21st Century Evangelists?
Keywords:caring, feminist, gender, nurse, religious, spiritual, suffering
This article discusses the outcomes of a doctoral study into why nurses are asked to give spiritual care to patients. Tensions between bodily nursing care and spiritual care were explored in semi-structured interviews with eighteen experienced nurses. Interview materials were interpreted within feminist frameworks of caring and spiritualities as patriarchal constructions rooted in Christianities. Themes of nursing care described as spiritual demonstrated that body/spirit dualisms persisted despite secularisms. However, since spiritual care remained a confused and nebulous concept, how the addition of spiritual care by nurses will remedy the stresses and distressed described in the study is questioned.
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