The patient that I interviewed is a 38 year old woman who suffers from Fibromyalgia. She is married and has no children. She has been dealing with this diagnosis for 5 years and receives treatment on a regular basis. She has a strong Christian faith and believes in the power of prayer. She also believes that God only gives you challenges that he knows that you can learn and grown from and never too much that you cannot handle it. Five (5) Questions
I asked my female patient five 5 select questions that I felt would balance out what her belief system was along with how she could cope with her medical diagnosis and treatment. The Questions were: “How would the patient describe their philosophy of life? Who or what provides the patient with strength and hope? What does suffering mean to the patient? What does dying mean to the patient? How does your faith help the patient cope with illness?” (Joint Commission Spiritual Assessment Tools Nov 2008)
Here are the answers to the questions that I asked my patient E.D. She stated that “My philosophy of life is “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” “PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).” “Everything that happens, happens for a reason” and, “She who can laugh at herself, will never run out of things to laugh at.” These are all quotes that I try to use as a part of my daily approach to life. I do my best not to judge others and accept all walks of life as is and try to only give advice when asked or I feel compelled to share it. My faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ provides me strength when I feel that I need it. “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me” is the motto I tend to lean towards especially when I am doing something where I need to use all my strength to pull through the situation. I am my own best friend and so I feel I draw that strength and hope from within. Always finding the rainbow in all situations has helped me see through the darkness and allow myself to be uplifted to the point of laughter. I make it a game to find the rainbow in all bad situations and it makes me feel powerful when I do find it. It means I am in pain and suffering from ailments that I do my best to relieve daily yet I keep pushing through. Dying means terminal illness and unable to cure the illness. However, sometimes dying can mean relief. People really want to die to end their suffering or the burden on their family. Sometimes people can arrange on how they can be in control of how they die, where they die, who they are with when they die. It’s one of the last things that these patients feel that they can control in their life. This is why hospice is so important. My faith can possibly give one hope, peace and maybe some answers to unanswered questions along with comforting support.” (Personal Interview, Patient E. D. December 2013) Assessment
“The patient’s needs and beliefs can guide the assessor in terms of how the patient wants to utilize spiritual or religious beliefs in their care or treatment.” Which means that the nurse that is doing the assessment must be comfortable in their own spirituality to listen with an open mind so that they can adequately hear what the patient is needing to heal themselves physically by means of their spiritually means. If the nurse is not comfortable in their own beliefs and not have an open mind that they might not hear or be comfortable that the patient might need to say a prayer to whom they believe to gather their strength to get and walk after hip surgery or before they hear the pending news that could change their life such as “Cancer – yes or no?” and how they cope with that answer. That prayer or reading from their scripture that they believe in before they do a certain task could provide them strength to get through all the bad times. Provide them the peace of mind to push forward to heal themselves from the illness that they have or deal with not being able to heal and make the necessary arrangements for their pending death if possible. Conclusion
To provide an accurate spiritual-needs assessment as I stated above you must have a clear and open mind, a complete understanding and comfort ability with your own faith and know what questions to ask to get to answers you are searching for to help the patient heal from their illness that they are fighting. Without being in tune with what the patient needs that can make
their healing time just that much longer.
“Evaluating your Spiritual Assessment Process” Joint Commission: The Source, February 2005, Volume 3, Issue 2 Copyright 2005 Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations retrieved from http://www.pastoralreport.com/archives/spiritual.pdf
“Five (5) Questions” Personal Patient Interview – E.D. December 2013 “Spiritual Assessment” Joint Commission. Nov 2008. Retrieved from http://www.jointcommission.org/standards_information/jcfaqdetails.aspx?StandardsFaqId=290&ProgramId=1