CONTACT HOURS: 25.00
AOTA CEUs: 2.50
Spirituality, religion, and culture play an important role in health and healing. Health care systems and health care professionals must recognize and understand a variety of spiritual and religious values, beliefs, and practices and their impact on health and healing. To meet the needs of a spiritually and culturally diverse client population, today’s health care system is evolving in its approach.
While theorists and researchers have yet to agree on a single, universally accepted theory or definition of spirituality, few would deny its existence or impact on health and healing. In the past, spirituality was synonymous with religion. Although spirituality may include traditional religious beliefs and practices, spirituality is a much broader concept that also includes nonreligious beliefs and expressions. It includes a sense of connection to something larger than ourselves and typically involves a search for meaning in life. For many cultures, spirituality is deeply connected to healing practices and expanded stages of consciousness.
The relationship between healthcare provider and client can provide both with a sense of strength, healing, inner peace, and an interconnectedness that gives meaning to the relationship. This relationship is a deeply spiritual one and results from the sharing of intimate experiences such as birth, death, life-threatening illnesses, emotional chaos, and the issues that arise during healing. By caring, listening, and engendering trust, the healthcare or spiritual care provider and his or her client can form a spiritual relationship that can heal each other.
The spiritual rituals of prayer, meditation, guided imagery, gratitude, spending time in nature, dancing, storytelling, and art can all help people connect to their inner being, to others, and to a divine spirit or Sacred Source. A part of spiritual and cultural traditions, rituals help to provide awareness, meaning, intention, and purpose in life.
Religion and spirituality are distinct yet related concepts. An individual’s spirituality, religious beliefs, and religious practices can all have a profound effect on his or her health. The major spiritual elements and rituals of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are explored. The benefits of religion on specific health practices are examined, and the role of healthcare providers in supporting their clients’ spiritual and religious beliefs is discussed.
Healthcare professionals and spiritual care providers face many challenges in becoming prepared to administer holistic, respectful, and culturally and spiritually competent care for their patients and clients. Understanding the relationship between spirituality, culture, and health is a vital part of providing spiritually competent care.
Spiritual care is an important and necessary part of appropriate patient care, yet many health care professionals feel ill equipped to provide it to their clients. When people experience a spiritual crisis and need spiritual care, they may choose to discuss their concerns only if they have been shown respect, understanding, and appreciation by the person(s) caring for them. Thus, understanding spirituality and its impact on well-being is one way to demonstrate respect and appreciation and helps healthcare practitioners provide compassionate and appropriate spiritual care.
The therapeutic interventions of music, art, dance, humor, and animal-assisted therapy can be integrated into mainstream medicine and should be considered as complements, not replacements for, mainstream medical treatments. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) is evaluating these therapeutic interventions and research is demonstrating that they are not only safe but effective as well.
Modern nursing was founded on the concepts of healing environments. Florence Nightingale was one of the first to realize the importance of nature, light, noise, and sensory stimulation in healing. Today, it is well known that healing environments empower patients to be involved in their own healing journey and take responsibility for their own health. Through their understanding of the elements of a sacred, healing space and the environment’s role in healing, healthcare providers and consumers can create and support these spiritual spaces so their health is enhanced, their culture and history are respected, and wellness, prevention, and self-care are emphasized.
The dying experience is unique for each individual. For many individuals, death is not an end to life. It is simply a passage to another dimension, sometimes called heaven, the spiritual world, another plane of existence, or nirvana. As knowledge of issues involved in death and dying increases and positive attitudes are promoted, the spiritual care and support for people who are dying will improve. There are many spiritual, psychological, social, and cultural healing strategies that can assist health care providers in the compassionate spiritual care of the dying.
Dealing with loss and grief is one of the great spiritual challenges of life. Individuals experience grief differently, depending on their inner resources, support, and relationships. Grief is subjective and can have psychological, social, and spiritual responses. Although cultural expressions of grief may vary, the deep sense of loss and sorrow is almost universal.
Spirituality is a dynamic, evolving process that begins in infancy and continues throughout life. The spiritual development in children is especially important because of its impact on the rest of the child’s life.
