In this respect, ethical decisions should come first as the health care ethical code requires it. Moreover, it is illegal to impose certain beliefs on people if they do not want that and, especially, on patients when he/she is in a vulnerable condition.
Shelley and Miller (1999) report that though “Nurses can provide only a small, though significant, part of the whole spectrum of spiritual care” (p. 241), it will “be a ministry of compassionate health care to anyone in need” (p. 246). As such, God’s plan of redemption can be related to nursing care as nurses help people find peace in their souls. As said in Psalm 130:7, “Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption” (Biblica, 2011). So, believing in God and obeying his laws is advice that nurses can give to patients so that they could become worthy of redemption.
As nurses should be objective to all patients and provide health care services to the population regardless of their income status, the responsibilities of the nursing profession to the poor and oppressed of our society include mercifulness, compassion, and kindness. The nursing staff is not responsible for poverty; so, they are not obliged to give all their earnings to the poor. At the same time, it is necessary to think about their responsibilities in the hospital where people can have some portion of compassion from nurses when being treated and provided with spiritual care.
Christian faith integration plays a crucial role in the perception of different situations by people. For instance, when one person who believes in God finds him-/herself in a difficult situation, he/she can always find compassion and help from co-believers. As reported by Colson and Pearcy (1999), “Statues of the saints were said to bleed, weep, perform miracles, and even grant indulgences…” (p. 445). As such, people tend to believe in miracles and go to statues of saints in search of salvation: This is the clearest manifestation of Christian faith integration.
Pain and suffering are integral parts of the health care profession when people experience pain or lose their relatives and suffer from those losses. Christian faith integration is a unique way of finding a universal method for solving problems and coping with pain and suffering. At the same time, the Christian perspective offers an interpretation of pain and suffering as ways to examine the faith and different virtues of people by God.
Biblica. (2011). Bible: New International Version. BibleGateway. Web.
Colson, C., & Pearcy, N. (1999). How now shall we live? Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Shelley, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (1999). Called to care. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.