Example Essay on Spirituality
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 what the human spirit is, our spirit is our soul, it is what makes us who we really 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 to also see from another perspective and to understand from that point of view. In this paper I will discuss how I believe I carry the value of spirituality, I will elaborate on how I plan on using this value in my own practice, and I will show how the value of spirituality is important to the profession of nursing.
Growing up, I learned about spirituality from my greatest role models, my Grandmother and my Mother. Both are spiritual in their own ways. My grandmother is Indigenous so the lessons that I learn from her are different than from what I learn from my mother. My grandmother teaches me about 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 that I can’t see nor entirely understand. My mother, I can strongly say is one of the wisest people I have ever encountered. She looks at the world in an entirely different angle. She believes that everything we do, every person we meet is an opportunity and a lesson we can learn from. But it is up to us to figure out what that lesson is. I really value the conversations I have with my mother, she always encourages me to think in 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 yet. My idea of the world and how I perceive things come from who are the greatest influences in my life. They are the reason 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 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, at the end of the day 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 everyday I am getting closer to who I am meant to be.
Spirituality and nursing
Spirituality is a value that is consistent with the profession of nursing because I am not only thinking about my patient, but everyone connected to my patient, their family and friends, even myself and other staff. I am placing their spiritual values above and make 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 areas in nursing; the science aspect and the art aspect. 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, say medicine can or in other words, the science part of nursing. Jacobs (2018), said that in order to increase our ability to care for oneself, patients, and others one must pay more attention to their own inner spirit and become better acquainted with themselves to have a better understanding to their inner Spirit. Having this understanding lets them become more suited to give care and to promote healing.
According to Baldacchino (2017), having a sense of spirituality allows one to have a more in-depth connection with people whom you care for and work within healthcare. Being spiritual helps develop a better sense of one’s self and within the education setting having role models who express 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 then 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 conducted 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 in doing so, it was very rewarding because they felt they became more present and that they were able to process their work experiences better. Having that kind of critical reflection can improve the practice of those doctors letting give better care of 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, meaning physically, mentally, and spiritually. He said that they feel underprepared for giving that kind of care because of their lack of experience with spiritual care and assessment. I believe that incorporating spiritual care and 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 that it is easy to forget how vulnerable they are and how scared they can feel. Through reflection, I will build a connection and a new sense of understanding.
For example, I am a registered nurse at the Royal Inland Hospital, and I am caring for an older patient who has 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. Taking into consideration 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 my practice and improve myself so that I can be better for them and eventually to my future patients. After establishing an emotional baseline for my clients by gaining a new perspective, I can then connect with them on a level where I can bring some comfort and solace. There, I can gain some more information in ways 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 moving 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, its care to their soul, caring the part of someone that makes a person. That type of care is so important because you maintain the dignity of that person up to the moment they pass. Having a spiritual attitude makes you an even more well-rounded nurse and becoming a more 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 everyday to ensure I live up to the spiritual value and to also use it within my practice.