How do you express your faith on the job?

  1. I've been reading a number of different threads since registering here and the topic of one's religious beliefs has arisen many times. I'm a born-again Christian working as a Med-Surg nurse and I see my job as a form of ministry-- a way to serve God as well as make a living, and I'm interested in knowing how others incorporate their religious beliefs into their jobs without this becoming too controversial or heated a discussion, if that's possible when talking about religion!

    I rarely talk about my faith or beliefs on the job unless asked, and express my faith through actions more than words. So I mainly "live my faith" since there's so little time for words. I pray before work that God will help me love my patients and co-workers and that my work will bring glory to Him. I ask for His guidance, help, and provision before and during my shift. I have prayed with patients in the past if they seemed receptive or outright asked for prayer. I also approach my job as doing it to the best of my ability to please God and see serving my patients as also serving God.

    I have never pushed my beliefs on anybody and have actually felt guilty sometimes for not sharing my hope and the reason for my faith. The only feedback I've received from living my faith has been patients expressing that the care they've received from me has seemed "different"; if I feel led, I may say something about serving God by serving them, but generally I just smile and say, "thank you".
  2. 70 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    In my opinion your practice is exactly what I would like as a patient.
  4. by   RN-PA
    Thank you, Fergus. I re-read my message and I don't want to come across as some holier-than-thou, perfect angel because I certainly am NOT! I have struggled and been incredibly challenged spiritually, emotionally, and physically over the years as a nurse, and if I didn't believe to my very core that God made me a nurse and wants me to be where I am, I'd have bailed out YEARS ago.

    Nothing has been more difficult, and at times painful, in my life than becoming/being a nurse because of my personality and previous life's experiences. In fact, my husband, who has witnessed my battles and held me through my tears over the years says I'm "God's biggest miracle" since deep-down, he wasn't sure I'd make it; He thought the math alone would kill me!

    Anyway, I couldn't have done it without God's help-- He has taught me SO much-- and I need Him every day (hour... minute...) when I work!
  5. by   wrightgd
    I think more than anything else, the way we live our lives, is the way we witness to those around us. Whether it be our patients, co-workers, lost family members, or our neighbors... When others see the joy in our lives, I think it stirs a curiosity. Many will come right our and ask, why you are always so happy. It is then that you have a chance to share Jesus. Our faith should show in everything we do 24/7/365.

    I do Occ. Health Nursing, and I am lucky in my job... I am paid to sit down with employees and discuss their health status. Because of this, I am able to share one on one with those who are receptive. I can't just start preaching, but I have had several employees ask me about spritual issues. It is then that I can go through the door that God opened and share my faith.

    One thing is certain, if you are aware of the need to share your faith, God will show you how and when to do it. Don't we serve an awesome God!!

  6. by   VickyRN
    We Christians are called to be AMBASSADORS for Christ (according to the Scriptures). Ambassadors use tact and diplomacy and are to lead exemplary lifestyles in every way. Although I do not always measure up to this , I make it my aim in life. I try to show Christ's lconcern and caring at all times, and if anyone asks about my faith, I am very happy to share.:chuckle If we can't make this world a better place by our presence, what is the purpose of us being here? This is what really matters.
  7. by   NurseDennie
    I start every day with a prayer for "enough." Strength, courage, intelligence... everything. I try not to be "too" Catholic, but sometimes if I hear something that I feel warrants it, I'll make the sign of the cross anyway.


  8. by   duckie
    The best example of what is in our hearts, is the way we conduct ourselves. I believe Christianity speaks louder through actions than words, many times, but there are times when asked, we are given the chance to tell others what gives us the strength and joy in our lives. No, Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven. I also pray daily for the strength to do my job in His will, and for love, tolerance and understanding of all those around me. I am not always perfect but I always love the Lord and am very proud to say so.
  9. by   fergus51
    Your welcome RN PA. I am not a religious person and I appreciate when a religious nurse acts how her religion demands (with compassion and caring) without resorting to trying to convert patients with words. Actions do speak louder than words and make me respect someone a lot more.
  10. by   old-master
    I believe that expressing your beliefs at your job is not a good idea. We live in a free society that anyone can believe in what they want. And since we can express our believes more openly than in point in American history, than I do not risk offering anyone. And since I have not died and seen the after-life, than I do not know the truth.
    I generally say, "God of your understanding." or when directly asked, I say, "I believe in the living force." When I wish a pt good luck, I generally say "May the force be with you."
  11. by   inursem
    i'm new to this site and rather new as a nurse however i have been in the field for over 20 years working up through the ranks. currently i work with dd/mr clients and feel i have been blessed...i am the person who stands up for them, who fights for their rights, and most often i'm the closest thing to family. i think that i have been placed on this earth to ask why (man i do that often) and never stop until the answer is realistic. any way just thought i'd share this with you. thanks for listening.
  12. by   live4today
    Brian just warned us not to talk about our religious beliefs or express our religious viewpoints on the "General Discussion Forum" over on another post about "eeeeeeeeek...unprotected sex...", but instead Brian warned us to only post about topics such as this one (religious in nature--sharing one another's personal views on religion, our beliefs, faith, etc.) on the forum titled "Off Topic Forum -- Just Conversation". What's fair for one, is fair for all, so how about havng Brian switch your post over to the "Off Topic Forum -- Just Conversation" so we can continue a topic very precious to many, yet upsetting to others so we can remain respectful of those who object to the topic of one sharing their religious beliefs, even when caring for our patients. Sad, but true, folks! I, for one, enjoy sharing with other nurses who believe the way you all do, but I dare not share it lest I be slammed. I do take private messages, however, so feel free to "PM" me.
    Last edit by live4today on Feb 13, '02
  13. by   Cubby
    I don't express my faith at work. I think they still burn witches in Oklahoma!!!
  14. by   live4today
    RN-PA ask: "How do you express your faith on the job?"

    I believe in "walking the talk" that I believe in. I believe that ACTIONS speak LOUDER than any spoken word(s). I share my faith through my smile when I enter a patient's room, by the warm touch that I give them when caring for them, through the way I approach them, speak to them, listen to them, acknowledge them, validate and accept them right where they are in the process of their road to recovery. Whatever my patients needs are, that is what I vow to give them. If they have a need that I cannot fulfill, I am not too proud or arrogant to ignore their need, but to search out someone who can be of help to them in their time of need, especially if they ask for a certain clergy that they want to minister to their own personal spiritual needs.