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Religion and Spirituality in Nursing

Non-religious spirituality is a socio-cultural phenomenon that became widespread after the separation of the church from the state. It manifested in the public consciousness through the distinction between the concepts of religiosity, confessionalism, and church-going, on the one hand, and spirituality, on the other (Dossett & Metcalf-White, 2020). In the era of state religions, the words spirituality and religiosity were used interchangeably. Nowadays, the spirit begins to be attributed to an individual’s inner life, often in the spirit of the New Age, while religious – to individual organizations and communities. Non-religious spirituality is more related to the person’s inner state, including moral values and views of life. At the same time, religious spirituality involves the religion and God in the person’s values, which shape the spiritual aspect of the individual.

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Spirituality is an interesting topic for discussion with friends or other people. However, everyone has their own beliefs and understanding of the world, which is part of spirituality. Sometimes, during the discussion, if you question someone’s spiritual beliefs or understanding, it might be offensive and make people angry. Hence, I avoid conversations about spirituality or religion with people who are not my close friends or relatives. When it comes to patient-centered care, it is important to understand that everyone has a right to believe in any religion. Respect should be the basis of patient-centered care in terms of religion and spiritual values. For example, if a person belongs to Jehovah’s Witnesses group, shares their belief, and resists blood transfusion, the nurse should carefully explain the importance and consequences of such a decision. Another example is when a patient refuses to get surgery due to his own religious beliefs. In this case, the nurse should respect the patient’s beliefs and propose alternatives, if any.


Dossett, W., & Metcalf-White, L. (2020). Religion, spirituality and addiction recovery: introduction. Implicit Religion, 22(2), 95-100. doi:10.1558/imre.40695

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