How Spirituality Can Help You in a Healthcare Career
Religious beliefs have been debated for centuries, whether that is trying to decide which faith is right or wrong, or whether there is a supernatural presence responsible for creation at all. There are all kinds of spiritual teachings available, and there are more niche faiths that people feel more comfortable following than some of the mainstream religions. Some do not follow these types of beliefs at all, but no matter where people land when it comes to religion, it is whatever feels genuine to you that counts.
However, there are perks to having connections to spirituality — whatever that might mean for you — that can help you to navigate through the more challenging parts of life and learn to be more grateful for the good times. It can also help you to connect with others and offer them some comfort, which is why having a spiritual outlook can be beneficial for those in careers where they are working closely with others, such as healthcare. Below are some ways in which spirituality can help you when you are working as a nurse, doctor, therapist, or in another role in the healthcare sector.
Understanding How to Be Compassionate
When it comes to compassion, a lot of this will come down to the individual. Not everyone can be as sympathetic or understanding of others as someone else might be, but this is a key trait you need to have when you are working in healthcare. Not only will you be working closely with patients in certain roles that will be frightened and upset, but you’ll also be speaking with their families and your colleagues who can, and will, get overwhelmed at times.
You don’t need to be religious or spiritual to be able to show other people compassion, but sometimes these things can help you to connect with that part of yourself. A lot of spiritual teachings focus on how you should have love and understanding for others, and if you do share these beliefs, it can help you when you are dealing with those who need kindness in their time of struggle. Even though some patients or individuals you deal with in these circumstances won’t always be kind to you, being patient and understanding that this is more about their fear and concern than it is about you will help you handle these difficult scenarios with grace.
A Sense of Purpose
A lot of things can give people a sense of purpose, but if you believe that there is some sort of high power or something bigger than yourself, you might be more certain that you are on the path that you are meant to be on. Working in healthcare is not a career choice that will be right for everyone, particularly those frontline positions when you will see some very difficult situations throughout your career. However, feeling that working in these roles is what you are meant to be doing with your life can help you find strength at times when you might start to question whether you can continue – and there will be days when you ask this question.
It’s important to have a sense of purpose, whether you are a person of faith or not, as this can help you stay motivated and find satisfaction in your daily routine. Some people might find their purpose in their careers, while others might find it looking after their family and friends, or perhaps even volunteering their time to help those less fortunate. Whatever it is, this purpose is what drives you and can help you to feel content with your life. You will need this reminder and the feeling of belonging to help you get through the more challenging aspects of your healthcare career, and you will feel this when you see your patients doing well or in your other achievements at work. This article on how you can thrive as a Christian nurse can show how faith can reflect this sense of purpose and how this type of career can feel like your true calling.
Finding Comfort During the Hard Times
Working in healthcare can get tough, particularly when you see patients die or suffer severe injuries or illnesses that can change their lives forever. When things like this happen, it can be very hard to make sense of why they have occurred, and often these scenarios feel unjust and can make people angry. It can be hard to accept things that are out of your control, particularly when they are directly impacting your life. It is understandable why people get upset and frustrated under these circumstances, but sometimes, holding onto those emotions for too long can have lasting effects and take away from the more important things in life.
If you are working in healthcare as a doctor, nurse, etc., and you see one of your patients going through this or feel a sense of injustice yourself, it can be easy to let that anger take over, and you might begin to forget to look at the positives in life. Although it might be hard to spot the good things amid the hard times, they are still there and should be paid attention to. Whether you need to find comfort and things to be grateful for yourself, or it’s helping a patient to find their way to these things, having a spiritual outlook on life can help make this a little bit easier.
Offering Patients Spiritual Guidance
Not all of your patients will follow a faith, but when they are faced with health scares, it’s not uncommon for people to start questioning whether or not there is something bigger than themselves. Even those who do have faith might find themselves doubting their beliefs and having a spiritual crisis, and it’s at times like these that your spirituality can help. You may not share the same beliefs as they do, but if you do feel as though there is something beyond this realm or you subscribe to an idea of fate, you can still provide that spiritual guidance that your patients need during these times. You can help them rediscover their strength in their faith, or perhaps open their minds to the possibility of something more. The latter may only be temporary, but it can still be incredibly useful to those who do need something to believe in to help them get through one of the most challenging and frightening experiences of their lives.
