Tonight’s e-mail to the doodlers is short, sweet.
Happy Holidays, and best to all RN innovators working this religion-centric weekend.
Subject: Why Nurses Need A Google Doodle: #RNgoogledoodle Innovator No. 13, & Religious Navigation in Nursing
April 18, 2014, 10:32PM
Passover started Monday, and today is Good Friday. We’re in the thick of a religious holiday weekend. What a better time than to talk about nurses’ relationship with religion and spirituality in their practice.
On any given day, a nurse will care for multiple patients with varying beliefs. When I started nursing in urban hospitals back in 2007, I was amazed at how much diversity exists in the world of religion. Some patients were charismatic, holding healing sessions over ill patients, some quiet, prayer beads in hand, others firm in their placement of religious objects around the beside. Many have strict dietary and practice considerations, sometimes ones that interfere with the kind of care we, as practitioners, feel most necessary. Others wear certain religious uniforms, practice differing levels of modesty, or expect certain kinds of communication. Some vehemently deny God completely, demanding treatment based on spoken desires for immortality.
All I’m trying to say, is, we nurses must be pretty open-minded and knowledgeable when spending the amount of time at the bedside as we do. To hold back bias while participating in holistic care should be the goal, when considering spiritual nursing. Without partaking in our patient’s beliefs, we are charged with the task of listening to them, considering them valid for no reason other than their existence. To juggle the care of multiple spiritualities in one shift, especially when throwing questions of imminent mortality into the mix, is a feat worth recognizing.
So, today, on a day when millions around the country are observing the death of a religious figure, I want to do the same. Not just for one nurse innovator, but for the many nurses caring for those observing while ill this weekend. For them, I send out a message of hope and tolerance: Whatever your beliefs, you are strong, and open. May the night move smoothly for you, and the winds of your spirituality – whatever it may be – guide your as you practice holistically for all you are assigned.
Happy observation, whichever type you find most-fitting,
Amanda Anderson, RN