DQ: What is your definition of spiritual care?

PHI 413 Topic 5 DQ 1

DQ: What is your definition of spiritual care?

Spiritual care is an essential part of the healing process for every human being physically, mentally, and emotionally. During my patient rounds, I might encounter patients with different worldviews or religions. It is somehow of a challenge for me when I have a patient with a different worldview than mine due to my lack of knowledge about other religions. However, the best way to approach those situations is to acknowledge other people’s beliefs, be active listener, provide support and facilitate communication with pastoral care. As a healthcare professional, it is important to learn about different religions to understand their beliefs and traditions, but it is most important to empathize and provide care with love and respect for every human being because humans are creatures of God (Hoehner, 2020).

According to Timmins & Caldeira (2017), NANDA International, formerly known as North American Nursing Diagnosis Association, describes the definition of spiritual distress as “a state of suffering related to the impaired ability to experience meaning in life through connections of with self, others, the world, or a superior being” (p. 48, as cited in Herdman & Kamitsuru, 2014). My personal definition of spiritual care is providing care for patients to help them regain their centeredness in their uniqueness of being, meaning, purpose, belonging, and love. Spiritual care is achieved by attending to and restoring a patient’s inner spirit and soul through their “emotions, thoughts, feelings, desires, and will” (Evans, 2020, para. 4). According to my definition of spiritual care, I believe it is in accord with Christian spiritual care by fostering relationships that nurture the spirit, offering a compassionate presence, and assisting in the effort to find meaning in the face of suffering, illness, and death.


Evans, K. A. (2020). Intervention, ethical decision-making, and spiritual care. In Practicing dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in health care. Grand Canyon University.

Herdman TH, Kamitsuru S (Eds) (2014) NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions and Classification. 2015-2017. Tenth edition. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.


Timmins, F., & Caldeira, S. (2017). Assessing the spiritual needs of patients. Nursing Standard (2014+), 31(29), 47. doi:

I really enjoyed reading your topic 5 DQ 1 discussion post on spiritual care and how one’s own understanding differs from how the discussion topic has been presented in the topic readings. I think that you did an excellent job especially by introducing the concept of spiritual distress and how it may cause untold suffering to our patients. I do agree that providing spiritual care for our patients especially those experiencing spiritual distress significantly improves both the patient’s care experience and outcome.

I liked your response to this weeks discussion question. In your post you discussed the importance of offering a compassionate presence, that can help assist our patients in finding the meaning as they face illness, suffering, and death. No matter how busy we are as nurses, we must foster a relationship with our patients by showing empathy and kindness, and using compassionate touch, and take the time during our busy workday to develop a trusting relationship with our patients (Aagard et al., 2018). Nurses must also take the time to listen to our patients health and spiritual concerns so we can deliver or collaborate with the appropriate team members to provide the holistic care that is needed and deserved to help alleviate their suffering.


Aagard, M., Papadopoulos, I., Biles, J., (January 26, 2018) “Exploring Compassion in U.S. Nurses: Results from an International Research Study” OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 23, No. 1.


Spiritual care provides compassionate dignified care both physically and spiritually, treating the body, mind, and spirit. All humans

DQ What is your definition of spiritual care
DQ What is your definition of spiritual care

have spirituality, whether they recognize it or not. Their spirituality is the essence of who they are, their inner self, and their purpose in life. My spiritual beliefs are based on my Christian beliefs that all humans are created in the image of God, by God. Each person has inherent worth and must be treated with respect, compassion, and dignity. Spiritual interventions regarding their beliefs, values, and needs are a vital part of patient care. A spirituality assessment is a key to finding out their beliefs, wants, and needs as a practitioner. I am not knowledgeable on all worldview beliefs, and it is imperative to research and discuss their needs. “Spirituality affects every aspect of a person’s life, so offering emotional and spiritual care support should be an important focus for all health care providers” (Evans, 2020)


Evans, Keith A. (2020). Intervention, ethical decision-making, and spiritual care. In Grand Canyon University [GCU]. Practicing Dignity: An introduction to Christian values and decision making in healthcare. (ch.5).

I really enjoyed your thoughtful post to this weeks discussion question.

