Reviews

Spiritual care for healthcare professionals

THIS BOOK reflects on clinical practice and offers an outline of approaches to spiritual care. Thirteen chapters are divided into subsections dealing with: the art of spiritual care, assessing and responding to spiritual needs, working with the complexities of spiritual care, the personal impact of spiritual care and the role of the chaplain.

The writers enter into an almost personal dialogue with the reader which makes the publication engaging and appealing. It is equally valuable to refer to single chapters or read the book as a whole. The content is consistently integrated and the text flows well.

The text is aimed at the multidisciplinary team. The use of varied clinical scenarios in each chapter aids this, although at times it is chaplain focused. This does not take from the book, but rather adds to a greater understanding of the team’s contribution to care. The chapter on spiritual assessment, although limited in depth, provides useful information particularly in offering a non-religious approach.

There is a useful discussion about disentangling spirituality and religion. However, chapter one’s further reading was a little far reaching. Suggesting readers browse the shelves or carry out a literature search is too much to expect without specific direction. The authors also

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The writers enter into an almost personal dialogue with the reader which makes the publication engaging and appealing. It is equally valuable to refer to single chapters or read the book as a whole. The content is consistently integrated and the text flows well.

The text is aimed at the multidisciplinary team. The use of varied clinical scenarios in each chapter aids this, although at times it is chaplain focused. This does not take from the book, but rather adds to a greater understanding of the team’s contribution to care. The chapter on spiritual assessment, although limited in depth, provides useful information particularly in offering a non-religious approach.

There is a useful discussion about disentangling spirituality and religion. However, chapter one’s further reading was a little far reaching. Suggesting readers browse the shelves or carry out a literature search is too much to expect without specific direction. The authors also say that the ‘vast majority of healthcare provision is task orientated’ (p79). Many healthcare professionals would disagree.

Furthermore some assertions are debatable, such as ‘for touch is physical, bodily, and thus sexual’ (p93). While this may be true to an extent in general nursing practice, touch is a common and necessary feature of care, accepted by patients without undue concern.

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