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Title: Spiritual care in clinical nursing practice : myth or reality?
Author: Hoover, Janice Lynn
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2012
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This study aimed to explore the experience of patients and nurses with respect to spiritual care in order to enhance the latter. A review of the literature revealed that nurses tend to either overlook this domain of their practice or poorly identify and meet patients' spiritual needs. Only one study, employing ethnography within a hospice, examined the actual process of care delivery from both nurses' and patients' perspectives. Spiritual care giving was generally found to be a myth, as the nurses, despite understanding that they should engage with patients at a deeper level, chose to cheer patients up rather than deal with their distressing emotions. A narrative approach was adopted in order to capture the process of spiritual care giving more holistically. The researcher worked as an unqualified nurse in each of two settings, a hospice and a general medical ward, one day weekly over nine months. Data, written as stories, were generally entered in a field journal later each day. The most meaningful stories in answering the study's aim were then reflected upon and re-written to comprise the final thesis. It was found that through suffering, there is hope and the potential for transformation. However despite an expectation that spiritual care, generally associated with dying, might be superior in a hospice, it was found to be barely evident although not necessarily nonexistent in both settings. Nurses experienced tremendous difficulty accessing their sacred space such that they might engage with patients at a deeper, spiritual level. Their working environment and educational preparation, influenced by the manner in which nursing has adopted evidence-based practice, appeared to further hamper this process. The insights gained from the study suggest that if spiritual care giving is to become more of a reality, considerable changes in these areas and within the profession itself are required.
Supervisor: Freshwater, Dawn Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available