Who can give ‘spiritual care’? The management of spiritually sensitive interactions between nurses and patients
Article first published online: 10 JUL 2012
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Nursing Management
Special Issue: This issue: Perspectives on spirituality - opportunities and challenges for nurse managers and leaders Issue editors: Fiona Timmins and Wilf McSherry
Volume 20, Issue 8, pages 981–989, December 2012
How to Cite
KEVERN, P. (2012), Who can give ‘spiritual care’? The management of spiritually sensitive interactions between nurses and patients. Journal of Nursing Management, 20: 981–989. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01428.x
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2012
- Article first published online: 10 JUL 2012
- Accepted for publication: 28 March 2012
- post critical;
kevern p. (2012) Journal of Nursing Management 20, 981–989 Who can give ‘spiritual care’? The management of spiritually sensitive interactions between nurses and patients
Aims This article considers the purpose of contemporary ‘spiritual care’ in order to help managers make informed decisions about its appropriate delivery in a clinical context.
Background Although there are national policies in place concerning spiritual care, surveys indicate that nurses are reluctant to engage with the spiritual needs of patients.
Evaluation A consideration of the character of spiritual care indicates the need to take account of the context of contemporary Western society. A model drawn from the social psychology of religion is used to analyse the different types of nurse–patient interaction available in the provision of spiritual care.
Key Issues Although religious and spiritual commitments can vary widely, they are subject to the same pressures in a secular and pluralist social context. This enables some general guidelines to be developed.
Conclusions Effective spiritual care requires a consideration of both the patient’s and the nurse’s implicit and explicit religious commitments.
Implications for nursing management Nurse managers need to take account of the personal commitments of nurses when directing them to offer spiritual care. This article offers a diagnostic tool for deploying nurses in an appropriate way.