Thoughts on Spiritual Care
The creative juxtaposition of the 1985 article to the 2013 update in Spirituality for Credit: Finding a Place in the Secular Curriculum by Verna Carson and Ruth Gerardi in the 30th anniversary issue of JCN (30:1) demonstrates the irony of prolific advances in healthcare and yet the status of spiritual care has not changed in almost 30 years.
Although there's a plethora of literature to support the need for holistic care addressing body, mind, and spirit, there's an almost nonexistent translation to practice where spiritual care is concerned. Recognizing the need, The Joint Commission (2008) requires that spiritual assessments be performed for each patient admitted into a hospital, nursing home, or home health services. We must remember that the point of asking the questions is to help the patient, not satisfy the regulation.
As an RN at a faith-based institution I see many healthcare professionals uncomfortable with anyone other than a chaplain or clergyperson performing any type of spiritual care. Nurse leaders have a responsibility to address the lack of understanding about spiritual care as well as the lack of training and education concerning meeting spiritual needs. Sadly, there seems to be little, if any, motivation to change. The biblical precept of reaping what we sow means a hefty price to be paid for neglecting the spiritual needs of patients as well as our own. The effect on patients is incomplete care rather the holistic care we purport to deliver. The effects on nurses are workplace violence and incivility, job stress-related burnout, and compassion fatigue.
Chief contributing factors to the current lack of spiritual care include dominant biophysical emphasis within healthcare, the secular-humanistic nature of many institutions of higher learning, politically correct groupthink, and grossly inadequate value placed on spiritual care. Nurse leaders must support training and better workflow designs to facilitate nurses' ability to practice presence where it matters the most—at the patient's side.
I join you in praying that God fills the hearts of nurses, educators, and nurse leaders with desire to learn more about spiritual care and effectively translate the knowledge into practice as a matter of improving holistic, quality care.
Faith Community Nursing Collection
The Journal of Christian Nursing regularly publishes about faith community nursing. Did you know there is a collection of FCN articles at www.JournalofChristianNursing.com and some are continuing education articles? Although JCN has been publishing about parish/faith community nursing since 1984, the collection contains 34 more recent articles with new articles added in each issue. Check out the FCN collection under “Collections” on the JCN Web site; go to www.NursingCenter.com/CE/CNJ to read the continuing education FCN articles. Nurses Christian Fellowship members received a 30% discount on JCN CE at Nursing Center.
2014 Innovations Conference at IWU—Save the Date
Calling all nurse educators, students, clinicians, and researchers! Plan to attend the 4th biennial Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing Conference, June 16 to 19, 2014 at Indiana Wesleyan University. Read NCF @ Work in this issue and see http://www.indwes.edu/Nursing-Innovations/ for updates and a future Call for Papers.
JCN on the iPad
JCN and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins now offer NCF members and journal subscribers access to JCN on the iPad! Download the new iPad app from journalofchristiannursing.com or at the iTunes store. When new issues release, you'll be notified on your iPad and able to quickly download complete issues. Issues are free for an introductory period for anyone, so tell your colleagues with an iPad to check out JCN!
Don't have an iPad? Download the free Journals@LWW app for your iPhone in the iTunes store.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: We love feedback and receiving your letters! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to publish your letter in JCN, you must complete a Copyright Transfer Form (CTA). Find the form at http://www.editorialmanager.com/ncf-jcn/. Click on “Copyright Transfer PDF.” Complete and email the CTA to email@example.com with your letter; email or call 608.846.8560 for assistance.
Coming soon in JCN
* Prayer in Clinical Practice: What Does Evidence Support?
* Caring for Sojourners in the Faith Community
* Depression in Chronic Illness: Does Religion Help?
* CAM Use During Treatment of Breast Cancer
* Adolescent Faith Development
Paula Miller, BSN, RN-BC
Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, Dallas