Thank you for publishing "Designing a Nursing Care Plan for a Lifetime (July, 2012),* which gives readers a basic introduction to the concept of life care planning. All nurses should know how powerful the nursing process is for certified nurse life care planners working with patients with catastrophic conditions. Those who wish to learn more should visit the American Association of Nurse Life Care Planning's home page: http://www.aanlcp.org.
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Science, faith, or both?
I take issue with the article "Finding Room for Spirituality in Healthcare" (September, 2012).* Western medicine and nursing is based on scientific evidence, not "belief." While prayer may help some patients, in my opinion the scientific reason for this has to do with the brain-body connection, the placebo effect, and the benefits of relaxation and comfort that promote healing, not "communication" with a mythical being.1-3
To expect a nurse to participate in any spiritual support besides providing privacy for patients to practice their religion or beliefs (as long as they aren't dangerous to the patient or others) is unreasonable. Spiritual professionals such as chaplains can and should take on this responsibility.
-Wendie A. Howland, MN, RN-BC, CCM, CNLCP, CRRN, LNCC
-Susan Ossanna Wong, RN
-Beth L. Suriano, RN, BPS, CNML, CNOR, RNFA
Boca Raton, Fla.