Nursing and Religion Practice Religion and Nursing essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

Nursing and Religion Practice


Nursing success depends on the ability to put the patient in a state of rest and comfort as much as it is about administering the prescriptions of the doctor. To secure the rest of the patient, nurses need to understand their needs and show respect to their beliefs and values. This requires courteous and open communication with the patient and adopting a patient-centric orientation. Along with other factors, the religious background of the patient makes a lot of difference to their values and expectations. Religious doctrines and practices may differ across religions and denominations such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists and Scientologists and may impose restrictions on certain kinds of interaction between nurse and patient or on certain forms of treatment. Moreover, people with a different religious background are not usually aware of such differences. Therefore, it is necessary for nurses to acquaint themselves with such norms and to communicate with the patient to learn about their specific needs.

Jehovah's Witness and Nursing Practice

Jehovah's Witnesses belong to a Christian denomination of the same name. An organization called Watchtower serves an important community relations function by offering information and guidelines about the beliefs and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses members to the general public through its website. Jehovah's Witnesses believe in their own interpretation of the New and Old Testaments which they believe to be the true word of God (Kitney, Kanani, & De Souza, 2012). They do not believe in the concept of the Trinity of God and in the idea that the soul is mortal. According to their strong belief in the Scripture, they also believe that hellfire does not exist as believed by most other Christians. They believe strongly in the end of the current state of the world as a result of the Armageddon and the creation of the Kingdom of God on earth. They use the term Jehovah to refer to the Creator instead of titles such as God or Lord. They have strong relationships within the community and value it highly.

The beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses that have implications for nursing practice are that they do not accept transfusions of either blood or any blood components, i.e. red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and plasma. According to their beliefs, blood contains life and hence it is sinful to try to sustain life through transfusions of blood (Effa-Heap, 2009). Storing and donating blood is also prohibited (Knox, 2011). However, they are willing to accept substitute treatments for blood transfusions such as pharmaceutical alternatives and even blood fractions such as albumin and hemophiliac. This might create life or death situation in cases of heart surgery, for example (El Azab et al., 2010). If they do take in blood transfusions, they are shunned by their community, even if the transfusion was necessary to prevent death.

The implications for nursing for Jehovah's Witnesses patients are that nurses should respect the patients' decision to refuse blood transfusions (Banja, 2009). When they are considered competent, nurses should ask them for their consent. In other cases, they should accept the blood card or advanced directive. At all times, they should demonstrate supportive behavior and ensure that the patients are fully aware of the consequences of their decisions without putting undue pressure on them.

Islam and Nursing Practice

Islam is the second largest religion in the world and its followers are called Muslims. They main principles of Islam are the belief in monotheism, i.e. The existence of one god named Allah, the prophet hood of Muhammad as the final messenger and the Quran as the revelation of Allah. Islam is a universal religion; therefore it is common to see ethnic and cultural diversity among Muslims. Most Muslims have Arab, African or South Asian ethnicities. Islam places certain obligations on Muslims. They are expected to pray five times a day, which consists of a series of standing, sitting and bowing positions while reciting holy verses. During the lunar month of Ramadan, all adult Muslims are expected to fast from dawn to dusk which includes abstinence from food, drink and sexual relations. However, pregnant, lactating or menstruating women, and sick and travelling people are exempted while they are in that state.

Muslims hold nursing of great value. Rufaidah bint Saad was the first Muslim nurse (Mebrouk, 2008). Muslims believe that saving human life is a noble cause. Therefore, they do not refuse blood transfusions or organ donations provided that it can be reasonably believed that such an action would save the life of the person. Muslims are also forbidden from consuming alcohol, pork and any products or medication made from them, unless an alternative is not available (Charles & Daroszewski, 2012). It is important for nurses to communicate to Muslim patients the contents and composition of any medication or treatment that is being administered. Nurses should also take certain things into view when handling Muslim patients. Islam forbids touching the patient unless required for a procedure (Rafii, Hajinezhad, & Haghani, 2008). Therefore, it is preferable to have a nurse of the same gender handle the patient.

Islam also requires Muslims to wear clothing that is modest and does not reveal the shape of the body. Therefore, appropriate clothing should be provided. Muslim women also cover their head with a scarf, hijab or a chador (common among South Asian women) as a sign of modesty. Nurses should seek permission before removing the head covering or uncovering any part of the body for treatment (Charles & Daroszewski, 2012). Muslims are allowed to pray even in a sitting or lying position. This should be facilitated and patients should not be interrupted during prayers. Islam emphasizes on demonstrating patience and performing mediation and prayer while coping with an illness. Therefore, recitation of the Quran by the patient or an attendant should be facilitated.

Seventh Day Adventists and Nursing Practice

Seventh Day Adventists represent a Protestant Christian denomination that was established in the latter half of the nineteenth century. The Seventh Day Adventists share many of the beliefs of other Protestants. In particular, they strongly believe in the concept of the Trinity of God. They also highly regard the Holy Scripture and their interpretations of it. They also believe in the second coming of Christ close to the end of the times (Taylor & Carr, 2009).

