|By RN1, SD, MSNurs, Lecturer, international co-ordinator, Kirsten Haugaard Christensen
VIA University College, Faculty of Health Sciences, Denmark
Post Conference Ressources
PowerPoint – download here
Audio Presentation – listen here
Article – download here
The purpose of the study on which this presentation is based was to explore how Danish registered nurses understand the phenomenon of spiritual care and how their understanding impacts on their interventions with their patients.
Nurses are responsible for the provision of care which respects patients’ values, religion, customs, and spiritual beliefs. Literature however revealed that the phenomenon of spiritual care is complex and variously interpreted, and that there seems to be a lack of conceptual clarity regarding what constitutes spiritual care.
A phenomenological and hermeneutic approach rooted in the philosophy of Gadamer was chosen as methodology. In-depth interviews were used as data collection tool, and six registered nurses who worked within hospital settings in Denmark were interviewed.
The findings revealed that deep knowing of the patients were essential before nurses would engage in provision of spiritual care. The participants acknowledged that their understanding of spirituality influenced their provision of spiritual care, which was recognized as a challenge requiring the nurse’s initiative and courage. Spirituality was primarily understood as a patient’s private area and the chaplain was seen as the closest collaborator regarding the provision of spiritual care to patients.