After using the spirituality assessment model Mor-VAST, the author discovered how important faith and prayer were in her patient. As stated by Skalla and McCoy (2006), The Mor-VAST model is a way to describe individuals’ spirituality. Clinicians can use it as a concrete method for assessing spiritual strengths and weaknesses and to build or bolster patients’ sense of self. After the author became familiar with J. H. , she realized that she discovered that her patient believed and focused her health and life around prayer.
J. H. ’s strong faith kept her at peace and enabled her to endure frequent hospitalizations, while still having a positive attitude. Due to the fact that the author developed a superior relationship with J. H. , this allowed for good patient-nurse communication, and also allowed the patient to disclose her deep personal thoughts that are sometimes very private to many individuals. “Respecting patients’ spiritual growth by attending to “being” rather than to “? xing” is a fundamental premise” (Skalla, McCoy, 2006).
Allowing the patient to communicate without interruptions is important, as this will only tell the patient that one is an attentive individual, and it will also show patients that attentiveness also means that the individual truly cares about what they have to say. A non-judgmental approach is highly encouraged when assessing or speaking to patients regarding their own personal views and opinions. “Cultural competence is particularly important in this arena as different cultures have different views on spirituality and religion” (JACHO, 2005).
In regards to the future, the author believes that she would not change her communication skills towards the patient nor towards the way the nurse patient relationship was established. The author does state that one possibility that could be changed in the future is the use of other spirituality assessment tools such as the hope assessment tool, which also addresses a different component regarding spirituality assessment.
Barriers were not identified within the author’s assessment of the patient’s spirituality. The patient and author both communicated effectively and even though J. H. was only Spanish speaking, the author’s fluency in Spanish called for no evidence in barriers. In this assessment the author took her time to listen attentively to her patient. The author knew how important faith and prayer were for her patient and allowed the patient to express herself freely and continue to practice her religious faith in the hospital setting. The author identifies herself with J. H. simply because they both are of Catholic faith and have similar practices and beliefs in regards to spirituality.
This assessment was simplified due to the commonalities between patient and nurse. “Nursing’s job is not to lead the way but instead to support patients on the journey” (Skalla, McCoy, 2006). Since the author experienced no set back in her assessment findings, if there were any at any given time, the possibility of involving pastoral care to allow the patient to express and continue spiritual needs should be readily available. In conclusion, multiple disciplines will be involved in patient’s spiritual assessments in the hospital setting.
On admission to the hospital, an assessment in regards to religious preferences is taken and considered. Educating staff regarding spiritual assessment is critical. Allowing the patient to continue rituals and cultural preferences is important, as many cultures consider spiritual health as part of healing the mind and body. Even though the spiritual assessment is important to assess if the patient has a religious affiliation, the solitary purpose is not identify a religious practice, but still have spiritual needs that should continue to be assessed.