The concept of spiritual care is an important aspect of nursing practice, highlighting the need to recognize, respect, and meet the spiritual needs of patients. Spiritual care encompasses various components, including facilitating participation in religious rituals, effective communication through listening and talking with clients, displaying empathy and support, promoting a sense of well-being by helping patients find meaning and purpose in their illness and overall life, and referring them to appropriate professionals such as chaplains or pastors (Baldcchino, 2015).
As a nursing student, I possess several strengths that contribute to my ability to provide effective spiritual care. Firstly, I consider myself to be a non-judgmental person. This quality allows me to be open-minded and accepting of diverse cultures and beliefs. By acknowledging and respecting the spiritual beliefs of my patients, I can provide holistic care that considers their individual needs. Additionally, I have a genuine interest in learning about different cultures and beliefs. This curiosity enables me to continually expand my knowledge and understanding of various spiritual practices, allowing me to better meet the spiritual needs of my patients.
Another strength of mine is the ability to build trust with my patients. Colleagues often joke that I am the go-to person for difficult patients because of my ability to establish rapport and earn their trust. I have found that many of these patients often felt disrespected or neglected by the staff prior to my shift. By treating them with dignity and empathy, I strive to create a safe and trusting environment where they feel valued and heard.
However, I am aware that I have a weakness when it comes to emotional investment in my patients. I find it challenging to refrain from providing words or services that I believe will help the patient, even if it goes against hospital policies or protocols. For instance, I recall an occasion where a patient hugged me, an action prohibited by hospital regulations. Despite knowing it was against policy, I could not bring myself to deny the patient this gesture of comfort. This emotional investment has the potential to cloud my judgment and compromise my adherence to professional boundaries. Recognizing this weakness, I am actively working on finding a balance between emotional connection and professional practice to ensure that I maintain appropriate boundaries while still providing compassionate care.
If I were ever in a position where a difficult decision needed to be made regarding my own healthcare, I would entrust the responsibility to my sister rather than my husband. Both my husband and sister understand my values and wishes, but I believe my sister is better equipped to carry out the decisions. This is not a reflection of my love and trust for my husband, but rather an acknowledgement that he may struggle with the emotional burden and may be influenced by his beliefs. My sister, on the other hand, possesses a matter-of-fact attitude and an unwavering commitment to honoring my wishes, even if it means making difficult choices.
In conclusion, spiritual care is an essential aspect of nursing practice that involves recognizing, respecting, and meeting the spiritual needs of patients. As a nursing student, I possess strengths such as being non-judgmental, having a genuine interest in diverse cultures and beliefs, and the ability to build trust with patients. Additionally, I am aware of my weakness in becoming emotionally invested in my patients, which may compromise professional boundaries. When it comes to making difficult healthcare decisions for myself, I trust that my sister will be able to carry out my wishes effectively. By recognizing and addressing these strengths and weaknesses, I aim to provide compassionate and effective spiritual care throughout my nursing career.