What is your definition of spiritual care

What is your definition of “spiritual care?” How does it differ or accord with the description given in the topic readings? Explain.

Spiritual needs are among an individual’s essential needs in all places and times. With his physical and spiritual dimensions and the mutual effect of these two dimensions, human has spiritual needs as well. These needs are an intrinsic need throughout the life; therefore, they will remain as a major element of holistic nursing care. One of the greatest challenges for nurses is to satisfy the patients’ spiritual needs.

One of the greatest challenges of a nurse is to provide comfort for patients. In recent years, with scientific advances in health care society, belief in the significance of human spiritual nature has increasingly become more complex especially regarding health and disease. Researchers have recently come to the point that the real and complete health care is possible through being sensitive to patients’ spiritual needs. Holistic nursing believes in the relationships among body, mind, and spirit. Nursing therefore requires considering all of these dimensions and the relationships among them. In chronic diseases, in addition to enduring physical discomfort the patients are disturbed by spiritual stress and frequent change of behavior.

Attending the patient in hospital has a general meaning. From the patient’s viewpoint, attending includes considering all his/her care issues. So, respecting the patient and taking into consideration his/her humanistic dimensions is a part of attending; also, chatting with and communicating with the patient is a part of nursing and attendance. Holistic nursing emphasizes respecting the patient’s viewpoints and demands. Nurses should get assured that they accomplish case based upon what the patient requests, rather than what the nurse wants. In the patient-nurse relationship, communication is a significant part of nursing daily performance. Communication is the foundation of the relation between them. The power of effective attendance is reinforced and improved by good communication. As nurses possess a specific position in health care system, they spend much time in speaking with patients and listening to their concerns, feelings, and needs. Some of these conversations are difficult for nurses and are accompanied by serious feelings such as nervousness, sadness, the problems caused by diseases which threaten the life, or family problems. On the other hand, the highest level of dissatisfaction in hospitals relates to communication. Though disease may change the life course of the patients, they never get disappointed and every patient is yet hopeful; this is however in the form of “silent hope”. In this hermeneutic phenomenological work, we studied the experience of hospitalized patients regarding their spiritual needs, which is presented in the form of a constitutive pattern as the spiritual needs of hospitalized patients.


O’Brien ME. Spirituality in nursing: Standing on Holy Ground. 2nd ed. Sudbury MA: Jones & Bartlett; 2003

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