Religions and spiritual beliefs


Since sister Mary is a Nun within the Roman Catholic church there is a high probability she prefers faith based medical care which not only encompasses science-based medicine but religion as well. Many aspects of modern medicine are cohesive with the Christian faith; however, she may require assistance in decision making through support from church leaders, another nun or support from her Mother Superior. The above-mentioned diagnostic plan may not compromise her religious views but offering additional support reduces the stress she may be experiencing, especially in the emergency department which allows her to be more focused and engaged when it comes to her discharge teachings. Depending on how Sister Mary functions within the church, her life in general, and following the incident which brought her to the ED she may need a caregiver present to assist with care and discharge teaching or someone who can make decisions for her. The ED nurse is responsible for assessing level of consciousness, GCS and potentially a NIH to determine her cognitive functioning and adjust care accordingly. If Sister Mary is admitted into the inpatient unit these care adjustments should be relayed during report to the inpatient nurse. Additionally, the ED nurse can put in a consult for pastoral/spiritual services to be involved in care if the patient or patient representative wishes, or if the visitor policy allows having her own religious leaders present during hospitalization.

Falvo, D.R. (2011), Effective patient education: A guide to increased adherence guide-to-increased-adherence_ebook_4e.php



As healthcare professionals increasing our knowledge of different religions and spiritual beliefs can help us understand how a patient might make healthcare chooses. Roman Catholic religion believes health is to be understood holistically (Hamel, 1996). This means to treat the whole patient mind, body, and sole. When caring for Sister Mary assessing her life situations will help identify and understand her beliefs, perspectives, and priorities. The use of patient-centered teaching will help with identifying psychosocial factors and incorporate them along with helping to establish a trusting relationship. During initial assessment acknowledging Sister Mary’s religious views can help the healthcare professional be more culturally sensitive. The healthcare professional should try not to force their religious ideas on to their patients because it can cause the patient additional stress. With knowledge of the catholic religion, Sister Mary may want to keep her crucifix or rosary beads when going to each medical procedure making her healthcare experience more pleasant.

Hamel, R. P. (1996). The Roman Catholic tradition: Religious beliefs and healthcare decisions.

Falvo, D. (2011). Effective Patient Education: A Guide To Increased Adherence. Retrieved from

Puchalski C. M. (2001). The role of spirituality in health care. Proceedings (Baylor University. Medical Center)14(4), 352–357.

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