Spiritual Needs Assessment
The spiritual needs of patients vary with individuals, the common spiritual needs
identify with morality, belonging, hope, meaning, beauty, acceptance of dying and sacred
among others. Health care professionals are advised to engage holistic approach in the well
being of the patients. There are links among religion, spirituality and issues of health.
Spirituality and religion are critical in coping with stress, loss and diseases. Some scholars
believe that patients learn with time in understanding and on coping with sufferings through
spiritual dimension and spiritual beliefs of lives.
Surveys have indicated that spiritual need assessments take a number of shapes
depending on domains and content; an indication that some people are at a greater risk than
others depending on diverse variables. Spiritual distress is directly proportional to cultural
affiliation of the individuals (Cunningham, 2008). Spirituality is complex and highly depends
on values and beliefs, which connects to purpose and the meaning. The age of the patients is
also connected the levels of the spiritual needs in measurements and assessments.
Spirituality in patients is considered vital and medical practitioners are encouraged to
routinely assess and screen patients, this is offered to the palliative care patients and also to
the patients suffering from specific needs such as neurological, mental or cognitive
impairment among others (Cunningham, 2008). The knowledge gap associated spiritual
needs is managed through disease trajectory and family caregivers play a critical role in the
health care processes.
Nurses are encouraged to be confident in implementing and assessing spiritual care,
which is facilitated by effective communication and active listening. Meeting the spiritual
needs of the patients is critical; the challenge is realized after the nurses are unable to
comprehensively understand the modalities of delivering spiritual needs. Spirituality and
religion are intertwined in bringing out the meaning attached to the illnesses. Spiritual needs
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depends on the individual patients and in addressing the issue, there are different clinical
situations developed in spiritual care and assessments (Cunningham, 2008).
Surveys have indicated that including spiritual care in the training of nurses facilitate
the confidence of the nurses, which in return result to the satisfaction and well being of the
patients. It is argued that good and effective spiritual care benefits both the caregivers and the
patients. The majority of the nurses have beliefs that spirituality should be included in the
training of nurses (Cunningham, 2008). The main challenge is mixing the content of the
spiritual needs and the personal views on the parts of the trainers. Spirituality cannot be learnt
from classroom and books only, but also through understanding and knowledge connected to
the personal experience in the life of duty. Spirituality fosters hope, purpose and meaning to
life on the part of the patient.
Nurses are encouraged to reflect on emotional, psychological, cultural, social and
spiritual aspects in the delivery of health care, this is critical in enabling the patients
comprehend the meanings attached to the different experiences. Spiritual needs of patients
are more important than the physical needs depending on the context, although challenged by
time constraints, differences in beliefs between the patients and the caregivers, excessive
workloads, inadequate experience and confidence on the part of the caregivers, lack of
privacy and lack of continuity in the health care (Cunningham, 2008).
Meeting the spiritual needs of patients require compassionate presence, where rapport
is critical in the delivery of health care. Some nurses out of self conscious deliver excellent
health care to the patients attached to spiritual needs, regulated by effective communication,
active listing to the patients and in offering continuing care. Managing the attitudes of the
patients is critical in making sure that the patients and their family members feel reassured
and secure (Cunningham, 2008). Spiritual care does not influence spiritual practices, religion
and beliefs attached to the patients; but facilitate patients with opportunities where patients
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can express their needs and values, which is influential in the effective management of
Caregivers are encouraged to have tolerance and an open mind in dealing with
patients and the views of other stakeholders. Patients in most cases rarely disclose innate
spiritual beliefs, researchers argues that caregivers should approach the issue with sensitivity
to avoid hurting the patients (Cunningham, 2008). Caregivers are encouraged to have an
understanding of the spiritual needs of the patients and in making sure that the preferences
are observed in making sure that respectful care is accorded to the patients. Patients at times
show diverse wishes, caregivers are encouraged in respecting the diverse wishes of the
patients. Taking an example of Jehovah witness follower, such patients are against blood
Nurses in any way should neither prescribe nor discourage spiritual or religious
practices and beliefs; in so doing patients feel respected by the health care providers. It has
been noted that nurses themselves must understand their personalized spirituality in order to
manage the spirituality of the patients. Nurses are encouraged to show genuinely and integrity
in understanding the needs of the patients; spiritual care offered by the health care
professionals has the goal of creating contentment, peace and purpose in life among the
patients. The changes experienced by the patients may change the belief systems and state of
mind on the part of the patient.
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Cunningham, A. (2008). The healing journey: incorporating psychological and spiritual
dimensions into the care of cancer patients. Current Oncology , S17-S91.