Custom «Spiritual Needs Assessment» Essay Paper Sample

Spiritual Needs Assessment

Spiritual needs assessment is a way in which care givers can identify spiritual needs of a patient mainly concerning their mental and physical health. This holistic care was first introduced by Florence Nightingale who realized that any anguish that is spiritual can manifest itself in all physical forms of ailments and can also bring healing on the physical body if well utilized. There are various commissions that detail spiritual needs assessment and they are JCAHO and CARF among others. According to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Organizations (JCAHO) and Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), there are certain requirements and guidelines that should be followed and implemented.

Spiritual assessment tool

  1. What was your spiritual background when you were growing up?
  2. How do you view your spirituality and how do you express it?
  3. Do you play any role in your place of worship e.g. in church?
  4. In what ways has the illness affected you and your family? Explain.
  5. Do you find any meaning in your suffering?

Assessment findings

During the assessment finding, the patient believes in the existence of a Higher Deity, a higher power than that of man the very main source of his strength. His background is from a strong Catholic background and a participating choir member in his church. His illness had has a negative effect as his case is terminal. There is no cure for him as he suffers prostate cancer. He feels remorse and guilt that his family is using up their family savings to pay for his hospital bills which are very expensive. He is in constant wonder if he will pull though to see his family get a chance to live a good life and put his children through good schools, though the chance of making it is very minimal. He finds his suffering to be a calling of change from God and he wills to forgive those who have wronged him in the past. He is ready to meet his maker and that has put him at ease with little or no anxiety expressed. There is a significant discovery to this patient as he becomes more willing to talk and has a sense of humor despite his condition. He states that he feels pain though it does not always register especially when there are people surrounding him and constantly talking to him. He is finding a deeper meaning to life as he constantly talks about life and what it means to him. After having open ended conversations, the patient was more willing to talk concerning issues that I asked. He however has misgivings if he would change any thing incase he was given a second chance to live (Hodge, 2003).

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Barriers and challenges

If one has not had any previous teaching or knowledge in how to handle spiritual needs assessment, there is always the notion that one is not giving the patient a chance to believe that he or she might be cured, but is making them believe they might die very soon.  There are various challenges to over come especially with patients who are terminally ill such as constant and frequent states of depression and anxiety. Further more, in this case there was the problem of language barrier and a translator was required. With the patients illness, it was difficult to get him talking as he was in a state of depression and in other cases he did not wish to talk even to his family due to feelings of guilt and constant questionings why it has to be him. There were issues arising over euthanasia. He feels it’s not right to put his family through this pain though on the other hand he does not want to play God (Heitkamp, 2003).

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Change in assessment to address future challenges

To counter the various challenges met, there should be increased comfort and personal contact given to patients. There should also be informed decisions on spiritual values such as euthanasia and other forms of guilt. Anxiety should be alleviated on spiritual concerns and fears. There should also be answers to psychological questions which might be posed by the patient such as abandonment, what dying feels like and how to best utilize the remaining time they have left. Caregivers should have translator who will aid in cases of language barriers. And a preacher or whoever might be available from a religious background e.g. a church should constantly be available in case the patient is willing to have confessions. Families should be advised to show strength and in constant connection with the patient and any conversations with the patient should carry encouragement. Incases where one is to undergo an operation or whose physical appearance might be altered e.g. in am amputation, the doctors should communicate the problems or challenges that the patient might undergo and how to overcome them after the operation. This should also include the family members if any is available.

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Spiritual experience

Having talked to the patient for a while, there is a defined moment when you relate to your own spirituality, whether I have it right with my creator or whether there is anything I would do differently given a second chance. There are views of timely and untimely deaths. Though he sees his death coming, what happens to those who never have the chance to have a one on one spiritual needs assessment? This comes of help as future spiritual needs assessment will entail more knowledge in what the patient needs to know and exactly what questions asked give a better definition of the patient’s background, knowledge of life, meaning and reduced anxiety and how best to accept what has exactly happened to them.  The patient should be put in a comfort state in which he or she is willing to share.

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