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Knowledge required to use the power of spirituality in healthcare Open Access


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Olson, J. K.
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For people dealing with changes in their health status, nursing care often involves attention to the physical aspects of their condition. In addition, people to long discuss with health professionals how their lives have changed as a result of circumstances. Such discussions are based on the assumption that everyone needs hope, meaning, and purpose in their lives, and connection to their spiritual dimension (the essence of the self) can be a powerful part of the healing process. Observation of people has indicated that without such support, spiritual suffering can be added to the existing distress. Increasing evidence has shown that spirituality, whether expressed through religious or secular means, is an important component of patients’ quality of life, affecting their healthcare decisions and outcomes. These discussions invite nurses and other healthcare professionals into the spiritual dimension of the human person and the area known as spirituality. Broadly defined, spirituality gives meaning and purpose to life. A useful and more specific definition is: “Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.”(1) Recently, a Canadian author suggested that “we would be wise to recognize the power that spirituality does bring for both nurses and those under their care.”(2) In order to better understand this power and use it effectively in nursing practice, further nursing knowledge is required at the individual, disciplinary, and interdisciplinary levels. The purpose of this editorial is to shed light on the types of knowledge needed to both become skillful in addressing the spiritual aspect of humanity in the context of nursing care and stimulate further development of knowledge at all levels.
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Olson, J. K. 2015. Knowledge required to use the power of spirituality in healthcare. Acta Paulista De Enfermagem, 28(2), 3-4.

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