Essay on Spiritualism
What is spirituality? To me, it means having reflections, making connections, and truly understanding the meaning of what is happening around you and what is happening to others. But before one can understand spirituality, we must know the human spirit. Our spirit is our soul. It is what makes us who we are.
Our spirit is the last thing that leaves our body when everything else about ourselves has left us physically and mentally. Because spirituality is a very broad term that can be interpreted in many ways, it is hard to place one specific definition. Spirituality can be the base of other values such as compassion and empathy in which they believe in caring about the person’s feelings and what is important to them and also seeing from another perspective and understanding from that point of view.
In this paper, I will discuss how I believe I carry the value of spirituality, elaborate on how I plan on using this value in my own practice, and show how the value of spirituality is important to the nursing profession.
Growing up, I learned about spirituality from my greatest role models, my grandmother and mother. Both are spiritual in their ways. My grandmother is Indigenous, so the lessons I learn from her are different from those from my mother.
My grandmother teaches me patience, kindness, giving to others, and believing in the greater powers of our earth, meaning those who have already crossed over. Talking about spirits in my family is not uncommon. From a young age, I was taught not to fear things I can’t see nor entirely understand. I can strongly say my mother is one of the wisest people I have ever encountered.
She looks at the world from an entirely different angle. She believes that everything we do and every person we meet is an opportunity and lesson from which we can learn. But it is up to us to figure out what that lesson is.
I value the conversations I have with my mother. She always encourages me to think from different perspectives- even if I do not want to, especially if I am mad with another person, she tries to help me understand what that other person is feeling or what their personal experiences may be so that I can understand where they might be coming from. My mom has been coaching me to reflect for years, and I didn’t even know it.
My idea of the world and how I perceive things come from who are the greatest influences in my life. They are why I have come to have a sense of spirituality. I believe I carry this value of spirituality because every day, I try and reflect on what I am doing and why I am doing it.
Every day I try and understand myself. I am learning from my mistakes and my actions and encounters. I try and reflect on them. By connecting with myself, I am understating what I believe in and what I don’t. I am figuring out who I am, or trying, at least. I know I am only eighteen, but I feel that I am getting closer every day to whom I am meant to be.
Spirituality is a value consistent with the nursing profession because I am not only thinking about my patient but everyone connected to my patient, their family and friends, and even myself and other staff. I am placing their spiritual values above and making sure they are a priority. Their spirit is the foundation of their person. As previously stated, the spirit is your soul, the one thing that makes you a person.
When I am giving care, I am not only taking care of them both physically and mentally but also their soul. Taking care of someone’s spirit is the highest level of holistic care one can give someone out of the two main nursing areas, science and art.
Spirituality lies within the art aspect. The art of nursing is where one is concerned with their patient’s mental well-being, and providing holistic care can make the patient feel better than medicine or, in other words, the science part of nursing. Jacobs (2018) said that to increase our ability to care for ourselves, patients, and others, we must pay more attention to our inner spirit and become better acquainted with ourselves to better understand their inner spirit.
Having this understanding lets them become more suited to give care and promote healing. According to Baldacchino (2017), having a sense of spirituality allows one to have a more in-depth connection with people one cares for and works within healthcare. Being spiritual helps develop a better sense of one’s self. Within the education setting, role models expressing their spirituality can benefit their students.
This is because the students can learn and encompass a connectedness and apply it within their clinical setting. This causes a better therapeutic connection with their patients (Baldacchino, 2017). Along with Baldacchino, author Delgado-Guay, (2018) said that spiritual care should be a part of health care because it focuses on the emotional and spiritual part of a patient. He said that those patients who lack spiritual care are more at risk of developing depression and having a spiritual crisis.
Delgado-Guay also stated that those patients without spiritual care have a decreased sense of spirituality and dignity and that having a spiritual assessment can promote a better healing environment for the patient, family, and healthcare staff. As previously mentioned, spirituality can carry many different meanings, one of them being having a reflection.
In a qualitative study by Arnold, Lloyd, and Von Gunten (2016). After interviewing the doctors in their study, the doctors said that they were able to reflect more on their empathy and compassion skills. They said that doing so was very rewarding because they felt they became more present and could process their work experiences better. Having that kind of critical reflection can improve the practice of those doctors giving better care to their patients because they are more connected to them.
According to the CAN Code of Ethics (2017), a nurse’s responsibility is to build a trusting relationship with their patient to create a foundation for further deep communication and understanding of and for their patients to know their needs and concerns. Ross et al. (2017) said that nurses and midwives are expected to care for the entire person physically, mentally, and spiritually.
He said they feel underprepared for giving that kind of care because they lack experience with spiritual care and assessment. I believe incorporating spiritual care, assessment nurses, and other health care staff can benefit patients greatly. In practice, I plan to demonstrate this value in various ways. I will use it to guide me through my practice by reflecting daily and finding ways I can improve my care and interactions with fellow workers and patients.
When giving care to patients, I will try to put myself in their shoes to get a new perspective on their situation. I will do this because I think it is easy to forget how vulnerable they are and how scared they can feel. I will build a connection and a new sense of understanding through reflection. For example, I am a registered nurse at the Royal Inland Hospital, caring for an older patient with terminal cancer.
They have their family and friends around them through this part of their life, and I am their caregiver through this process. Because of my ideology of being spiritual, I will utilize my knowledge to best approach this case. Considering that this patient is at such a vulnerable time, as a nurse, I will understand that they are scared and that their family is scared and sad for their family member.
As their nurse, I will try to put myself in their shoes to try and understand their situation better. By doing this, I can reflect on my practice and improve myself to be better for them and my future patients. After establishing an emotional baseline for my clients by gaining a new perspective, I can connect with them on a level where I can bring comfort and solace.
There, I can gain more information on how we can go through this process together. Knowing the values and wishes of the patient and family, we can work together to ensure the best possible way to move forward into the next stage of their lives even after the patient has deceased. In summary, spirituality can have many different meanings. To me, they are having reflection, understanding, and connectedness.
Spiritual care is more than just giving physical and emotional care. It’s caring for their soul, caring for the part of someone that makes a person. That type of care is so important because you maintain that person’s dignity up to the moment they pass. A spiritual attitude makes you a more well-rounded nurse and perceptive person.
Spirituality is a value that is important to the nursing profession and a value that is very important to me. I will strive daily to ensure I live up to my spiritual values and use them within my practice.