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Religious and Spiritual Influences on Health

by Jill Beavers-Kirby
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    00:00 Hi, My name is Jill Beavers-Kirby and today we are gonna talk about the religious and spirtual influences on health.

    00:11 So what's the difference between religion and spirituality? Well, spirituality often refers to one's own interpretation and spirituality can be subject to feelings or emotions or feelings of connectedness upon another.

    00:30 Whereas religion is a communal feeling.

    00:33 It may involve rituals and it has practices and memberships.

    00:41 So what are some other differences between religion and spirituality? Well religions can affect behavior and health habits.

    00:49 Whereas spirituality can affect and regulate your emotions.

    00:54 Now they can overlap each other.

    00:57 But the words really aren't interchangeable.

    01:01 So what are religious influences on a patient's health? For example: Kosher meats or other kosher prepared foods might be required by some.

    01:12 On the other side, some people might have to avoid meat and dairy.

    01:17 Or some people might be required to fast during certain religious holidays.

    01:23 Some other religious influences may affect what healthcare items they are permitted to use For example some people can not use electrical appliances during certain religious periods or during certain times of the day.

    01:36 It will be very important to talk to your patient about what their preferences are.

    01:41 So what are some ethical issues that a nurse might face with religions and spirituality? The first thing is, it's very important to remember that you don't have to agree or disagree or be a member of their religion or even think along the same lines of their spirituality to take care of this patient.

    02:00 From a nursing stand point the ethical issues include: Beneficence and Justice.

    02:07 Beneficence refers to doing what's a best for a patient.

    02:13 What is gonna be the best thing for the patient's welfare? You can do that whether or not you agree with their religious beliefs.

    02:21 The other ethical issue as a nurse you might face is Justice.

    02:25 Simply, nurses need to promote justice for everyone, the patient, their family, their community even other healthcare workers.

    02:36 I can't stress to a nurse that you don't have to agree with their religion or their spirituality to take care of patients.

    02:44 So how else does religion and spirituality influence somebody's health? Well one thing can be their health behaviors.

    02:53 What they are eating? You kinda worry talked about the kosher meats, the fasting avoidance of meat and dairy.

    02:59 Are they allowed to engage an alcohol? Or they allowed to smoke? What about drug use? There are some other issues that can affect health behaviors.

    03:08 Social support is also very important.

    03:11 A person's religion and spirituality can also affect their social systems.

    03:16 Do they have a large communal feeling? Do they a large church group that they can rely on for support and help of meeting.

    03:24 And there is also the psychological support.

    03:27 There are actually being studies done.

    03:29 That show people who have a sense of religion or spirituality are optimistic. They are more faith based.

    03:37 They have positive attitudes and they have a positive mental health.

    03:41 So what about communication differences in religion and spirituality? Different religions have different communication preferences.

    03:51 Its important to remember this.

    03:53 So the status of somebody in their religious community the age, their gender, all may affect their communication patterns.

    04:02 Sometimes the female is not allowed to speak directly or even looked directly at a male or a healthcare providers somebody in an authoritative position.

    04:14 Some also look at facing-saving communication.

    04:18 This allows a patient to maintain a good self image.

    04:22 So you don't wanna say anything bad in front of the elder in their religious community.

    04:27 Some cultures that use face-saving techniques are East Asian, African and Hispanic.

    04:34 Some cultures have a communication hierarchy.

    04:38 So the eldest in the group would be the one who speaks for everyone.

    04:43 Or it might be the male, the eldest male in their family, might do the speaking for every one.

    04:50 What about nonverbal communications when it comes to religion and spirituality? You have to remember that certain cultures look upon eye contact in different ways.

    05:00 For some religions its okay to look somebody directly in the eye.

    05:04 Whereas for some the females are not allowed to look directly in the eye to anyone.

    05:09 You don't wanna upset the whole family by looking somebody in the eye when they shouldn't or talking to the one member of the family.

    05:16 Another issue is degree of personal space.

    05:19 Some cultures its okay to be very close when you are talking to somebody very upfront, very in their face.

    05:25 Some cultures want you to step back a little bit.

    05:27 The little bit further way to keep that personal space a little open.

    05:31 Another issue you have to consider is how much touching is permitted.

    05:35 I think some nurses are very very touchy freely and some nurses not so much.

    05:41 But you don't wanna offend your patient or their family if you are doing too much of the touching freely.

    05:47 Or even, sometimes even a handshake is not the right thing to do.

    05:51 And lastly how much information can you share? Some cultures and religions don't want you to sharing all the information.

    06:00 For example i work with cancer patients and i have had a family say "please don't use the word "cancer" in front of my family member".

    06:07 It makes a very difficult and it isn't ethical issue.

    06:10 But we abide by the family's wishes.

    06:13 And finally communication tempo.

    06:16 How quickly you talk to somebody can also be a religious or spiritual issue.

    06:22 Communication patterns may be very very fast that can be offensive to some.

    06:28 Sometimes just walking by somebody and saying "hi, how are you?" is just a simple "hello" for some where it may be an invitation for that person to stop having a nice 30 minutes chat with you when that's really not what you are intended at all. So you have to be aware of how you speak into patients and help to speak to patients.

    06:49 Just kind to remember that on average a person speaks about 140-160 words per minute.

    06:56 Thank you. This is been Jill Beavers-Kirby discussing religious and spiritual influences.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture Religious and Spiritual Influences on Health by Jill Beavers-Kirby is from the course Psychosocial Integrity. It contains the following chapters:

    • Religious and Spirtual Influences on Health
    • Religious influences and ethical issues
    • Nonverbal Communication

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. False
    2. Right

    Author of lecture Religious and Spiritual Influences on Health

     Jill Beavers-Kirby

    Jill Beavers-Kirby


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