1 postsRe: Topic 5 DQ 1
International Federal (2019) defines disaster as a sudden, calamitous event that seriously disrupts the functioning of a community or society and causes human, material, and economic or environmental losses that exceed the community’s or society’s ability to cope using its own resources. Disasters, whether natural or manmade, can take a significant toll on an individual or community, causing short and long-term distress (Falkner, 2018). Spiritual considerations surrounding a disaster is different for individuals and communities, because of their unique beliefs. Different cultures may respond differently to disasters, whether it is by praying, crying, doubting God, thinking that they are being punished by God, etc. If a disaster were a terrorist attack (manmade), people of different cultures may hold grudges and hate towards a certain ethnic group.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, basic needs must be met before psychological and self-fulfillment needs. For a nurse to assist with spiritual care, he or she must have the patient in safety and make sure that they had water, food, warmth, shelter, rest, and security. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we most likely would not assess a patient about spiritual needs if they are panicking and are in the middle of receiving medical care.
Spiritual considerations can arise surrounding any natural disaster by those who are impacted. Many problems that can arise during natural disasters would be destruction of homes, churches, religious centers, and sacred landmarks. Many cultures and religions hold special sentiments towards certain structures and the destruction of these could cause great loss and may affect the spirituality of individuals in a community. Disasters cause death in the hundreds or thousands and will cause devastation for many people who then may require spiritual support to help them cope with the loses.
A community health nurse can assist in the spiritual care of the individual, community, self, and colleagues in many ways. First, nurses should take care of themselves and be aware of their own emotional health before they could help others. Nurses must be aware of cultural differences and adjust their care according to their beliefs. Nurses are also expected to create a healing environment for the physical and spiritual self, which respects human dignity (Minority Nurse, 2013). Advocation can take place when a nurse finds a chaplain to provide psychological and spiritual support. Simple interventions, such as holding an individual’s hand and providing empathy and silence can be beneficial for one and provide reassurance. Taking the time to pray with individuals of a community can also provide support.