Spiritual Needs Assessment and Reflection
Central to this discussion is coming up with an interview tool that will help me evaluate the spiritual status of an individual. Also, an analysis of the interaction with the client is of the essence. In light of this information, I will be able to gain more insights about spiritual assessment.
Part 1: Spiritual Needs Assessment Interview
- What is your religious affiliation?
I am a Christian who attends the church every Sunday to worship God.
- What are your spiritual-based preferences that a health care professional must include in your plan of care?
As a Christian, I prefer not taking any interventions that do not allow the God’s will to have its way. As such, I am not a supporter of some medical interventions such as family planning and organ transplantation.
- Are you ascribed to a faith group within your community that you interact with them often?
Currently, I am a member of a church prayer group that meets every Wednesday for prayer sessions.
- How can a medical professional strengthen your faith when offering medical care services?
I prefer medical personnel that will aim at establishing my spiritual concerns and those that will invite me to pray with them because I believe that medics treat, but God heals.
- Would you mind praying with your attending nurse or doctor during interacting with either?
No. That is the case because I trust in prayers, as they are the only means to reaching my God when in need of anything.
Following my interaction with a 40-year-old African-American woman of the Christian religion, I am a strong believer that an analysis of the interview is worthwhile. That is the case since it will forge a new understanding of conducting a spiritual assessment. That said, this section aims to achieve this objective.
Upon reflecting on the interview process, I believe I was able at the least to establish the patient’s belief and spiritual inclination as well as practices that she holds at heart. Strengthening my claim of my success in these identified areas is the Joint Commission on Accreditation’s (2010) specification of an effective spiritual assessment. According to this body, the minimum information of spiritual assessment must establish the patient’s faith background, denomination and beliefs as well as religious practices that are a necessity to a patient/client (Joint Commission, 2010).
Looking back at the tool completion, I believe it came with one challenge that I have to address in future if I am to have a comprehensive spiritual assessment tool. Primarily, the problem of establishing the patient’s religious struggles was evident. Koenig, King, and Carson, (2012) are of the opinion that religious struggles of an individual account for a significant number of patient mortality. Thus, one must find out the spiritual struggles during the assessment of a patient’s religious status to overcome this challenge. In this case, it was inevitable given that my tool failed to capture this crucial bit of information. As such, I partially determined the spiritual needs of this patient.
Going forward from this experience onwards, I am of the belief that this identified challenge will be non-existent if I can come up with a more definitive form of an improved interview tool. Religious conflict is a significant problem that requires early detection to enhance the chances of having good health outcomes (Koenig, King, & Carson, 2012). To that effect, I intend to incorporate some items that will facilitate my determination of the patient’s struggles with much ease. Central to the establishment of a patient’s struggles is three elements that I will seek to identify. Firstly, I opt to find out whether the patient questions God’s love for him/her because of the illness. Secondly, in my future assessments, I will ask the clients if the disease has led them to think that God has forsaken them. Lastly, I will also aim at establishing the patient’s viewpoint on who he/she thinks is the source of his/her current predicaments. A positive response on any of these elements will point to the fact that this patient is experiencing a religious struggle that needs the fastest attention.
That said, my implication for future practice from this experience is that use of this tool will assist me in offering appropriate client-centered interventions. A case in point of this possibility is evident through the ability to establish one’s religious struggles and instituting measures that will bring them to a stop. For instance, referring the patient to a religious leader after determining that he/she has difficulty in spiritual coping is an important intervention that can facilitate spiritual coping. Evidently, this is reason enough to point out to the fact that spiritual assessment tools are essential for the determination of the patient’s needs.
Finally, a significant deduction from this exercise is that the patient’s illness and stress amplified the spiritual concerns and needs. Consistent with this finding is the assertion that the illness of an individual heightens the spiritual tussle and needs within him/her that a medical professional must address if one is to have the best health care outcomes (Strada, et. al, 2013). Similarly, this was apparent in this case, since the patient requested me to pray with her because she needed God’s intervention. Apparently, this depicts the role played illness in intensifying the spiritual needs within a patient.
In conclusion, this exercise was a good experience that has helped me to appreciate the value of a spiritual needs assessment. As such, in the days to come I choose to go by this practice as it will ensure that my patients have maximal satisfaction following my attention on their
Joint Commission. (2010). Advancing effective communication, cultural competence, and patient-and family-centered care: A roadmap for hospitals. Joint Commission.
Koenig, H., King, D., & Carson, V. B. (2012). Handbook of religion and health. Oup USA.
Strada, E. A., Homel, P., Tennstedt, S., Billings, J. A., & Portenoy, R. K. (2013). Spiritual well-being in patients with advanced heart and lung disease. Palliative and Supportive Care, 11(03), 205-213.