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Offering appropriate spiritual care is, at times, challenging due to time constraints and uncertainty about what a patient may need or accept. When the patient is of a religion unfamiliar to the nurse, the difficulty factor goes up. How can a nurse know what the patient believes and desires from a spiritual standpoint?


Fast Facts About Religion for Nurses: Implications for Patient Care (2019) by Elizabeth Johnston Taylor, PhD, RN, FAAN, allows busy nurses to quickly access information, while gaining meaningful context. Part of Springer Publishing's Fast Facts series, this helpful resource catalogs 31 religions and denominational groups. Nurses can rapidly reference bulleted details about worship and devotional practices, beliefs and practices related to illness and healing, beginning and end of life, diet and lifestyle, words and ways to comfort, and specific nursing implications.


Each chapter covers one religion or denominational group, such as Afro-Caribbean, Sikhism, traditional Chinese religions, three types of Judaism, and 17 varieties of Christianity. Another chapter answers common questions about how to relate to patients using religiously sensitive care, describing how and why religious beliefs are so integral in patient health. Taylor outlines questions and tips for nurses to use in assessing religiosity-an imperative starting point to spiritual caregiving.


This quick reference makes for fascinating perusal for the breadth of facts provided. Each chapter concludes with a bibliography.


Taylor, a professor of nursing in the graduate program at Loma Linda University (California), pursues research that explores spiritual responses to illness or impending death and how nurses can best support spiritual well-being. She has authored numerous books on spiritual care.


Fast Facts About Religion for Nurses: Implications for Patient Care (April 2019). Available in print and eBook formats. Springer Publishing Company.



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We asked nurses on the NCF Facebook page to share the best nursing advice they've received. Here are a few responses:


"I'm all about the little things, and I treat each patient as if they are VIP. Do everything as if you are doing it for Christ."


"Take time for yourself so you can take care of others."


"Treat the patient, not the disease process, remembering the patients are so much more than their illnesses."


"A nurse leader with NCF told us at a conference that if we listen to others' stories, they will be more likely to listen to ours about Jesus."


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