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Spirituality Health Assessment

Unlike other aspects of healthcare, spirituality, holding profound significance in shaping overall well-being, is often overlooked. It contains beliefs, practices, and values that drive people to manage challenges in life as they choose their ways of deriving meaning from within. As a nurse, understanding the impact of spirituality is critical but requires that one begins with a process of self-reflection before embarking on an assessment of others. This paper presents my view of spirituality and religious practice. It provides the view of a colleague interviewed on the same using the FICA spiritual history tool, highlighting how spirituality practices might impact nursing care. In addition, the paper highlights the research findings on how spiritual practices would impact the care one receives in the event of a health crisis.

Personal Views of Spirituality and Religious Practices

My Christian upbringing has shaped the nature of my spiritual journey. Despite not being super devout, Christianity has become a foundational aspect of my identity that forms and leads me into how I practice nursing. To me, Christianity is not only a belief system but also a framework that guides how I perceive the world around me and, thus, patient interaction. Founded on love, forgiveness, and kindness, Christianity serves as a moral compass in my nursing career, ensuring that I uphold patients’ dignity and inherent worth irrespective of the patient’s religion or spirituality. Therefore, it is through this religion that has shaped my spirituality that I am able to approach patients with a mindset and character grounded on acts of empathy with the acknowledgment of their spiritual dimensions.

In addition, being a Christian does not imply that my actions or beliefs are circumscribed by overt ritual practice. There is always a need to ensure that our religion does not leave us blind to other important aspects like medicine. For example, I do not substitute instances that require medical check-ups with prayers; instead, the two are complementary. Also, having an open and empathetic mindset helps me consider the spiritual aspect of patients alongside their physical health and incorporate both to ensure comprehensive treatment. Further, I also view the healing from my Christian point of view. Although I can comprehend the medical and scientific notion of healthcare, I believe healthcare involves hope, resilience, and other aspects positively correlated to wellness. In all my encounters, I have created an ambiance that appreciates variation in religious affiliation and is diverse since everyone feels knowledgeable about the predicament.

Spirituality and Religion of the Interviewee

I interviewed a colleague regarding her religion and spirituality. The interview was aimed at understanding her faith and spirituality, which is grounded in Christianity. While I am a protestant, the interviewee abides by Catholicism. Via the interview, superior attachment to Catholic rituals and sacraments proved the importance of such practices for forming a spiritual identity. In the catholic church, the monk and the nuns should always manifest humility, not in a particular place but at all times and places (Quartier, 2020). This explains why the interviewee’s behavior is grounded on humility, which can even expose them to mistreatment as he always wills to maintain humility. For the interviewee, Catholicism means a strong faith that informs judgment and gives comfort in tough times.

The interviewee highlighted the importance of their religion in life. Besides the significance of sacraments, communal worship, and moral values in shaping their spirituality, it constitutes fundamental elements that shape individuals’ common worldview, which influences daily life decisions and overall perception. This goes in line with the study by Clark (2019) that centers on Catholicism as a common identity and its holding solidarity as a central aspect that has been enhanced by the current leader, Pope Francis. Therefore, this religion has played a significant part in developing a sense of community and connection. As a result, the interviewee depicts a strong sense of connectedness to the community of believers, underscoring the importance of communal worship in Catholicism. These shared values and support within the community play a pivotal role in the interviewee’s spiritual life.

The interviewee, when asked about how the aspects of his religion or spirituality can be addressed in healthcare, answered vividly. She claimed that there is a need for care providers to be trained to recognize and acknowledge religion-based differences that can shape the spirituality of individuals differently. Thus, she called for the respect and acknowledgment of the catholic faith and practice, citing that it helps the care seeker not only move towards recovery but also restore their emotional well-being and experience satisfaction. This preference depicts a reflection of the need for all care providers to ensure that they are aware of the differences that different religions need to ensure patient-specific care is attained.

Impact of Spiritual Practice on Nursing Care of Interviewee

A person’s religion or spirituality can shape their nursing care in times of healthcare crisis. As evident through the interview, religion can create opportunities in access to care or create obstacles. For instance, Catholics who have a firm attachment to the sacrament practice, like the anointing of the sick, can have the notion of practicing their ritual rather than seeking health care. This shows how religion can shape the choice of healthcare practices as individuals seek to remain consistent with their religion. Nevertheless, some medical practices like abortion required during health crises contradict the teachings of Catholic ethics. Therefore, such practices call for open communication aiming to address the existing reservations. Notably, the communal aspect of Catholic worship suggests that social support provided by the faith community should be incorporated into the care plan. It also means that a patient-centered approach unites an interviewee’s spiritual beliefs with their medical concerns, thus encouraging patient-nurse collaborative and empathetic healthcare experience.

Incorporation of Spiritual Practice into Plan of Care

Current research shows that despite tremendous advances in global health outcomes, the need to include spiritual practices in the patient-specific care plan is still a significant concern. Spiritual care entails the attitude and behavior shaped by nurses or care providers’ spiritual values, including dignity, goodness, and care for others. It has been found that harmonizing healthcare interventions with patients’ spiritual beliefs increases the ability to meet patients’ spiritual needs, thus supporting achievements (Hu et al., 2019). Also, spiritual competence leads to patient dissatisfaction with emotional health, silence, and compliance with medical recommendations. For instance, patients treated according to their spiritual values have better coping methods, especially in a health crisis.

Additionally, initiating spiritual perception discussions leads to the development of patient-provider relationships, thus increasing the understanding of patients’ needs (Abdulla et al., 2019). Besides being an objective humanitarianism, this method has a positive effect on the level of patient care. First, creating care plans that fit patients’ spiritual identities as an achievable strategy requires understanding one’s relationship between the mind and the physical body. Identifying and implementing such distinctive elements will contribute to improving healthcare delivery, taking into account beliefs and practices.


The role of spiritual assessment in health care remains underestimated, although it has a vital role in patient outcomes and healthcare conduct. A crucial part of providing holistic and patient-centered care is to address and treat the spiritual characteristics inherent in people. Besides revealing personal beliefs, values, and practices, spiritual assessments provide meanings and enhance coping mechanisms, decision-making processes, and supportive information. Incorporation of spiritual assessments in clinical practice implies that health practitioners will be able to identify interventions consistent with patients’ religion or spiritual practices, which leads to a greater level of patient-centeredness and culturally sensitive practice. Also, it leads to better communication, trust, and service satisfaction. The holistic inclusion of patients into the healthcare system presented a richer experience full of compassion as varied perspectives were valued for improved delivery of care.


Abdulla, A., Hossain, M., & Barla, C. (2019). Toward Comprehensive Medicine: Listening to Spiritual and Religious Needs of Patients. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine5, 233372141984370.

Clark, M. J. (2019). Pope Francis and the Christological Dimensions of Solidarity in Catholic Social Teaching. Theological Studies80(1), 102–122.

Hu, Y., Jiao, M., & Li, F. (2019). Effectiveness of spiritual care training to enhance spiritual health and spiritual care competency among oncology nurses. BMC Palliative Care18(1).

Quartier, T. (2020). Monastic Form-of-Life Out of Place: Ritual Practices among Benedictine Oblates. Religions11(5), 248.


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