Spiritual assessments are being integrated by many health institutions such as hospitals, home health care, long term facilities, and behavioral health settings. In each of these areas comes a point in a patient’s health journey which they may call on other entities for support. Facilitating these needs for patients enhances the outlook on medical treatments. According to Hodge (2013), "Administering a spiritual assessment, as part of a larger bio-psycho-social-spiritual assessment, provides a more holistic understanding of clients' realities, which in turn provides the basis for subsequent practice decisions (p. 223)." Spiritual assessment tools are beneficial for health care workers to identify earlier in a patient’s care how spiritual support can be incorporated in their care plans. Every patient should be made aware the line of communication in this essential topic is open with their health providers. In doing so it helps create a better trusting patient provider relationship.
The author of this essay conducted a six question assessment on a twenty-six year old Hispanic male. The questions were verbally presented to the participant and the author transcribed the spoken answers. These questions consist of topics that covered expression of spirituality, internal support, spiritual community, support during illness, beliefs in healing, and medical restrictions. The participant clearly states his religion as Catholic. He practices his faith by prayer to God and Jesus Christ. Further identified was the special meanings of a crucifix that is worn for means of protection by God and Christ from evil. This male does not attend mass regularly unless it is to support his loved ones. He also expresses that his faith in God and Christ give him strength and guidance. In times of illness the participant prays to help him in his recovery. Additional support is sought out by his wife and family. His family is very supportive as they share the same faith and beliefs. However, he mentioned that his family does not reside in the same town as him. He only lives alone with his wife. Finally, it was also understood that he not religious restrictions as it pertains to medical treatment.
As a health care provider, the assessment provided information that would be useful during the care of this male as a patient. First of all, understanding his religious belief can be incorporated into his care plan by now understanding the religious language that can be used with the patient. Explained by Hodge (2013), most clients are comfortable speaking about their personal faith, but they are not trusting with how they can discuss this personal and private topic with health providers (p. 225). Providers are religiously competent allows for an improved understanding of what a patient requires for spiritual support. Another important finding of the assessment, the participant relies on a crucifix to be worn at all times to provide...