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Spiritual care to me means acknowledging and supporting ones religious beliefs. To make sure their wishes are followed and respected.  It involves providing complete care to patients, including their mind, body, soul, and spiritual needs. I often am asked by patients if I am a Christian. This could be a sign that they are seeking the spiritual care they are desiring. Spiritual needs include a need for faith, hope, love, confession, forgiveness, meaning, and purpose (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Spirituality is reflected in everything we do. It should not be ignored or dismissed. It may come in the form of encouraging patients not to give up hope, to hold their hand when they are afraid, to offer a smile, to pray with them, to comfort their family, or to just stay with them. For example, some patients I’ve cared for with advanced cancer who found comfort from their religious and spiritual beliefs were more satisfied with their lives, were happier, and had less pain.  Shelly states that good spiritual care brings glory to God and does not just provide comfort to the patient (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Shelly also states that spiritual care could also include providing referrals, follow-up care, or even connecting patients to Christian communities (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Spiritual care involves helping people build a relationship with God through our “compassionate presence, active listening, witness, prayer, Bible reading and partnering with the body of Christ” (Shelly et al., 2006). It also involves providing humane care to everyone in the hospital setting regardless of the sins they may have committed. Being humane to patients may help a patient in the face of hopelessness, consider hope in God, in which they may be less compelled to seek suicide or euthanasia (Shelly & Miller, 2006). We should not be afraid to pray with our patients searching for hope in God as prayers do work.

 However, I did read over chapter 14 of Called to care. I must confess that there is a need for realignment of my concept of spiritual care. Is my understanding of spiritual care totally different or off the picture the book painted? No. It is just somethings that jumped at me that triggered the thought of realignment.

As a Christian nurse, my focus should be on spiritual healing of the patient and not the physical alone (Shelly & Miller., 2006). The author cited the example of the paralytic man in the Bible. “Jesus assessed that although the presenting problem appeared to be physical, the man’s primary need at this point was spiritual—forgiveness of sins” (Shelly & Miller, 2006).


Shelly, J. A., & Miller, A. B. (2006). Called to Care a Christian Worldview of Nursing  (2 ed.). Retrieved from