“The book includes 13 stories showcasing how APNs interact with their patients. These stories are incredibly powerful as they show the power of spirituality and how important that human connection is.”
Finding the time to listen is vital
One issue that Professor Rogers has come up against throughout her career is that of staff having the time to offer a patient to comfort them or understand their needs when ensuring that the patient’s medical needs are being addressed.
“Targets have to be met, but I qualified in 1989 and the ethos even then was that you didn’t have enough time to sit and talk to your patients.
“My main approach to patient care has always been getting to know my patients, connecting with them as humans and spending time with them even you are doing a task. The stories I have heard from patients throughout my career have led me to realise how important spirituality in holistic care is.
“Spirituality for patients is really important because it is related to what gives them hope, meaning and purpose. Even if we are caring for somebody who is dying, we can’t make them not die but we can give them dignity in death. You can try to bring in hope and meaning to some extent for example ensuring their close ones of with them or ensuring they are pain free.”
Professor Rogers’ book draws on case studies from as far afield as China and Eswatini in addition to her own experiences. Her work will continue to explore the importance of spirituality in future global research projects.
“We recognise that spirituality may be difficult to define, and clinicians sometimes find it complex to integrate into practice. To help clinicians, we have defined Spiritually Competent Practice which involves compassionate engagement with the whole person as a unique human being, in ways which will provide them with a sense of meaning and purpose. Where appropriate, they will be connecting or reconnecting with a community where they experience a sense of well-being, addressing suffering and developing coping strategies to improve their quality of life.
“This includes the practitioner accepting a person’s beliefs and values, whether they are religious in foundation or not and practising with cultural competency.”