Medic:Do you believe in a spiritual aspect of life that helps you deal withlife challenges?
Medic:What do you consider as a source of hope and strength?
Patient:My belief in the Roman Catholic Church.
Medic:What is the background of your faith?
Patient:The background of my faith is the belief in life after death. For oneto live after dying, they must be pure in soul, by confessingtheir sins regularly.
Medic:What is your view of death?
Patient:My view of death is that everybody will die at a given point in time.God calls each person in his due time. Human beings should alwaysbe ready for death (remaining pure in soul).
Medic:Do you think your illness can cause death?
Patient:Yes, if that is the plan of God, then it can cause death.
Whatwent well was that the patient gave the information regarding hisspiritual life that was affecting his health. The patient displayedthat his religion was very important if he wanted to obtain goodhealth. The health care giver was also able to be empathetic enoughtowards the patient, hence achieving positive results. Given anopportunity, I would change the aspect of training of healthcaregivers. I would undergo training before carrying out a spiritualneeds assessment (Fitchett, 2013). This should be part of the routineand history of the medical practitioners. When the health care giversare trained in carrying out a spiritual screening, they will be ableto understand what the patient is communicating and the problems thepatient is facing because of his aspect of spirituality.
Whileapplying interviewing as an assessment tool, there were barriers thatinhibited me from completing the whole process in the best way. Thesebarriers were aspects such as lack of time and experience, and thethought that it is not in the jurisdiction of medical practitionersto deal with spiritual issues. The aspect of time was a challengebecause the medical practitioner was expected to handle several otherpatients. Time allocated to each patient was, therefore limited. Themedical practitioner did not have adequate experience to handle thespiritual needs of the patient as well. Lastly, medical practitionersstill have a notion that they are not always concerned with thespiritual needs of patients, making it difficult to conduct thisparticular assessment (Murray, Kendall, Boyd, Worth & Benton,2004). I would address the aspect of time by giving the patients whoneed a spiritual needs assessment appointment on different days, sothat they can have more time. I would research more on the aspect ofspiritual needs assessment so that I am also able to handle thespiritual needs of a patient regardless of me being a medicalpractitioner.
Thespiritual experience with the patient was a very positive one,because I was able to care for the patient’s needs holistically,and I developed several diverse issues with regard to the patient’shealth and his ability to cope with the disease. I could thereforeunderstand the situation the patient was in better. Illness andstress amplified the spiritual concern of the patient, because thepatient felt that if he continued ailing, it was likely for him todie. The patient was worried about his spirituality because if hedied, his soul would leave his body with a desire to go to heaven.The patient, therefore, felt an urge to repent his sins during theperiod he was ailing, so that in case he dies, God accepts his soulin heaven.
Fitchett,G. (2013). AssessingSpiritual Needs: a guide for caregivers.Augsburg Fortress.
Murray,S., Kendall, M., Boyd, K., Worth, A., & Benton, T. (2004).Exploringthe spiritual needs of people dying of lung cancer or heart failure:a prospective qualitative interview study of patients and theircaregivers.Palliative medicine.