Aging presents unique challenges to an individual’s spiritual growth, development, and expression. The relationships between loss, hope, love, sexuality, religion, and health can profoundly affect spirituality in the older adult. In addition, spirituality and religion help the aging adult cope with personal difficulties, stress, surgery, and chronic diseases. Finally, the development of spirituality in the aging adult incorporates the cultural wisdom and spiritual wisdom of elders.
The outcome of this course is for the learner to describe the characteristics of spirituality, the connection between spirituality and healing, and the essential elements of spirituality.
Certificate Objectives - Upon completion you will be able to do the following:
- Describe the characteristics of spirituality.
- Discuss the power of healing environments and the elements of a healing environment.
- Identify the elements of spiritual care and a spiritual assessment.
- Examine healing strategies that can assist in the spiritual care of the dying.
- Describe the process of spiritual development in the aging individual.
- Describe different forms of spiritually healing rituals.
- Discuss the grieving process and grief reactions.
- Examine the relationship between spirituality, culture, and health.
- Identify religious and spiritual development in children.
- Explore the relationship between religion, spirituality, and health.
- Describe the types of spiritual care generalists and specialists and their roles in providing spiritual care.
- Examine mind-body-spirit healing interventions such as art, dance, and humor and the therapeutic benefits.
Nurses, health care professionals, and interested individuals
Criteria for Successful Completion
Complete the course post exam (CE Test) with a score of 80% or greater. Complete all fields of the course Evaluation Form.
Certificate of Completion is provided for individual courses once the course post exam is passed per criteria above.
Certificate of Completion is provided for certificate programs once all of the courses within the certificate program have been successfully completed per criteria above.
Practice Level (For Occupational Therapy Only): Intermediate
Content Focus (For Occupational Therapy Only): Occupational Therapy Process
Commercial Support No commercial support has been received for this activity.
Complementary and Alternative Health
Health Care Administration
Marriage and Family Therapy
American Board of Managed Care Nursing - The American Board of Managed Care Nursing recognizes all of ALLEGRA Learning Solutions' ANCC accredited courses for continuing education credit for Certified Managed Care Nurses (CMCNs).
ANCC—American Nurses Credentialing Center - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
AOTA - American Occupational Therapy Association - American Occupational Therapy Association
California Board of Registered Nurses - Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider # CEP 14693 for the number of hours stated.
California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section - The California Department of Health, Aid, and Technician Certification Section accepts continuing education offered by CA-BRN approved providers.
District of Columbia Board of Nursing - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE BROKER after successful completion.
Florida Board of Nursing - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions, LLC is accredited as a provider of continuing education by the Florida Board of nursing (CE Provider # 50-12076).
Courses are automatically submitted to CE Broker.
Florida Board of Nursing — Certified Nursing Assistants - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
Florida Board of Respiratory Care - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
Florida Council of Dietetics and Nutrition - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery - ALLEGRA Learning Solutions (CE Broker Provider # 50-12076) submits all continuing education records to CE Broker after successful completion.
NAADAC - The National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors - ALLEGRA Learning is an approved provider with the National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) (Provider #813).
ALLEGRA Learning Solutions courses are acceptable for continuing education in...
Accommodations for Disabilities
Continuing education (CE) licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not well defined, and may change. These CE requirements may vary in terms of the number of hours required to the types of courses that must be taken. ALLEGRA Learning Solutions recommends you contact your licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest continuing education requirements of your state or territory. Compliance with CE requirements is the responsibility of the individual health care provider. Health care providers must understand the CE requirements in their jurisdictions, and be sure they are up-to-date on any rule changes that affect their license. For further information, please see our Accreditation information page.
Conflicts of Interest and Relevant Financial Relationships
Every effort will be made to accommodate your special needs. To request accommodations, please contact ALLEGRA Learning Solutions at Contact Us.
The authors/planning committee members have no conflicts of interests or relevant financial relationships to declare relevant to this activity.
Non-endorsement of Products
Accreditation refers to recognition of continuing nursing education only and does not imply ALLEGRA approval or endorsement of any commercial product.
Off-label Use of Products
None of the authors intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics, or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the United States.
Cyndie Koopsen, RN, BSN, MBA, HNB-BC, RN-BC, HWNC-BC
Caroline Young, MPH
March 14, 2017
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