The selected patient for the exercise was one of my friends named Jimmy (not his real name). The respondent was a patient suffering from migraine. The condition was making it impossible for him to focus on his goals and complete most of his responsibilities. He indicated that he was a strong Christian believer. He was keen to get the right medical support and eventually pursue his aims in life. I managed to develop an effective assessment tool to evaluate his spiritual needs. The responses obtained from the individual are discussed in this paper. The reflection also outlines specific ideas that can be studied by nurses to deliver culturally competent care to their patients.
Spiritual Needs Assessment Tool
- What is your source of hope, strength, and courage?
- What is the meaning of pain and suffering?
- What are your spiritual aims?
- How do your faith and religious belief help you cope with your disease?
- What is the meaning of death?
Me: What is your source of hope, strength, and courage?
Interviewee: God is my source of courage, hope, and strength. I always pray for guidance and courage to tackle every obstacle in my life.
Me: What is the meaning of pain and suffering?
Interviewee: Suffering and pain are designed to bring man closer to God. Predicaments and obstacles encourage Christians to re-examine their relationships with God. This is the reason why I believe that my health condition is not a bad thing.
Me: What are your spiritual aims?
Interviewee: My spiritual purpose is to enter God’s kingdom. To achieve this goal, I will always remain faithful, respect others, and uphold God’s commandments. The practice will make it easier for me to establish the best relationship with God.
Me: How do your faith and religious belief help you cope with your disease?
Interviewee: My medical condition has disoriented my goals in life. However, my faith encourages me to seek God’s intervention always. The creator of the universe has the power to heal terminal conditions and guide Christians to realize their objectives.
Me: What is the meaning of death?
Interviewee: Jesus Christ’s life on earth redefined the meaning of death. His resurrection transformed the relationship between God and mankind. Death is, therefore, necessary since it brings every Christian closer to his or her spiritual goals. True believers must die to become part of God’s kingdom and live forever.
What Went Well?
The interviewee for the assessment was an African American aged 28 years. He admitted that his religious values and beliefs had made it easier for him to achieve his goals in life. Several insights and ideas were gained after completing the spiritual needs assessment exercise.
Throughout the interview process, I was able to interact and exchange ideas with the patient. I was able to learn numerous things about Christianity. For example, various practices such as praying and fasting were relevant for members of the religion. I also managed to design and use my spiritual assessment tool successfully. The approach made it easier for me to collect adequate information from my patient. I also understood the importance of focusing on individuals’ spiritual needs whenever developing personalized care delivery models.
Challenges and Solutions
The completed exercise indicates that I managed to develop the assessment tool successfully. However, I designed the tool without involving the targeted respondent. Consequently, the questions might have been biased in one way or another. Additionally, I utilized five short questions to come up with the tool. This approach might have limited the quality of information gained from the patient. The fact that my understanding of different spiritual and religious groups was inadequate might have also affected the effectiveness of the tool.
I will be ready to complete assessment tools that can capture every one of my patients’ spiritual needs in the future. It will also be indispensable to involve my respondents whenever developing the best tools. The practice can ensure personalized assessment tools capable of analyzing the needs of the targeted respondents are designed effectively (Taylor, Nicolle, & Maguire, 2013). I am willing to engage in lifelong learning to understand the unique attributes and values embraced by different religious faiths. The acquired information will make it easier for me to develop better assessment tools.
Using the Tool
The developed tool focused on several attributes such as religious beliefs, the meaning of death, sources of hope and courage, and coping strategies. The insights gained from the patient could be incorporated to develop a better care delivery model. For instance, a proper understanding of a person’s source of hope can guide practitioners to offer adequate support and eventually record positive health results. When the spiritual aims of a person are clearly understood, nurse practitioners can be on the frontline to ensure the best health outcomes are realized (Almutairi, 2015). The approach will support the healing process and make it possible for patients to pursue their goals in life.
Whenever designing the best interventions to meet the needs of the targeted patient, I would incorporate his beliefs and practices, such as prayers and other coping techniques. The understanding would guide me to form a multidisciplinary team composed of religious leaders, family members, and relatives. The approach can ensure the interviewee’s spiritual needs are matched with his health expectations (Almutairi, 2015).
Medications, therapies, prayers, and exercises can be combined to achieve desirable results. The established team can guide the patient to embrace the most appropriate self-care practices while at the same time supporting his spiritual attributes. The main objective is to develop an evidence-based intervention strategy that can ensure culturally competent medical support is available to the respondent.
Illness and Spiritual Needs
The completed exercise showed clearly that illness amplified the spiritual expectations and needs of the patient. For example, the condition was making it hard for him to pursue his goals in life. The health issue, therefore, compelled him to re-pattern his relationship with God. He did so by praying and reading the Holy Bible frequently. The patient also acknowledged that the condition was the reason why he chose to analyze death using various religious teachings and Biblical verses. The patient was also concerned about his condition and chose to repent to achieve eternal life after death. This analysis indicates that the interviewee’s spiritual needs were amplified by the illness.
Nurse practitioners are prepared to offer exemplary and culturally competent care to people from diverse backgrounds. Such professionals must be ready to design appropriate spiritual assessment tools in an attempt to offer high-quality care to their patients. The completed interview has widened my ability to come up with desirable tools to assess the spiritual and health expectations of my patients. I am willing to use this expertise to meet the health needs of every individual in the future.
Almutairi, K. M. (2015). Culture and language differences as a barrier to provision of quality care by the health workforce in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Medical Journal, 36(4), 425-431. Web.
Taylor, S. P., Nicolle, C., & Maguire, M. (2013). Cross-cultural communication barriers in health care. Nursing Standard, 27(31), 35-43. Web.