Spiritual Assessment

1 January 2017

For this assignment I was ask to develop a spiritual assessment tool, interview a patient using this tool, summarize my findings, analyze my results, identify areas of improvement and describe the spiritual experience that this spiritual assessment offered to better meet the needs of my patient. Research indicates a close connection between spiritual needs and physical needs. Integrating spiritual assessment into patient care has become vital for hospital and other health care settings. Spiritual assessment in the hospital setting is also mandated by joint Commission on accreditation of Healthcare organizations (JCAHO). Spiritual, 2009). I developed this tool using criteria from the HOPE assessment tool.

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This tool was originally created by Gowri Anadarajah and Ellen Hight from the department of family medicine at Brown University. The HOPE assessment lets nurses or other health care providers collect information in a non-threatening manner, it is brief and goes over critical areas. It also allows patients to tell their own story about important spiritual issues that might affect the patient’s physical health needs. “H=Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love and connection. O= Organized religion.

Personal spirituality and practices and E= effects on medical care or end-of-life decisions” (Galek, Flannely, Vane, Galek, 2006). When completing a spiritual assessment tool it is important to always respect our patient’s spirituals beliefs and to be open minded. There is a lot we can learn by exploring our patient’s spirituality and a lot of modification we can make in their plan of care to meet their overall needs. Summary of assessment findings Mrs. B. F. is a 52 yr old Hispanic female. Post surgical patient, who states God and the support of her family, gives her hope and strength in difficult times.

She labels herself as “halfway catholic” and does not belong to a particular church. She attends church about once every two months. She feels that when she goes to church she finds peace and is able to communicate with God better. She likes it better when there is not a lot of people in church. Mrs. B. F. believes she has a good relationship with God, but she does regret not dedicating more time to God and also regrets not teaching her children about God. She thinks her children are worried about her now that she is in the hospital and they need God’s support to deal with her illness.

She plans to teach her children how to get closer to God when she is discharge from the hospital. She likes to pray to God and the Virgin Mary. Mrs. B. F. believes her deceased grandmother and deceased father are her guardian angels. She also believes in Karma “if you are a good person, good things will happen to you”. All her spiritual and religious beliefs are important to her. She also indicated her wishes to see a priest and to visit the hospital’s chapel. (F. B. 2011) Significant discoveries When I evaluated Mrs. B. F. I made the following discoveries: At first she gave me the

Impression that she did not want to answer my questions, but quickly she became really involved in the conversation. She opened up to me and was willing to discuss her spiritual needs. She sounded honest when answering the questions and pleased that I took the time to hear her concerns. She admitted feeling guilty about not teaching her children her religious beliefs and voiced concern about her children not having God in their lives. She also showed interest in meeting with a priest which I arranged after the Interview. What went well? I am pleased that my interview went well.

At first I did not feel confident that I had the skills necessary to lead a spiritual assessment. In the past the only thing I did was to ask my patients if they belonged to a church or religion and asked if they needed to see a chaplain/ priest or spiritual leader. This time I felt that Mrs. B. F. was engaged in the conversation. I was able to ask open ended questions that encouraged the assessment to flow naturally and I was able to meet some of her spiritual needs. What would I do differently in the future? When interviewing Mrs. B. F. I noticed we had a few unnecessary interruptions that disrupted the low of my interview. In the future I will post a sign at the door indicating interview in process and I will notify the patient’s primary nurse and the unit secretary about what I am doing in order to minimize the interruptions.

Barriers or Challenges One of the challenges that I encountered was not having enough experience to have the appropriate answers to the patient’s responds without sharing my own religious or personal beliefs. I had a hard time letting the interview continue without me sounding like I was giving advices that reflected my religious beliefs. I can see how it an be challenging to conduct this interview with a patient that has a different faith or different spiritual beliefs than mine. I also had to modify my questions to more open ended questions instead of yes or no questions.

Example question #8 and question #9. Description of Spiritual experience Using this spiritual assessment tool helped me developed a special relationship with my patient deeper that when I am just focusing on my patient’s physical needs. I am now more comfortable exploring the spiritual side of my patients without immediately relying on a chaplain or a priest.

My patient seemed so grateful with me for taking the time to listen to her that the next day I made sure somebody took her to the hospital’s chapel. I did not personally go with her. Perhaps the next time, I will have the courage to accompany one of my patient’s to the chapel. This tool not only help me better meet the needs of my patient, but also helped me understand my own spiritual beliefs. I learned that I am a very private person when it comes to expressing my religious beliefs. I also learned that I don’t feel comfortable taking a patient to the hospital chapel.

It is important for health are providers to understand and be clear about their own spiritual beliefs to be able to remain patient-centered and non-judgmental when addressing patient’s religious and spiritual concerns. (Anandarajah, hight, 2008). Conclusion From this assignment, I have learned how much closer a nurse or other health care provider can get to their patients by evaluating the patient’s spiritual needs. Also how important it is for all nurses to promote spiritual health into their practice in order to develop their patient’s trust and provide quality care in a holistic approach.

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