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Starts at $9.98 per contact hour
Min. Hours $$/Hr
4 hours $8.98
8 hours $7.98
12 hours $6.98
20 hours $5.98
30 hours $4.98

Spiritual Assessment and Spiritual Care

2.0 Contact Hours
Target Audience: Nurses, healthcare professionals, and interested individuals
Purpose/Goal: The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the elements of spiritual care and a spiritual assessment, state the importance of providing this aspect of care, and identify strategies that can ensure a successful spiritual assessment. Several spiritual assessment models are discussed, and the various types of alterations in spiritual integrity are explained. Finally, considerations for the appropriate planning, implementation, and evaluation of spiritual care are examined.
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Spiritual care is an important and necessary part of appropriate patient care, yet many healthcare professionals feel ill equipped to provide it to their clients. When people experience a spiritual crisis and need spiritual care, they may choose to discuss their concerns only if they have been shown respect, understanding, and appreciation by the person(s) caring for them. Thus, understanding spirituality and its impact on well-being is one way to demonstrate respect and appreciation and helps healthcare practitioners provide compassionate and appropriate spiritual care.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Define spiritual care.
  • Describe the components of a spiritual assessment and describe why a spiritual assessment is an important part of client care.
  • Describe strategies that can help ensure a successful spiritual assessment.
  • Discuss several spiritual assessment models.
  • Identify and describe types of alterations in spiritual integrity (spiritual diagnoses).
  • Describe considerations for the planning, implementation, and evaluation of spiritual care.

As the United States becomes more diverse, healthcare providers increasingly encounter religious and cultural diversity while planning and providing care. With the move toward a more holistic and integrative form of care and a rejection—on at least some level— of today’s technology-driven healthcare environment, spirituality occupies a prominent place in the vocabulary (and the profession) of contemporary healthcare providers.

Currently, there is a widespread belief that healthcare providers, especially nurses and physicians, should be competent in assessing their clients’ spiritual needs, but in reality this is not the case. While many healthcare providers have been trained to assess and care for the physical, psychological, emotional, social, and cultural aspects of a client, many have not been adequately trained to deal with the spiritual aspect of care. As different approaches to assessing spirituality are incorporated into a clinical setting, a variety of spiritual assessment tools provide a means for obtaining a deeper understanding of an individual’s spiritual perspective (Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016).

Many professionals feel uncomfortable assessing a client’s spiritual beliefs, others believe they lack time to provide spiritual care, while others believe that developing an instrument to assess a client’s spiritual needs is difficult because of the metaphysical nature of the elements of spirituality (Brush & Daly, 2000; Draper & McSherry, 2002; Rushton, 2014).

No universal agreement exists about the definition of spirituality, and the concept can differ among both clients and healthcare providers (Brush & Daly, 2000; Govier, 2000; Rushton, 2014). This can make spiritual care and spiritual assessment difficult.

In an effort to follow the mandates of regulatory and accrediting bodies as well as a desire to honor their own values and provide the best possible care to clients, healthcare professionals increasingly recognize that clients want a holistic approach to their care.

This holistic approach to care involves assessing a client’s spiritual beliefs. The influence of the New Age movement has also tapped into a deep need for the spiritual, and more and more people— clients and healthcare professionals alike—sense that life needs a source of purpose and direction. The role of today’s healthcare professional is to “hear the patient into speech, to be a midwife of the spirit” (O’Connor, 2001, p. 38). However, health care professions can also benefit from a focus on spirituality. These professions are physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. For health care professionals to be effective in assessing the spirituality and effective as a healing presence for patients and family members, their spirit must be nurtured as well (Gerber, 2011).

While the information presented herein offers some guidelines for effective spiritual assessment, planning, and implementation, it is important to remember that no single approach to spiritual care and spiritual assessment is likely to meet all the needs of all clients. When discussing the process of spiritual assessment, it is important to be respectful of a broad range of world and religious views and to avoid a one-size-fits-all perspective (Burkhardt & Nagai-Jacobson, 2016; Draper & McSherry, 2002).

Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course evaluation form. Certificate of Completion is provided once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.

  • American Board of Managed Care Nursing
  • ANCC - American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association
  • ASWB - Association of Social Work Boards
  • California Board of Registered Nursing
  • California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section
  • District of Columbia Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing
  • Florida Board of Nursing - Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Florida Board of Respiratory Care
  • Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition
  • Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery
  • NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors
Course Expires:

February 01, 2023

  • Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
  • Caroline Young, MPH
Jurisdictional Requirements:

Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation Information.

Accommodations for Disabilities:

Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact us.

Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships:

The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.

Commercial Support:

No commercial support has been received for this activity.

Non-endorsement of products:

Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC approval or endorsement of any commercial product.

Off-label Use of Products:

None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.