Daily Archives: December 4, 2013

@WeNurses – Spiritual Care: My take


Hmmmm…the world is full of experts.
But sometimes this masks the truth that the simple things often work.
And none more so than in SPIRITUAL CARE.

No don’t get me wrong. I like experts. I have a PhD, spend three years studying the minutiae of a particular subject…but what really counts. I have been a minister of religion for more years than I care to remember; and was a Psychiatric Nurse (or whatever they are called now) when we just sat around and drank coffee and smoked!

So here is my take on spiritual care.

Now I could direct you to learned articles on spiritual care in the academic press – (happy if you like) – but for me the way to tell it is to tell stories. So in the last few weeks I have engaged in spiritual care in the following ways:

I have held the hand, in silence, of a dying lady as she slipped from this life
I have spent time listening to the story of a couple who have lost their baby
I mopped the forehead (extended duties) of a patient who wanted to see me
I spent time listening to a staff member whos father had died
I was harangued by an angry relative
I spent time with a lady whose face lit up when she told me of her grandchildren
I heard the story of someone who was sad because they had lost their cat.

Now, the chances are that some of these are nothing to do with spiritual care. I fail a lot. But if spiritual care is to do with peoples spirits and motivations; and if it is anything to do with sharing in the humanity of others, then maybe it is.

And that’s the point. Sometimes we label things to shut people out. To say it is not your job, you couldn’t possibly understand; you’re not the expert.

So here’s my hunch. Nurses are spiritual care givers. The meet the needs of the persons spirits as much as their body. They may not have the language or conceptual matrix for it but doing it is what counts.

So for the tweet chat let’s have these questions as starters.

What spiritual care do you think you have given in the last few days?
Are nurses meant to be spiritual care givers?
What is spiritual care?
Are you a spiritual being?
What makes people tick?
How do you give spiritual care at the end of life?
What is important to you in regard to spiritual care?
What’s more important? Religion or my dog?

I am really looking forward to the Chat on Spirituality.
I hope to learn loads.
So thanks @wenurses for the opportunity