Spirituality logoSpiritual practice examples

You may find the following case studies and exercises helpful in exploring spiritual care further.

Case study 3

Case study reflections:

Case study 4


Possible answers:

Spiritual need: identity. Intervention: try and look beyond the appearance of Martha now to see the Martha who once was. The family’s story as well as photographs will help the nurse to reconnect with her identity. Helping the family will also be a way of caring for Martha.

Spiritual need: rediscover belief and faith in God. Intervention: Martha may need to remember old faith experiences. ‘Re-membering’ through religious activity is a means by which one is reconnected to previous experiences in a way that involves more than five senses. Talk to family about what practices were meaningful to Martha prior to her illness and try to facilitate these. Consider involving a chaplain with Martha/family’s permission. Chaplains have extensive training and experience of praying for, with and alongside others. Establishing whether some religious practice – for example, reading of scripture and/or prayer would be helpful to Martha.

Spiritual need: meaning and purpose. Intervention: Together with Martha and family, identify activities that could bring meaning and purpose such as art, walking and try to facilitate these. Possibly use photographs of her trips abroad to encourage discussion. Consider displaying some of Martha’s paintings by her bedside.

Spiritual need: love and belonging. Intervention: encourage visits from old friends and work colleagues. Maintain dignity and modesty. Consider means of minimising incontinence and deal with this sensitively when it occurs.

Reference: McSherry W (2006) Making sense of spirituality in nursing and health care practice, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

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