Spiritual assessments are important in the healthcare as most patients value spirituality to a certain level. Spirituality explains the meaning and value of life and is important during healthcare service delivery because it influences the fullness and the whole aspect of life (Harrington, 2016). Research conducted indicates a large percentage of individuals in the United States consider religion to be an important aspect in their lives. This percentage includes both patients and healthcare practitioners who believe that religious beliefs play a major role in the healing process of patients (Harrington, 2016).
The aspect of religion also provides support to patients suffering from chronic illnesses, which can include emotional and mental support, which cannot be provided by the most healthcare systems (Harrington, 2016). Religion plays a major role in achieving healthcare goals and objectives, which are provision of quality healthcare as religion impacts the treatment process and how patients adhere to treatment procedures. The Joint Commission requires healthcare organizations funded by the government to conduct a spiritual assessment for patients (Harrington, 2016). This paper will conduct a spiritual assessment and analysis using the FICA spiritual assessment tool.
Spiritual Assessment Tool
FICA is a spiritual assessment tool and an acronym to help healthcare practitioners in remembering what to ask during the spiritual assessment (Mark, 2012). F stands for Faith or Beliefs, I stands for Importance and Influence, C represents Community, and A stands for Address. The FICA spiritual assessment tool is the best because it allows spiritual history to be captured during regular checkups or the start of a patient visit. The FICA tool provides a basis and a guide during conversations between healthcare practitioners and patients and focuses on spiritual needs of patients (Mark, 2012).
The person that I am interviewing is a male friend, forty years of age, and a Christian living in the United States.
Question: Do you believe in religion and do you use religion in times of problems including during sicknesses?
Interviewee’s response: Of course, I believe in religion, and yes, I use religion in times of problems but still involve other available options (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
Question: How does religion impact your health and your life in general?
Interviewee’s response: Religion impacts my health and life in general positively because I find refuge in religion in times of despair and in times of sicknesses (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
Question: Do you belong to any religious group? How does this association impact your life?
Interviewee’s response: Yes, this association impacts my life positively by providing encouragement to me and having role models within the group who provide guidance to me in difficult situations (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
Question: What beliefs influence your response in times of illness?
Interviewee’s response: Belief that God is able to perform a miracle and heal me from the illnesses, which is evident in the Bible, which is the word of God (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
Question: What is your opinion on using religion and spirituality during the treatment process?
Interviewee’s response: The treatment process requires medications issued by the healthcare professional as well as spiritual support through prayer and faith. This results to positive outcomes (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
The interview went well and the interviewee was well conversant and confident with his answers. He was polite and did not get offended when asked about his religious position (personal communication, April 10, 2018). The interview was very interactive with the interviewee displaying the importance of religion in his life, displayed much confidence for his association with the Christian religion, and shared past experience of how he has used religion in times of illnesses and the positive results he got after exercising his faith (personal communication, April 10, 2018). The interviewee was not in a hurry and was relaxed an indication that he was interested in the interview and was exited that such aspects of religion are integrated to the healthcare system. Before he left he even gave me his personal contact to reach him in case of further questions and clarifications (personal communication, April 10, 2018).
Challenges That Inhibited Your Ability to Complete the Assessment Tool? How Would You Address These In The Future Or Change Your Assessment To Better Address These Challenges?
Challenges that inhibited my ability to complete the assessment tool include lack of a proper understanding on the issue of religion and beliefs, which resulted to the interviewee not answering the questions accurately. The aspect of religion is very diverse and differs between individuals and so a specific analysis can be difficult to conduct (Draper, 2012). The age and sex difference brought a feeling on uneasiness between us and I would recommend future considerations where both parties are of the same sex and age group as it becomes a challenge in trying to understand older age groups and someone who is more experienced may conduct the interview (Draper, 2012).
Parties of the same religious backgrounds can better understand each other in interviews than different religious backgrounds where individuals have little or no information about certain religions (Draper, 2012). Another challenge that I experienced during the interview was the time factor where there was limited time to explain most of the responses given by the interviewee. Time is essential in giving accurate assessments and a future recommendation would be to have enough time so that both parties provide clear explanations to the questions and answers (Draper, 2012).
How Can This Tool Assist You In Providing Appropriate Interventions To Meet The Needs Of Your Patient?
With the healthcare professionals using the FICA spiritual tool, it can provide information on the spiritual needs of patients, which will enable proper intervention and action (Hodge, 2015). Spiritual needs are important to patients and must be addressed to increase the overall patient outcome. By using this tool, healthcare practitioners can trace the religious background of patients and determine any issues, which are related to their health status and provide better interventions to the issues (Hodge, 2015). Patients suffering from chronic illnesses can be helped through the addressing of their spiritual needs, which give them hope and impact their mental health positively resulting to increased physical well-being (Hodge, 2015).
The FICA spiritual tool is used regularly during each patient visit and this allows for follow up of patient’s spiritual care. Through this continuous follow up, any arising issues can be detected early and addressed before they result to other health problems (Hodge, 2015). Some of the medical issues may lead to depression, which can be better addressed through spiritual dimensions. The physical and mental well-being as well as the spiritual well-being is a continuous process and with the FICA spiritual tool, this can be better addressed (Hodge, 2015).
With the FICA spiritual tool, healthcare practitioners are able to understand their patient’s spiritual beliefs and provide healthcare services in consideration to those beliefs (Hodge, 2015). Healthcare practitioners will respect their patient’s religious views and take interventions, which are not against their patient’s religious beliefs, and this will lead to respect between the patient and the healthcare practitioner and improved healthcare service provision. The information provided by the FICA spiritual tool can help in making referrals to religious based healthcare facilities or religious leaders for support (Hodge, 2015).
Did You Discover That Illness And Stress Amplified The Spiritual Concern And Needs Of Your Interviewee? Explain Your Answer with Examples
Illness and stress amplified the spiritual concern and needs of my interviewee as most spiritual patients utilize their religion and beliefs in handling stress and illnesses. From their experiences, spiritual patients have exercised their beliefs and have had positive results, which encourage them to rely more on spirituality in times of trouble (Taylor, 2012). Spirituality provides answers to mental and other social issues that cannot be addressed by the use of medications. This can be seen for patients suffering from chronic illnesses who rely more on spirituality than on medications to live a positive life (Taylor, 2012). Some illnesses and stress result due to phenomena that cannot be explained by science and this leads to patients to rely on the remaining aspect which is spirituality as it provides answers to the most complex concerns in the lives of individuals. Some of the complex concerns may include why people suffer and why do people get sick (Taylor, 2012).
Spiritual assessment is important in the well-being of patients and cannot be ignored as it plays a major role in the treatment and recovery process of patients (Hodge, 2015). The aspect of spirituality has also been introduced into healthcare education and training as the government and other agencies are recognizing its importance in the healthcare sector (Hodge, 2015). Due to the rising number of chronic illnesses, it is important to incorporate the aspect of spirituality in the treatment process of patients with chronic illnesses as it is the only aspect apart from the medications that can positively impact the patient outcomes (Hodge, 2015).
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Harrington, A. (2016). The importance of spiritual assessment when caring for older adults. Ageing and Society Journal, 36(1), 1-16.
Hodge, D. R. (2015). Spiritual Assessment in Social Work and Mental Health Practice. New York: Columbia University Press.
Mark, L. (2012). Chaplaincy Today: e-journal of the association of Professional Chaplains, 28(1), 25-30.
Taylor, E. J. (2012). Religion: A clinical guide for nurses. New York: Springer Pub.