Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Susan Houtrouw

Second Advisor

Elissa Allen


This thesis can be interpreted as a fundamental and comprehensive resource that addresses major discussion points of spiritual care (SC) within the healthcare setting. It begins with definition of SC, information surrounding its value within healthcare, the qualifications necessary to practice it, simple yet effective tools and questions to perform SC, as well as acknowledgment of notable barriers and complications, and how those can be dealt with. SC correlates with not only the patient’s physical and mental health, but how it may impact medical practice, depending on how much an individual’s spirituality, religion, etc. affects their life. Healthcare providers should keep in mind that each licensed professional may play a different role in the SC process of patients. Regardless of the role, SC does not require extensive religious knowledge or certifications but rather an acknowledgment that each specialty (i.e physicians, nursing, social work, etc.) can utilize their particular roles (ex. assessments or referrals) in various ways. Furthermore, it should be a goal for these varying specialties to discover and utilize a minimum of one tool or method in which providing SC works best according to their discipline. Even with the challenges associated with SC, providers must focus their mindset on the fact that patients’ spiritual well-being can be as essential as their physical and mental health. Amidst there being a lack of time and training in some circumstances, organizations should provide staff with opportunities to combat this to maintain compliance to national guidelines regarding SC. Lastly, in terms of improving SC in the future, providers should continue to develop a basic understanding of common terms prior to the incorporation of SC into their practice as a means of enhancing their confidence in performing SC with patients. With various studies and organizations (that set standards for healthcare) having found SC to be very significant, it has been recognized that patients are seeking for this component of their life to be assessed, and if necessary, interventions and resources provided. Overall, this research has broadly overviewed major discussion points when approaching SC in the healthcare setting.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

HNRS thesis SC final ppt.pdf (1281 kB)
Defense Presentation

My Movie 1.mp4 (31214 kB)

Included in

Nursing Commons