Spiritual Care by Nurses? 'I had the Skills Already'
Drawing on feminist theories of nursing, caring, the body and spiritualities and feminist standpoint epistemologies,I argue that the continuing social effects of patriarchal institutions and cultural norms is evident.Qualitative analysis of interviews with 18 experienced nurses give stories of nursing care which demonstrate the dominance of dualistic hierarchies where the body, and by association women, are considered inferior to spirit/mind. Whilst describing care considered to be spiritual, the essence of this care is existing nursing care: comfort, compassion, competence. There is need for nurses to be empowered to articulate existing nursing skills which they describe as spiritual, wheras evidence from both traditional and contemporary spiritualities suggest that spiritual practices encourage silence and
meekness. I suggest that nurses giving spiritual care would destabilise other more important issues and concerns of nurses, nursing and patients.
Keywords: Spiritual Care, Nursing, Feminisms
Dr. Dorothy Grosvenor
Lecturer, School of Acute & Continuing care Nursing, Napier University