Spiritual Assessment

Subject: Media
Type: Self Evaluation Essay
Pages: 4
Word count: 1052
Topics: Interview, Human Nature


Would you say you are a religious or spiritual person? 

Yes. I would say am both religious and spiritual. I practice the Christian religion. I go to church almost every Sunday of the month. I am an active member of our local church. I even used to sing in the choir when I was younger. I say grace before my meals and pray before going to bed. As often as I can, I read spiritual books and take time to meditate upon the Word. 

How important is your religion or spirituality to you? 

My spirituality helps me make sense of life and helps me understand why things happen the way they do. It is very important because believing in God makes life meaningful. It gives life a purpose. My religion is important because it gives me a way of connecting with people whom I have many beliefs and aspirations in common.

Are you affiliated with any religious or spiritual group? 

Yes. As I mentioned before am a member of our local church.

(If so), how important is the group to you? Can you say it forms part of your support group? 

My church is very important to me. The people there look out for each other, and deeply care for one another. As a matter of fact, most of my close friends are from my local church. So yes, it is an important aspect of my support group. 

When you were sick, did your religion/spirituality/religious community play a significant role in how you dealt with the sickness? 

Yes. Believing that everything is planned by God and happens for a reason helped me remain positive. Prayer and faith helped me to remain hopeful that I would get better. My friends would come to hospital and pray with me. Their concern for me and presence would lift my spirits. I believe for all these reasons together with the care I received at the hospital I overcame the ailment. 

Did you have any particular spiritual needs that you needed the nursing staff to meet? 

Apart from allowing my friends to come in and pray with me, I did not expect any more from the nurses. As long as they did their work of monitoring me, giving me meds and keeping me comfortable, I was ok with them. 

If so, were those needs met and how? (N/A)

Is there anything you would have them do better in regards to meeting patients’ spiritual needs?

Yes, maybe allow them to listen to some uplifting music as long as it doesn’t affect the others.

Interview Experience Analysis

For this assignment, I interviewed my friend who was recently in hospitalized for about a fortnight. She is about 40 years of age, African American living in the suburbs with her husband and teenage sons. She professes to be practicing the Christian faith actively. I have conducted a few interviews before, but none with a tool that I made by myself. This caused me to be nervous at first because I was afraid of asking inappropriate questions. However, the fact that I was interviewing a friend made it a little easier. After explaining the nature and purpose of the interview, she was willing to talk to me. She granted me the interview in her residence in a quiet and private room.

According to the Joint Commission Resources (2003), religious or spiritual beliefs play a significant role in how patients perceive illness and their uptake of treatment. Their beliefs may also pose unique needs which caregivers have to keep in mind while offering treatment. Therefore, it is important to find out what these needs maybe at the onset of treatment so as to address them. My first questions for the interview after finding out the demographics were aimed at establishing if the interviewee has any religious or spiritual beliefs that are important to her. I went on to find out if these beliefs affected how she dealt with her ailment and if they affected the kind of care she received.

The interview went smoothly, partly because of familiarity between the interviewee and myself. She was able to provide sufficient answers for my questions without much prodding. I was able to establish her strong religious beliefs, and that spirituality played a central role in how she viewed life. She drew meaning in life from her belief in a higher being, and religion affected her social relationships. I was also able to establish that her faith helped her remain positive and hopeful as she recovered, a concept that Yousefi and Abedi (2011) agree with. According to them, hopefulness brings back life to patients who would otherwise be desperate and despairing. Most patients draw hope from believing in a Supreme entity that is all knowing, all-loving and working out a plan for their healing. 

Although not explicitly expressed, I deduced that the interviewee related her time of ailing with a lot of stress and ‘trial’. She equated it with being put to test, and she was determined to not fail by giving up her faith. She tried to remain positive and focused on her recovery, believing that God was working out something through the meds she was receiving. According to Yousefi and Abedi (2011), the physical and spiritual dimensions of a human being mutually affect each other. Stress on the physical dimension due to illness can put a strain on the spiritual, but if the spiritual dimension is resilient, it will help with healing of the physical.

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The assessment tool that I created did well in providing information regarding the religious and spiritual beliefs of the interviewee. However, it did little in giving insights about the expectations of the patient on the nursing staff in regards to meeting those needs. In order for the tool to be more effective, I would have to incorporate more questions to find out what patients expect the nurses to do to meet their spiritual needs. That would make it more useful in coming up with interventions appropriate for patient needs. However, I was able to complete the assessment tool as it was. I did not meet any challenges or barriers. The tool was based on the guidelines outlined in the Joint Commission (2003) and Puchalski’s (2006) spiritual assessment tool that has the acronym FICA.

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  1. Joint Commission Resources (2003) Comprehensive accreditation manual for hospitals: the official handbook. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: JCAHO.
  2. Puchalski C. (2006) Spiritual assessment in clinical practice. Psychiatric Annals; Psychology Module.
  3. Yousefi H. & Abedi H. A. (2011) Spiritual care in hospitalized patients. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research, 16(1): 125-132. 
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