Spiritual Support: A Coping Strategy for Patients
Disasters create several challenges on the psychological and spiritual wellbeing of victims. The challenges have severe effects on communities, individuals, and healthcare providers who encounter them. Kung, Wang, Liu, Goldmann, and Huang (2019) confirm many cases of mental health challenges on the Asian American affected by 9/11 attacks. According to the author, a high number of Asian Americans were affected by the attacks, yet their conservative culture has not supported them to manage the effects. Mental challenges occur in individuals or communities in various post-traumatic situations. The authors aver that people are affected by unmet mental healthcare needs after such disasters. Accordingly, such challenges emanate from losses related to the death of loved ones, financial losses, bodily harm, and other severe effects, such as prolonged illness and lifestyle adjustments among other aspects. Although disasters create various effects on individuals and communities, healthcare workers can play a significant role to manage such effects through spiritual guidance to patients, which would assist them in coping with the situation.
Spirituality enhances the healing process for patients. According to Giske and Cone (2015), spiritual considerations are central in the healing process of patients with various exposures, including disasters. The authors further demonstrate that spirituality is part of the holistic care expected of a nurse professional. Nursing care theories are entrenched in spiritual support as an integrated approach to comprehensive care. Accordingly, the nursing care ensures that human rights, dignity, values and spiritual beliefs of the patients, family or the entire community are met (Giske & Cone, 2015). Baldacchino (2015) avers that when a nurse professional provides spiritual care, patients are encouraged through faith and hence, they conceptualize themselves as individuals created and loved by their creator irrespective of their illnesses. Therefore, when nursing care focuses on spiritual guidance, patients become mentally stable, while the healing process is accelerated, leading to enhanced health outcomes.
Extended spiritual care is significant in nursing practice. According to Baldacchino (2015), when nurses visit the patient’s family or an individual with a terminal illness and provide spiritual advice, patients develop a coping mechanism. Spiritual guidance promotes holistic nursing care. Furthermore, Baldacchino (2015) indicates that the personal spirituality of a healthcare professional is a predictor of the capacity to provide spiritual guidance to patients. Therefore, a professional nurse should offer spiritual guidance to patients for enhanced healthcare needs. When nurses provide divine guidance, they help patients to experience better health outcomes.
As it is evident from the discussion, disasters create various mental, financial, and health challenges to individuals, families, and communities. Healthcare workers, such as nurses, may offer spiritual guidance to patients to support them develop a coping mechanism. Spirituality is an important tool in enhancing healthcare for patients. Nurse professionals who provide care to patients in natural disaster situations can initiate the healing process by integrating spirituality into practice and care. Additionally, professional nurses are expected to have basic spirituality to manage guidance and spiritual support to patients. Besides, understanding the faith of individuals, families, and community may enhance the delivery of quality care. Spiritual care enhances hope, build confidence in patients, and helps patients to develop positivity, which stimulates the healing process. Therefore, nurse professionals play a critical role in managing both clinical and spiritual support for patients, to achieve a holistic healing experience. Spiritual support also integrates patients’ families and other relatives to enhance the healing process.