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Spirituality, The Health Care Professional, and the Spiritual Care Provider

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 types of spiritual care provided by generalists and specialists, their diverse roles in providing spiritual care, and the moral and ethical issues to consider when providing this care. The influence of a healthcare provider’s spirituality on his or her ability to provide spiritual care, as well as the barriers to providing spiritual care to clients, will also be discussed.
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The relationship between healthcare provider and client can provide both with a sense of strength, healing, inner peace, and an interconnectedness that gives meaning to the relationship. This relationship is a deeply spiritual one and results from the sharing of intimate experiences such as birth, death, life-threatening illnesses, emotional chaos, and the issues that arise during healing. By caring, listening, and engendering trust, the healthcare or spiritual care provider and his or her client can form a spiritual relationship that can heal each other.

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

  • Describe the relationship between healthcare providers, spirituality, and religion.
  • Describe the types of spiritual care generalists and specialists and their role in providing spiritual care.
  • Describe the influence of a healthcare provider's spirituality on his or her ability to provide spiritual care.
  • List barriers to providing spiritual care to clients.
  • Explain key moral and ethical considerations when providing spiritual care.

“Spirituality is essential to healthcare. Why? Illness, life stress, and loss can trigger profound spiritual questions in people’s lives that address the very core of one’s humanity” (Taylor, 2007, p. ix). In addition, the relationship that occurs between the healthcare or spiritual care provider and client is a deeply spiritual one and results from the sharing of intimate experiences such as birth, death, life-threatening illnesses, emotional chaos, and the issues that arise during healing.

This relationship can provide both parties with a sense of awe, strength, inner peace, healing, reflection, harmonious interconnectedness, and deep meaning. By caring, listening, and engendering trust, the healthcare or spiritual care provider and his or her client can form a spiritual relationship that can heal each other.

The provision of care and the illness experience can be deeply personal experiences that cause fundamental questions of “why” and “how” to be raised. “Why me?” and “How do I view my relationship with God, Sacred Source, or a Higher Power?” are just some of the questions that lead the care provider (as well as the client) to examine their experiences of pain, suffering, life and death, and injustice. Yet why is this spiritual relationship often difficult to achieve?

Consider the following example:

Doctor, you have just told me I have cancer and I may not survive. I have a wife, three young children, and responsibilities. What happens if I do not survive? What happens if the pain and suffering become more than I can bear? I am afraid. I am afraid that I haven’t been as good a person as I could have been. I am afraid of the pain. I am afraid I will leave my family and never see them again. I am so afraid.

In the above example, the patient is asking several spiritual questions that are critically important to him. How should the physician (or other healthcare provider) answer those questions? What resources does he or she have to assist the patient? How can he or she access those resources?

Healthcare and spiritual care providers are in a unique position to help clients and their families with their spiritual concerns. Since most clients are met as strangers and lack the “baggage” associated with family and friends, they often feel safe sharing their unspoken fears and secret feelings with healthcare or spiritual care professionals (Taylor, 2007).

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
AOTA CEUs:

0.2

Practice Level:

Beginner/Introductory

Content Focus:

Domain of OT

Course Expires:

February 01, 2020

Instructor(s):
  • 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.

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