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Spirituality in Nursing


Spiritualityin Nursing

Spiritualityin Nursing

Nursingis a profession that offers central care to ailing and agonizingpatients. Primarily, nurses encounter patients at different stages ofsuffering, especially from terminal diseases as cancer. Such patientsexhibit the stages of grieving as they are highlighted by K. Ross.Ross developed the model and stages of grieving following herexperience with patients, friends and family of individuals who werefaced with death in a matter of time. As the individuals came toterms with the impending death, Ross’s the various stages ofgrieving, namely denial, anger, bargaining, depression andacceptance, were unveiled in the individuals. The grievingindividuals turn to a supreme being in search for relief and mercy.The paper will explore the spirituality of nursing with regard to thefive stages of grieving, which will be related to the grievingstories in the religious domain (Christianity and Islam).

Thebible presents a story of grief from extremly faithful man, Job. Asthe story goes, Satan questioned Job’s faith to God and he daredGod to allow him, Satan, to lead Job into denouncing his faith toGod. Apparently, God allowed Satan to try Job in every possible wayon condition that he left Job’s heart intact (The Book of Job:Authorized King James version, 1999). It is said that Job losteverything including his children, wealth and health in a very shorttime. Although Job remained faithful during the entire period oftemptation, he was grieving the loss of his children and property. Onthe same note, Job’s wife could not help but portray the grievingstages as they are suggested by Ross. The wife openly denied thefact that God could allow such things to happen to Job, especiallyconsidering that Job was an all-time faithful and obedient man to God(The Book of Job: Authorized King James version, 1999). The grievingprocess progressed to anger as the wife encouraged job to abuse Godand die instead of suffering. Then there was bargaining, depressionand eventual acceptance of the entire pain only after Job reassuredhis wife that God was with them.

Thesame process of grieving is also unveiled in Islam region through thestory of Ya’qub who grieved his sons`s bereavement (Yusuf).Incidentally, when Ya’qub received the news that his son was dead,Ya’qub did not believe the entire story. This describes the denialaspect of the grieving process. It is clearly stated that Ya’qubremained in denial for a long period believing that Allah will bringhis son back to him someday. Eventually, Ya’qub developed stressthat progressed to depression causing him to lose his sight. Ya’qubdedicated his suffering to Allah and begged for his mercy in theentire period, that Allah protects his sons and brings them back home(Ibn &amp Mubārakfūri, 2003). The same grieving was repeatedwhen his youngest boy, Binyamin was left behind over the allegationsof stealing.

Inas much as Ross describes the process of grieving in stages thatfollow each other in a logical sequence, it is worth noting that thegrieving process may vary from person to person or with differentsituations (Barnum, 2006). In Jobs case, the entire process followsthe stages as they are suggested, by Ross. Imperatively, the initialstage of denial is clearly evidenced, especially in the wife who wasnot a strong believer, as well as the last stage of acceptance.However, things were different with the story of Ya’qub. Ya’qublived with denial and believed that his son, Yusuf, was alive andthat he would see Yusuf again (Ibn &amp Mubārakfūri, 2003).Yaqub prayed to Allah to show mercy and protect his sons from anyevil. Different from Job, Ya’qub was eaten up by depression, whichdeveloped from the pain of losing his son. Eventually, Yaqub lost hissight to depression and this subsided when he met his son Yusufagain, in a foreign land.

Onthe other hand, there is a strong similarity between the two stories.Primarily, the two personalities, Job and Ya’qub, turned to theirfaith in God and Allah respectively for peace and mercy (Ibn &ampMubārakfūri, 2003). The faith of the two individuals helped themsurvive the grave grieving process and pain in their lives.

Joyis a direct opposite of grief as the former involves a series ofheightened positive emotions in an individual. Although bothprocesses share the aspect of emotional states for individuals, joyis inclined towards happiness resulting from pleasant encounters inlife (Mauk &amp Schmidt, 2004). Joyful moments bring laughter andhappiness in the life of the individuals involved, as well asfacilitating a substantial improvement in the health of the peopleconcerned (Barnum, 2006). For instance, the blessing of bearing achild in a family is always meted with joy and happiness. On the samenote, other pleasant events as a wedding are given equal emotional(positive) investment.

Thoughnot entirely, it has become apparent that the research is consistentwith my approach to grief. Apparently, grieving is a natural way ofaddressing the loss of something that had measurable meaning in one’slife. People identify with things and persons that are significant intheir lives and the loss of such people results to sadness and griefas one adapts to the difficult situation (McSherry, 2006). Theresearch made it clear that religion and faith are extremely vital inthe entire grieving process. There is a belief that sufferingrepresents punishment from God due to transgressions committed byhumans (Mauk &amp Schmidt, 2004). Therefore, it is vital for nursingprofessions to understand the religious beliefs of patients as theydesign patient care, as well as treatment plans. The health of anindividual can be greatly affected, by faith of the individual and sois the healing process.


Barnum,B. S. (2006).&nbspSpiritualityin nursing: from traditional to new age.New York: Springer Pub. Co. Pbk.

Ibn,K. I. U., &amp Mubārakfūri,S. -R. (2003).&nbspTafsiribn Kathir: (abridged).Riyadh: Darussalam.

Mauk,K. L., &amp Schmidt, N. A. (2004).&nbspSpiritualcare in nursing practice.Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams &amp Wilkins.

McSherry,W. (2006).&nbspMakingsense of spirituality in nursing and health care practice: Aninteractive approach.London: J. Kingsley.

TheBook of Job: Authorized King James version.(1999). New York: Grove Press.