Religion History And Trend In Nursing

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Religion History and trend in Nursing

Religion History and trend in Nursing

Religion and nursing practice

Adherence to the particular set of beliefs, values, and practices that constitute their religion may be of great importance to patients and their families. It is therefore essential that nurses should acquire at least a basic knowledge of the most common religions in order to deliver holistic care that meets their patients' needs. Religious beliefs may have implications for diet, dress, and medication, as well as procedures followed at birth and death. The sections below are outlines of the most commonly encountered religions. They focus on elements likely to have relevance to nursing practice and are by no means exhaustive, being intended only as a guide to enable appropriate care to be given. Nurses are urged to check the details of their patients' religious practices and not to make assumptions.


Throughout the 19th century, the number of hospitals and community nursing associations continued to grow rapidly. Due to a resurgence of religious nursing orders, particularly the Anglican Sisterhoods, a conflict was created. The physicians and surgeons of the day were critical of the nurses who they claimed were more interested in the spiritual needs of patients than the physical. They required nurses who would be answerable first to them and who could accurately observe their patients and monitor the treatments they ordered (naturally enough!). They also favoured an authority structure modelled on the middle class Victorian family. That kind of hierarchical model was perpetuated in nursing beyond the middle of this century. It was perhaps given new impetus by the world wars and the fact that many ex. army nurses held leadership roles in nursing. Thus even before the dawn of what we might term modern "scientific medicine", nurses were favouring a holistic approach to care for the sick - caring for the needs of the soul or spirit as well as the body. They rejected a strictly mechanised approach to health care and still do. The famous 19th century nurse, Florence Nightingale not only saw nursing as autonomous of the medical profession, but took the view that the needs of the spirit are as critical to health as the individual organs which make up the body. Nightingale's services to soldiers in the Crimea, brought her world wide recognition, and the system of nursing she developed were to revolutionise nursing.

Roman Catholics

Recognize the pope, based in the Vatican City State within Rome, as the successor to St Peter, whom Christ appointed as the first head of his church. Like other Christians, they regard certain rituals - the sacraments - as having special significance, being visible signs of inner grace. Catholics accept seven sacraments: baptism, confirmation, reconciliation (confession and penance), the Eucharist (or Holy Communion; receiving consecrated bread and wine), marriage, holy orders (joining the priesthood), and anointing the sick (formerly known as extreme unction or the last rites). Catholics are encouraged to attend an act of worship - Mass - at least once ...
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