Seventh Day Adventists pay special emphasis to the idea that the world was created in six days and that the seventh day is a day for rest. Traditionally, this has been Saturday or the Sabbath (seventh day) when Seventh Day Adventists usually take a day of worship, family time and rest from work (Fayard et al., 2007). This can become an issue in nursing when a Seventh Day Adventist nurse may want to take a day off on Saturday when the work schedule may not have room for this. However, there are many Seventh Day Adventist nurses working in Seventh Day Adventist hospitals as well as in other hospitals where they work on Saturdays. The preference for a day of rest on Saturday and organ donation varies from person to person (Hartman, 2011) as well as by race and socialization (Cort & Cort, 2008). However, because of their greater value for a period of rest in daily life, Seventh Day Adventist nurses are likely to be sensitive to the stresses and weariness experienced by their patients and may be more demonstrative in ensuring that their patients receive the necessary rest and relaxation in addition to medication. Seventh Day Adventist nurses are also likely to assist their patient spiritually because of the importance given to prayer and alternative therapies in their tradition.

Most Seventh Day Adventists are vegetarians and abstain from alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Some of them may even avoid beverages that contain caffeine as caffeine is also believed to act as a stimulant. Their avoidance of meat from their own diet may make it difficult for them to recommend a meat-based diet for their patients. Seventh Day Adventists believe in wholeness as an important value for living a healthy life. Hence, Seventh Day Adventists nurses view their jobs as holding a special place in their lives and that of their patients. They are likely to recommend and administer holistic approaches to patient care that involve medication, diet and family support.

Scientology and Nursing Practice

Scientologists believe in the natural regenerative power of the body and the positive effects of the environment on the health and wellness of individuals. One of the fundamental principles is the freedom of the individual (McCall, 2007). The most significant challenge that nurses can face when helping a Scientologist patient is in the case of a psychiatric illness. The Church of Scientology strictly forbids its members to undergo any treatment for psychiatric issues or to opt for any psychotherapy. This is particularly challenging when a Scientologist patient has to be admitted to a psychiatric ward or a similar asylum. Staying over at an institution for the…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:


Cite This Essay:

"Nursing And Religion Practice Religion And Nursing" (2012, August 12) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from

"Nursing And Religion Practice Religion And Nursing" 12 August 2012. Web.9 December. 2016. <>

"Nursing And Religion Practice Religion And Nursing", 12 August 2012, Accessed.9 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Nursing Science the Historical Development of Nursing

    Nursing Science The historical development of nursing science can largely be dated back to the era of Florence Nightingale. It is however imperative to note that nursing as a largely independent profession has over the past century converged into a well founded theoretical perspectives culture. In this text, I will develop a nursing science historical development timeline with a mention of specific theorists, theories, years as well as events in nursing

  • Nursing Education

    Nursing Education Does nursing have a unique body of knowledge or is it the application of various other fields of knowledge in a practice setting? Nursing does have a unique body of knowledge as Moyer and Whittmann-Price (2008) state "it is nursing's unique knowledge base that warrants a unique service or practice called professional nursing" (6). This means that like the other help-specific sciences nursing was founded on the basis of research

  • Nursing Discharge Planning

    Nursing - Discharge planning Discharge Planning in Nursing Mr. Trosack's Case The three main health issues include movement hindrance where by Mr. Trosack will move with the help of a walker. Mr. Trosack diabetic condition is main health issue. Mr. Trosack is depressed and lonely and requires a special care and assistance. Mr. Trosack lives in a crowded apartment located at a second floor in a 3-storey building. The building does not have

  • Nursing Theory Imogene King

    Nursing Theory Analysis Theory-based nursing is the phenomenon that has been researched much during the past two decades. Nursing theory has become the foundation for nursing practice with its own knowledge base. The current paper is an analysis of King's theory of goal attainment. King acquired her goal attainment theory model from an interpersonal system and a behavioral science. The nurse and patient communicate to achieve a common goal of patient

  • Nursing With the Intention of

    This is one of the many reasons I look forward to being able to work within my own community. Nurses are at the forefront of community outreach and community betterment. As I get to know the local physicians, administrators, and program leaders, I can become a more effective member of the health care community. In the future I intend to serve my community in a position of leadership, as a

  • Nursing Philosophy the Author of This Report

    Nursing Philosophy The author of this report is asked to offer three main points of discussion within this report. These three sections all related to nursing theory and they will be compared and contrasted to the personal philosophy of the author of this paper. The three points of discussion are the four meta-paradigms of nursing theory, two practice-specific concepts and a list of propositions that the author of this paper would

  • Nursing Theory Nursing Is a

    A person's health is an ever-changing state of being resulting from the interaction with the environment. Optimum health is the actualization of both innate and obtained human potential gained through rewarding relationships with others, obtaining goals and maintaining expert personal care. Adaptations can be made as required to maintain stability and structural integrity. A person's state of health can vary from wellness to illness, disease, or dysfunction. Professional nursing is

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved