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Nursing, Professionalism and Spirituality

Gilliat-Ray, Sophie ORCID: 2003. Nursing, Professionalism and Spirituality. Journal of Contemporary Religion 18 (3) , pp. 335-349. 10.1080/13537900310001601695

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The first of the nine National Charter Standards stated in the Patient's Charter, launched in 1991 by the UK Department of Health, specifies ‘respect for privacy, dignity and religious and cultural beliefs’. Over the past decade, partly as a consequence of this dimension of the Charter, articles about ‘spirituality’ have become commonplace in nursing journals and several specialist books have been written on the role of nurses and the delivery of spiritual care. However, some of the assumptions that lie behind the use of the word ‘spirituality’ in nursing are highly questionable and this paper critically evaluates its use and abuse. Tony Walter (2002) offered a critique of the term (particularly in relation to nursing and palliative care) and this paper develops his discussion by arguing that the appropriation of ‘spirituality’—by nursing educators and academics in particular—reflects a deliberate effort to professionalise the nursing occupation. This is often at the expense of patients, especially those from minority faith traditions and indeed ‘ordinary’ nurses.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
R Medicine > RT Nursing
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1353-7903
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2022 10:03

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