Assignment: Spirituality Assessment Essay

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Assignment: Spirituality Assessment Essay

Assignment: Spirituality Assessment Essay

            Over the past decades, there has been a growing concern and attention to spiritual care in the context of palliative care. It is widely acknowledged that spiritual care is an essential aspect for a good end of life care. As such, in order to improve the performance and quality of healthcare systems for patients in Hospice, it is a requirement that medical workers deliver holistic care by incorporating spiritual assessment (Blaber, Jone & Willis, 2015). This is based on an argument that spirituality defines the existence of patients and enables them to achieve the well-being required in dealing with many challenges of life they experience. Despite a growing professional awareness about the value of spirituality in health care, medical practitioners may overlook the religious backgrounds of patients. However, with more research indicating a direct relationship between spirituality and health outcomes, healthcare providers have an obligation to support this holistic care to maintain their accreditation as per the requirement of The Joint Commission.

            The Joint Commission recommends several guidelines and spiritual assessment tools to evaluate the spiritual needs of patients during care (Kruizinga et al., 2016). In this study, I choose to use FICA and HOPE tools to assess a colleague with a specific focus on palliative care. The interviewee’s name is Ms. Pratt, a nurse and a Christian at the department of oncology in the health facility I deliver my service. She is a strong believer in the healing power of faith and often encourage her terminally ill patients about eternal life. The goal of the interview with Ms. Pratt is to formulate a spiritual assessment and analyze the experience of the interviewee by asking about what went well, practices that could be done differently and identify barriers as well as suggest ways to address them.

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Summary of findings from the Interview

            In using the HOPE tool, the colleague provided various results. She affirmed her belief in religious strength as well as self-realization in life. Miss Pratt mentioned that Christianity Principles guide her daily actions and practices. Besides, she attested that her

Assignment Spirituality Assessment Essay

Assignment Spirituality Assessment Essay

religious belief gives her strength to tackle challenges she experiences in life. She is part of a religious community in her locale and is a youth leader at her local church. Ms. Pratt reports that her religion allows them to have their own beliefs, learning, opportunities, and values (Benito et al., 2014). Besides, Christianity enables them to focus on human aspects such as love, kindness, chastity, care, and respect to others as well as other religious groups. In her belief, she mentions that her body is a sanctuary for God and therefore she takes responsibility to maintain it.

            However, as per the FICA tool, Ms. Pratt rated faith and belief as a very important aspect of her life. This is because her faith enables her to address spiritual needs which gives her guidance on how to manage pain and all challenges about life. She affirms that her belief influence how she takes care of herself as faith gives her comfort as she recuperates after medical treatment.  

A Reflection on tools most helpful in guiding nursing care

            According to Kruizinga et al. (2016), spirituality and religion influence the perception, as well as the worldview of patients, and this determines their decisions on healthcare. As such, the FICA tool was the most important assessment method to determine the belief system and the perception of life for Ms. Pratt. Performing the FICA assessment takes a shorter time and allows patients to reveal a wealth of information pertaining to their health. In essence, the use of this assessment tool naturally results in other discussions about social health which enables nurses to probe patients to determine their preferences in life. Nonetheless, findings by Puchalski (2013) illustrate that the FICA tool is a more feasible tool used for clinical assessment of spirituality as opposed to HOPE. FICA tool addresses spiritual needs as well as the concerns about clinical setting for the patient. This makes the tool a critical component in enhancing the quality of life (QOL) for patients since clinicians are able to use additional insights from spiritual concerns about their clients to improve health delivery. In addition, any trained healthcare provider can readily use FICA since it provides a short history about faith and coping capability of patients with regard to a selected therapy option (Benito et al., 2014). Even though it is vital that persons administering the FICA assessment need to be health professionals, they must be conversant with the religious believes of the patients to support the latter in their medical illnesses.

Clinical situation for each tool

            The HOPE tool is important for spiritual assessment of patients in primary care. The tool can be used as a source of peace, strength, and comfort for hospitalized patients in a bid to improve the quality of life. This is because the tool is patient-centered which enables healthcare providers to explore personal beliefs of patients and provide room for adjustment of therapy option (Blaber, Jone & Willis, 2015). The FICA tool, on the other hand, is used for terminally ill patients especially for those on palliative care. The assessment tool enables nurses and other health professionals to build a holistic rapport together with trust so as to obtain information that can be used for planning of care for patients with terminal illness especially those admitted in Hospice. The premise lays a foundation for spiritual reflection for patients experiencing chronic pain (Puchalski, 2013). However, spiritual assessment by using either of the tools should enable patients to identify interventions that can improve spiritual activities related to improved quality of life. For instance, the tools should explore aspects of self-care such as stress management and coping with chronic pain.

This assignment introduces you to the spiritual concepts discussed in the next module. Identify an individual (friend or family member) willing to participate in a spiritual assessment. Use two different tools provided here, to interview the participant: the FICA tool and the HOPE tool. Share your findings in a 3 page paper along with a reflection about which tool you found was the most helpful in guiding your nursing care. Discuss what situations you would choose to use each tool.
Paper Criteria:
#1 – Identifies an individual (friend, family member) willing to participate in a spiritual assessment utilizing two different tools.
#2- Uses the HOPE and the FICA spiritual assessment tools to interview the participant. Submit findings as summary.
#3 – Provides a reflection about which tools were found to be the most helpful in guiding nursing care.
#4 – Discusses which clinical situations you would choose to use each tool.

The HOPE Questions for a Formal Spiritual Assessment in a Medical Interview

H:Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love and connection

O:Organized religion

P:Personal spirituality and practices

E:Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues

Sources of hope, meaning, comfort, strength, peace, love and connection


We have been discussing your support systems. I was wondering, what is there in your life that gives you internal support?


What are your sources of hope, strength, comfort and peace?


What do you hold on to during difficult times?


What sustains you and keeps you going?


For some people, their religious or spiritual beliefs act as a source of comfort and strength in dealing with life\’s ups and downs; is this true for you?


If the answer is “Yes,” go on to O and P questions.


If the answer is “No,” consider asking: Was it ever? If the answer is “Yes,” ask: What changed?


Organized religion


Do you consider yourself part of an organized religion?


How important is this to you?


What aspects of your religion are helpful and not so helpful to you?


Are you part of a religious or spiritual community? Does it help you? How?


Personal spirituality/ practices


Do you have personal spiritual beliefs that are independent of organized religion? What are they?


Do you believe in God? What kind of relationship do you have with God?


What aspects of your spirituality or spiritual practices do you find most helpful to you personally? (e.g., prayer, meditation, reading scripture, attending religious services, listening to music, hiking, communing with nature)


Effects on medical care and end-of-life issues


Has being sick (or your current situation) affected your ability to do the things that usually help you spiritually? (Or affected your relationship with God?)


As a doctor, is there anything that I can do to help you access the resources that usually help you?


Are you worried about any conflicts between your beliefs and your medical situation/care/decisions?


Would it be helpful for you to speak to a clinical chaplain/community spiritual leader?


Are there any specific practices or restrictions I should know about in providing your medical care? (e.g., dietary restrictions, use of blood products)

If the patient is dying: How do your beliefs affect the kind of medical care you would like me to provide over the next few days/weeks/months?

FICA Spiritual Tool

Faith and belief

Do you have spiritual beliefs that help you cope with stress?

If the patient responds \”no,\” consider asking: what gives your life meaning?


Have your beliefs influenced how you take care of yourself in this illness?


Are you part of a spiritual or religious community?

Is this of support to you, and how?

Address in care

How would you like me to address these issues in your health care?

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