Spirituality is a sensitive subject, and not everyone is open to discussing one’s beliefs. How well a patient discusses their spirituality is somewhat dependent on the nurse. A caring empathetic nurse is more likely to develop and maintain a holistic rapport and trust with patient. However, their involvement is essential in promoting spiritual health among patients. The difficulty nurses face in implementing spiritual care with patients starts with their incorrect interpretation of the concept of spirituality. Spirituality is defined as an experience that a person has had that gives purpose and meaning to life and death; it may or may not include relationships with God, or other divine power. The key emphasis on a spiritual assessment is to be able to obtain patient information regarding spiritual health in order to plan nursing care.
. Individualized plan of care and increased interaction with patients will make a great impact on patient’s care which will increase the self-esteem of the patient, and allow them to return to productive life style. “Meeting patients’ spiritual needs” is a medical professional duty as defined by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Bensing, 2000). In 2001 JCAHO revised its accrediting standards and it is mandatory to do the spiritual assessment of every client in hospital settings. JCAHO suggests that assessment of patient’s spiritual needs should be carried out not only to determine religious denomination, but also to identify spiritual and religious beliefs and practices especially as related to coping with illness or disability
Spiritual assessment tools are created to gain insight in to one’s or another’s spirituality and to evaluate how individuals practice spirituality in daily life. Many clinicians have developed tools for taking a spiritual history that helps in the recovery process and make the topic cover all the relevant points and easier to remember. FICA is one of the assessment tools among them which are developed by Christina Pulchalski (Pulchalski, 2000). FICA is an acronym for Faith, Importance, Community and Address. The Joint Commission provides some guidelines for creating spiritual assessment tools for evaluating spiritual needs of the patient. When the nurse is unclear or unfamiliar about the patient’s spiritual belief FICA model provides the basis for an organized, open non biased assessment. The author assessed Ms. Gloria 78 years old who got admitted recently with persistent cough and breathing difficulty diagnosed as cancerous lung mass.
While assessing the spiritual needs, five questions were asked to Ms. Gloria.
1) Do you have any spiritual or faith belief?
Gloria answered to the question immediately and verbalized being Catholic
She believes in God and has good faith she also believes that hope is an element of spirit
and as promises from God. Her hope is that the Almighty God helps her to overcome
from the Illness
2) Are there spiritual items or practices that give you spiritual support?
Gloria considers Holy Bible and Rosary as important element in her spiritual life. It
helps her to keep mind calm and clear of disturbing thoughts, and focus on healing
3) How about people or group? Is there someone provides spiritual support?
It is understood that she is an active member of her parish Church. She attends Holy
Mass in every Sunday and participates in charity works organized by Church
. Community members conduct prayer meeting and she participate actively.
4) Is there anything I or someone can assist you with?
Gloria expressed her wish to meet with catholic priest and for healing prayer
5) What you think is going to happen to you?
Gloria was not frightened or sad or hopeless, in fact expressed meaningful and hopeful
about life after death, and. believes that dying is the end of life in earth and entering
to the eternal life....