Spirituality Can be Very Healing
Another benefit to welcoming a sense of spirituality into your healthcare career is that it can be incredibly healing. While medications and treatments will do a lot of the work to help patients recover, the way people feel mentally and their outlook on their circumstances can also play a big part in this. Studies have shown that positive thinking can help people heal more successfully, and spirituality can play a role in helping people change the way they think about their situation and start to look on the brighter side of life. Your patients might not share the same religious beliefs as you or follow any particular religion in general, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t find a spiritual connection to things in other ways. It also has the potential for them to look at other areas of their life and consider how they can make things better for themselves moving forward once they have recovered, giving them a new lease on life and a sense of gratitude for what is important to them, whether that be their health, their loved ones, or something else that brings them joy.
Finding Faith in Yourself
It is no secret that working in healthcare can be one of the more challenging and high-pressure environments to find yourself in. When you are working in an environment like this, it can be easy to start doubting yourself and your ability to take on these challenges and see them through to the end. As faith can help to give you that sense of purpose as mentioned previously, you might also find that this can help you to strengthen the faith you have in yourself. If you do believe that everything happens for a reason, or that you will face a variety of tests throughout your lifetime, this can make facing these challenges easier in some ways. It’s an opportunity for you to learn more about how well you can handle these situations, and although they might wear you down sometimes, you can find that inner strength that may come to you through prayer or another spiritual practice that helps to bring you clarity and serenity.
Serving as a Reminder to Care for Yourself
Self-care is vital for anyone, but particularly when you are working in a healthcare role. These careers, especially for frontline workers, can be very taxing with often long shifts and many patients to see. The idea of self-care has become more and more prevalent as people are starting to think more about their overall well-being and how important it is. This has made access to tips and tricks on what constitutes good self-care incredibly accessible, and people don’t necessarily have to be religious or spiritual to follow these ideas. However, many people who follow a faith or a more spiritual lifestyle may be more inclined to see life as a gift that should be cherished. This ideology can help to serve as a greater reminder of why you need to care for yourself properly, so when you are beginning to feel run-down or teetering on the edge of burnout in your healthcare career, you might be more inclined to take stock of the situation and do what you need to do to recover. It can also help to remind you that you do need to make the most of your days and that your career, although important, is not the only part of your life that you need to focus on. Hopefully, having some spiritual beliefs can help to guide you when it comes to self-care and remind you of how precious your well-being truly is.
The Drive to Give Back
In most cases, following a faith or having a stronger sense of spirituality often ties in with the idea of giving back to your local community and beyond. The idea that there is something bigger at workaround you can make you think more about the role you play in society, and giving back to those who need support and help the most is incredibly important for many religions and other spiritual beliefs. This isn’t to say that those without faith do not have the same drive to do this;many people want to help others regardless of what they believe. Yet, having some spirituality can make these motivations stronger, as it can feel as though this is a way to directly leave the world a better place than you found it. You may also believe that the actions you take in this life will also impact what happens to you next, and you want to make sure that you have done as much good as possible to find that peace and have few or no regrets.
The need to help others around you and to give back to your local community can be an excellent quality to have in a healthcare role, as you will need this kind of drive to help remind you of why you chose this career in the first place and to remember that despite the challenges you will face, ultimately, you are doing a great thing.
Living a spiritual life might not be the right path for everyone, but there are many benefits to having some kind of faith to lean on. This kind of connection to the world around you can help you see things in a different light, and this outlook can be incredibly useful and reassuring for someone who has a career in healthcare. If you are a spiritual person who currently works in healthcare or has been thinking about this kind of career, consider the list above and the ways your spirituality can help you during your time working in healthcare.