Spiritual Assessment Tools

Use the articles provided in the readings for this module. The Joint Commission provides
some guidelines for creating spiritual assessment tools for evaluating the spiritual needs of
patients. Using these resources and any other guidelines/examples you can find, make up
your own tool for assessing the spiritual needs of patients.
1.The spiritual-needs assessment tool should include a minimum of five questions that can
either be answered by the patient and/or by your observation of the patient. The
information can be presented in a Word document, in a table, or in questionnaire format.
Using your assessment-tool questions, practice completing a spiritual assessment with a
patient, family member, or friend.
Once complete, analyze your results in 750-1000 words, with the following:
1.Write a brief summary of your assessment findings.
2.What significant discoveries did you make about the individual you chose to assess?
3.What went well?
4.What would you do differently in the future?
5.Were there any barriers or challenges that inhibited your ability to complete the
assessment tool? How would you address these in the future or change your assessment to
better address these challenges?
6.Describe the spiritual experience you had with your patient, family member, or friend
using this tool. How does this tool allow you to better meet the needs of your patient?
Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA
Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a grading rubric. Instructors will be using the rubric to grade the
assignment; therefore, students should review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment
to become familiar with the assignment criteria and expectations for successful completion
of the assignment.
Submit your assessment tool, patient answers, and your analysis of how the assessment
went to the instructor.

Spiritual Assessment Tools
Assessment Summary

The assessment that was carried on the cancer patient revealed that he has a strong belief
in the Lord. It was noted with interest that he believed God was there with him even during such
a time when he was suffering a lot. The patient had a number of spiritual goals that he hoped to
fulfill before the end of his life (Cunningham, 2011). Some of the goals were short-term while
others were long-term. This patient had a strong desire of being closer to God daily through
prayer and reading the Bible daily so that the teachings therein could advance and make his faith
stronger. The cancer patient held the belief that the condition he was going through could be one

SPIRITUAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS 2
of God’s test on his faith. Hence, he felt the need to be nearer to God during this testing time so
that there were no chances that he would desert God, which would mean failing the test.
The patient stated that he had some daily spiritual practices which he conducted daily.
This included prayers before meals, in the evening, and in the morning. Through the prayers, the
patient was able to communicate to and thank God for all the grace He had granted him in his
life. The patient had no problem with adjusting his faith for treatment purposes. The patient
believed that through communicating to God regularly, this would fasten his healing process
since he had the hope that the disease would heal. He stated that he drew a lot of hope and
comfort from this. Being a nurse, it was easy to note that the patient was happy and that his
condition was not badly off. The patient attributed this to the faith he had in God and his believe
that God would never desert him regardless of the challenges he was experiencing (Cunningham,
2011). The patient had a strong belief that God was in charge of everything that he was
experiencing. According to him, the belief that God was in control of everything kept him
relaxed, which was essential in facilitating his healing.
Significant discoveries

It was evident that this patient was very stable compared to other cancer patients and this
can strongly be linked to his spiritual belief. Based on the spiritual assessment that was
conducted, this patient was healthy spiritually and his faith had no hindrance to treatment. On the
contrary, this facilitated the good interaction and relationship with the staff, facilitated healing,
and catalyzed the positive treatment response to the interventions that were implemented on him.
This was highly possible since the patient embraced and appreciated the staff’s role and this
made caring for him easy. The patient also appreciated the staff’s faith. The second discovery

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was that the patient used statements depicting his strong spiritual belief. In addition, the patient
was flexible in that he allowed the spiritual assessment be conducted on him.

What went well

While being assessed, the patient was participative and very cooperative. He was also
very open when answering the questions. On the same note, he asked many questions and this
offered the opportunity to get more information regarding the patient’s spiritual wellbeing. The
patient was also very positive and this made him appreciate the fact that different people held
varying beliefs (Young & Koopsen, 2011). However, this never made his faith waiver. On the
contrary, this made him able to express his beliefs clearly and freely.
Changes that would be implemented in future

If the spiritual assessment was to be conducted in future, a number of things would be
done differently. The right environment would first be created so as to promote the spiritual
assessment. This would ensure that more quality information is gathered based on the fact that it
would be possible to acquire both nonverbal and verbal information. In addition, the
environment should have as minimum distractions as possible and conducive so as to encourage
accuracy. The quality data gathered would ensure that the spiritual wellbeing of the patient is
determined accurately.
Barriers to the assessment tool completion and addressing them in future
Some of the factors that contributed to improper completion of the assessment tool
include inappropriate training (Young & Koopsen, 2011). This hinders acquisition of accurate
information. In turn, this affects the results of the spiritual assessment. Poor training also makes
the patient be resistant upon the realization that the person conducting the assessment is not sure
of what they are doing. So as to curb this, spiritual assessment training need to be conducted and

SPIRITUAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS 4
all nursing staff should be involved. This is based on the fact that spiritual assessment should be
multidisciplinary. Another challenge was lack of sufficient time to conduct the assessment. As a
result, it was not possible to gather sufficient information. When scheduling assessment sessions,
adequate time should be allocated (O’Brien, 2011).
Spiritual experience

From the interaction with the patient, it was learnt that the patient valued other people’s
beliefs. This encouraged openness in believing that different persons have differing spiritual and
religious beliefs (Watts, 2011). Therefore, it was impossible to interfere with the beliefs the
patient held. The patient has the chance to express himself in any way as the questions are
usually open-ended.

SPIRITUAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS 5

References

Cunningham, M. (2011). Integrating spirituality in clinical social work practice: Walking the
labyrinth. Boston: Pearson.
O’Brien, M. E. (2011). Spirituality in nursing: Standing on holy ground. Sudbury, MA: Jones &
Bartlett Learning.
Watts, F. N. (2011). Spiritual healing: Scientific and religious perspectives. Cambridge, UK:
Cambridge University Press.
Young, C., & Koopsen, C. (2011). Spirituality, health, and healing: An integrative approach.
Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.

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