The Spiritual Needs Assessment for Patients (SNAP)
Care and management of patients is a very crucial exercise in the recovery process of a patient. Spiritual care assessments help health care providers identify various spiritual needs of the patients, especially those pertaining to their mental health. From the research, it has been realized that patients’ spiritual needs assessment vary greatly along the dimensions of the domain and content. In this regard, spiritual assessments deepen understanding of the health care provider on the patient illness. This helps in identifying the patients who are at risk of increased spiritual distress.
One of the discoveries in the assessment was the need of the clinician to establish self-awareness on their spirituality. This helps the clinicians establish excellent relationship with the patients and implies that success of the assessment depends on the nature and spiritual status of the caregiver. The caregivers have the ability to contemplate, listen and make relevant judgment regarding patients’ spiritual needs. It should be noted that spiritual assessment should not in any way impose a view but instead seek to ignite memories, thoughts and experience that defines coherence in the life of a patient. Likewise, it was realized that it is difficult for one to establish change of spiritual needs during progression of a disease or patient recovery period. This calls for frequent assessment as the patient recovers from illness or as the disease keeps on progressing.
The most successful part in the whole process was in the design and use of spiritual assessment tool. The questionnaire used in the assessment captured all the relevant questions that were expected by the patient. One of the key issues that determined success in this area was the ability to start the process by the minimum requirement of the spiritual assessment. According to the joint commission, the minimum spiritual assessment requirement is by determining the patient’s religion. The assessment of spiritual practice that is important to the patient is also analyzed. Respecting the patient’s opinion and assurance of privacy of information enabled the patient to be willing to give information without fear or fatigue.
In the future I would like to have a number of issues either included or modified during the assessment period. First and foremost is the involvement of all interdisciplinary team members in the assessment process. This will largely depend on their willingness to participate positively in the spiritual assessment of the patients. This strategy will add diverse views to the whole process hence improving the quality of final results and findings. Secondly, I would like to integrate some strategies into the care plan that are easily comprehended by the interdisciplinary team members (Puchalski et al., 2004). Lastly, I will ensure that there is clear documentation of all the needs, their relevant strategic responses, required resources and income available. In turn, this will increase spiritual assessment process and decision making.
One of the challenges I faced during the process was the inability of the patient to understand some concepts or questions. The patient was not able to understand significance of spiritual assessment and care for the recovery process. The patient also expressed reservation on some questions that appeared to be against the culture and social well-being of the community. Although the patient was cooperative, he was not able to communicate in a national language that we could both understand. This forced me to hire an interpreter for the interpretation process.
Spiritual assessment of the patient largely encompasses accommodation of the patient’s deep exploration of interlink age between patient’s well-being and ability to overcome the illness. Such issue should have direct or indirect impact on the well-being of the patient under study. Usually, the process begins with screening aimed at mapping significant relationship with spirituality domain. Once the screening is done, collating of observations is made to produce a connectivity network that withholds a person’s sense of self, purpose and community.
For instance, in my encounter with the patient, I used a well-structured spiritual assessment interview tool. The tool was subdivided into three main subsections, namely, religious background and beliefs, spiritual meaning and value and, finally, prayer and experience. Before the start of the interview, the protocol on privacy of information was tendered to the patient for him to make informed decisions. I ensured that the questions were well understood by the patient before giving the answer. During the initial interview, the patient appeared reserved and fatigue. However, he later became free to share experiences and encounters relating to the various topics as enumerated in the assessment tool. Although the patient seemed to forget some historical narratives of past life experience, he was able to articulate effectively issues related to religious practices.
In conclusion, spiritual needs assessment is very important tool in the measurement of patient’s well-being. Research has shown that there is a positive relationship between supporting the patient’s spirituality and the ability to cope up with illness. This implies over scores the importance of assessing the patient’s spiritual needs as this will help in reduction of the disease burden in the society.