Patients with Differing Beliefs Discussion Essay
Anytime we care for patients with differing beliefs and values from our own we have been careful not to allow personal bias to creep in. That can be difficult, especially when patients are asking you what you would do in their situation. “In order to provide the best possible care to patients and families in end-of-life situations, it is important to understand their cultural constructs as well as their individual preferences.
It is also important for each caregiver to realize that we each bring our own set of biases to these discussions based on our cultural and religious background and personal experiences” (Steinberg, 2011). When providing care to patients with beliefs that differ from my own, my strength is listening. Listening to understand versus listening to respond transcends cultural and religious differences and expresses care and compassion. Knowledge of healthcare beliefs as it pertains to major religions is an area I can improve upon. It is hard to maintain a depth of knowledge on religions that I infrequently encounter.
Shelly and Miller Discussion
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I agree with Shelly and Miller (2006), that good spiritual care would bring honor and glory to God – not just comfort to patients. It’s easy to lose sight of our purpose as Christian nurses, and we might get into a routine of merely passing meds and offering sympathy here and there instead of fulfilling our calling – to help bring people back to the ultimate Healer, that they can be healed despite any physical ailments they may suffer from.
My beliefs are still further similar in the way Shelly and Miller (2006, pg 203) describe spiritual care, as being “…compassionate presence, active listening, witness, prayer…” I have not read the Bible with a patient before, nor worked with clergy or religious groups before, but have previously done all the other things listed during my nursing practice.