Sunday, July 20, 2008


alex said...

A Nursing View
Secular Nursing Theory Fit or Conflict with Christ Centered Nursing Practice

Furqan Khan, RN
Nursing Theory and Advanced Practice

One of the tenets of the early Christian church was to care for orphans, the poor, and the sick. For centuries nursing was linked to the church where the ideals of self-sacrifice, compassion, comfort and service to mankind prevailed. Christian nursing is a ministry of compassionate care for the whole person, in response to God grace towards a sinful world, which aims to foster optimum health and bring comfort in suffering and death for anyone in need. Christian nursing model is further defined as an intellectual concept or a Meta physical event. It is hands on, patient centered, physical, psychosocial and spiritual intervention to meet the needs of a patient regardless of how the nurse feels (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Christian nursing model is structured and complete; it is compassionate, holistic, spiritual, and humanistic.
Secular nursing model focuses on humanistic and scientific view. Holistic, spiritual and religious needs of an individual are disregarded. In a secular care setting chaplains are utilized to meet the spiritual and religious needs of the patient and nurses are not allowed to use holistic and spiritual care. Essence of nursing is in providing holistic, spiritual, unbiased and compassionate care to those who are sick and ill. Spiritual care means putting people in touch with God through compassionate presence, active listening, witness, prayer, Bible reading and partnering with the body of Christ. It is never coercive or rude (Shelly & Miller, 2006). Preventing nurses to pray with their patients and to discuss spirituality is like eliminating compassion in nursing care.
Secular nursing theory conflicts with Christian nursing model but Christian model does not conflict with the secular nursing theory because the ultimate aim of spiritual and holistic nursing care is to have strong faith in God and fellowship with his people. Christian nursing is a ministry of compassionate care; it facilitates to find the meaning in suffering and death. Anticipating a person’s physical needs, being willing to cheerfully handle foul smelling excrement and bodily discharges, offering a gentle touch or a helping hand all communicate personal dignity and worth. They are just as much spiritual care as prayer and Bible reading. Spiritual care is a way of life that involves walking together with the Lord (Shelly & Miller, 2006).
While Secular nursing model allows for each member of the patient’s care team to focus on their individual responsibilities and thereby allowing the nurse to remain detached from the spiritual healing aspects of patient care, adopting Christian nursing model may afford the nurse the opportunity to experience the gratification and rewards associated with addressing all of their patients’ needs in a holistic manner.

Shelly, J., Miller A. (2006). Called To Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing.
(2nd Edition). Illinois: Intervarsity Press

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