I agree with you that I am lacking in knowledge of all the different worldview beliefs. Over the past couple years my competence related to different worldview beliefs has improved. Worldview beliefs and values of both the patients and their health care providers are known to contribute to health disparities (Tilburt, 2010). Worldviews are are essential for all humans, as they help them to make sense of their life, as they are their values, beliefs and assumptions (Tilburt, 2010). Differing worldviews between health care providers and patients can lead to bias, stereotypes, and prejudice by health care providers (Tilburt, 2010). These differing views can also lead to conflict during clinical interactions with our patients. This conflict can interfere with providing the patient with the necessary care they need. In order to become a more competent health care provider to my patients I will continue to expand my knowledge on different cultural and religious worldviews as they play a key role in decreasing our patients health disparities (Tilburt, 2010).

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Tilburt, J. C. (2010). The Role of Worldviews in Health Disparities Education. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 25(S2), 178–181.

Great post, and I agree with you. Although it is truly impossible for us to be knowledgeable about all religions, we can meet our patients’ spiritual needs when understanding their religious beliefs and practices. Your point is also why we should never presume to know a patient’s religious beliefs or practices are just because we have learned the patient’s faith tradition. Many religious groups and individuals work out their own set of values, beliefs, and practices, which may or may not be compatible with the tradition at large.

I have been a nurse since 1988 and have become more aware because of this class, that my patients are not being provided the spiritual care that they may like and deserve to have. There is a question on the patient’s intake related to their religious preference and how important their religious/spiritual beliefs are to them. The spiritual care that is often practiced on my unit in PACU is related to the patients who have religious beliefs and refuse blood products and babies that are born to Christian parents and are not expected to live, so the nurse calls a Priest or Chaplin to come baptize the baby in PACU before the baby dies.

I believe that nurses must first understand the definition of spirituality before we can provide our patients with competent spiritual care. I believe that a patients spirituality is related to their religious beliefs, faith, and moral and ethical values. A patients spirituality can also have an impact on whether or not they will be compliant with the recommended medical treatments or plan of care as they may not align with their religious beliefs, such as the patient who refuses blood products. As nurses we must understand the significance of our patients spirituality and faith when we are providing care to them. In order to provide the proper spiritual care to our patients, we must first inquire what are their spiritual beliefs, so we can provide understanding, and respect for their spiritual worldview without any bias, so we can provide appropriate care and interventions. When the nurse is attentive to the patients spiritual needs and incorporates the patients spiritual worldview and beliefs into their care, it can help reduce the patient’s worries and concerns, which can then lead to more positive health care outcomes for the patient.

Evans stated that “spirituality refers to the soul and its protection and nurturing during life … protected through correct moral thought and by living as directed through sacred texts”  and that humans are innately spiritual beings and at all stages of their lives have a need for spiritual care (Evans, 2020). Evans also stated that health care providers must understand their patient’s inner worldview which part of the foundation of how they approach the administration of care to the patient and their ability to respect their patients spiritual worldview (Evans, 2020). When the health care providers are intentional and attentive to the patient and their family’s spiritual beliefs and needs, the result is more positive holistic health care outcomes for the patient (Evans, 2020).


Evans, K. (2020). Practicing Dignity: An Introduction to Christian Values and Decision Making in Health Care. Retrieved from:

To me spiritual care is a practice of faith, hope, and an overall trust in God. Spirituality gives us the ability to know that there is something out there bigger than us, something protecting us in this world. Spiritual care in a clinical setting to me, relates to care that goes beyond physical clinical care. As nurses we provide patients with physical care in many ways including physical healthcare, education, and advancements in physical wellness. Spiritual care comes in different ways and is viewed differently based on the patient we are treating. In the reading, spirituality is referred to as a staple within the healthcare system. It is viewed as a crucial aspect to overall patient care. “Spirituality affects every aspect of a person’s life, so offering emotional and spiritual care support should be an important focus for all health care providers” (Evans, 2020). I agree with the reading and the importance of spiritual care being provided to patients. We must provide thorough assessment and be respectful of the patients spiritual views and proceed by giving the patients strong spiritual support throughout their healing journey.

The difference between spiritual care and other descriptions is that it focuses on religious values and beliefs included in the caring process to enhance the quality of care being delivered to patients. The beliefs and values encourage patients to have self-worth realization that everything being conducted for their treatment process is fine and will lead to positive health outcomes. This enables patients to have faith in their prayers and other spiritual practices that bonds them with God as the care provides hope and strength to seek betterment in their health (Gijsberts et al., 2019). Spiritual care also accords with other descriptions in that nurse or health care provider must be physically present and keep encouraging the patient to have substantial hope and belief in healing.


Gijsberts, M. J. H., Liefbroer, A. I., Otten, R., & Olsman, E. (2019). Spiritual care in palliative care: a systematic review of the recent European literature. Medical Sciences7(2), 25.