Chair of Euro Committee

The chair of Euro Committee

Thursday April 23rd 2009
Boundary situations in life and how they make us become more
aware of important questions in life.
Tove Giske, PhD, RN, Associate Professor Haraldsplass Deaconess Hospital and University College, Norway


Presentation and material


Learning outcome:
  • To gain understanding of what it can mean existentially to get ill
  • To explore questions of life in own life
  • To get an increased ability to recognize life questions of patients and a motivation to help patients when needed
Job’s experience of what consolation is and what it is not
Åsa Roxberg, Dr Polit, RN, Associate Professor Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Norway and Växjö University, Sweden


Presentation and material (From JCN)

An example of an absent and non-caring consolation is the consolation of the friends in the Book of Job. This consolation is not capable of consoling because it does not correspond to where Job is, i.e. to his experience of his suffering. A consoling and health-bringing rest in or from the struggle with suffering presents itself by giving up what in various ways is tied to the suffering.

Learning outcome:
Consolation, what it is and what it is not

Concurrent workshops 13.15 – 14.30:

A. Dignity in care: exploring the relationship between spirituality and dignity within nursing
Wilfred McSherry, Professor in Dignity of Care for Older People, PhD, MPhil, BSc (Hons) PGCE(FE) PGCRM, RGN, NT, ILTM.
Centre for Practice and Service Improvement, Faculty of health, Staffordshire University
Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, UK


Within the United Kingdom there have been a number of high profile political and professional campaigns asking nurses and other health care professionals to champion and preserve the dignity of each patient. This workshop will explore the implications of such campaigns for nursing. In addition, participants will reflect upon the relationship between dignity and spirituality. Case scenarios will be used to highlight how these two primary concepts are central to every individual’s sense of humanity. The implications of not addressing such concepts within nursing practice will be outlined. Measures we as nurses can take to preserve the dignity and support patients with their spiritual needs will be discussed.

Learning outcomes of the workshop:
  • Explore potential reasons for the emergence of dignity in care campaigns
  • Develop knowledge and understanding into the concepts of dignity and spirituality
  • Increase awareness of how these concepts are essential to the delivery of holistic and individualized nursing care
  • Identify measures that nurses can take to preserve the dignity of each individual patient

B. Dying patients: Do they need spiritual care? If yes: How?
Birthe Ørskov Sørensen, RN, Lecturer, Master of Education  
University College, Zealand, The Nursing Education, Nykøbing F., Denmark.
Grete Schärfe, RN, BA, former staff worker DKS, hospice nurse,
KamillianerGaardens Hospice, Aalborg, Denmark.


Presentation and material
Case Study 1 and 2

We will look at questions like:
  • How does the state of the patient influence his need for spiritual care? How do we give spiritual care to the dying patient?
  • What are the competences needed for this type of nursing care?
  • We will use examples and case study as teaching methods.
Learning outcomes of the workshop:
That participants:
  • will gain understanding of the character of spiritual needs of dying patients
  • become aware of own competences – or lack of competences – for giving spiritual care to dying patients
  • be ready to take steps towards development of own competences for giving spiritual care to dying patients.

C. The role of the nurse in maintaining harmony in institutionalized older persons
Dr Donia Baldacchino, Ph.D. (Hull), M.Sc.(Lond), B.Sc.(Hons), Cert.Ed.(Lond), R.G.N.
Institute of Health Care, University of Malta

Presentation and material

Institutionalization may generate stress to older persons which may be related to personal coping strategies and the degree of communal activities.  Spiritual coping may may include also religiousness such as prayer and relationship with God which may be a resource of coping and empowerment. Thus, the role of the nurse in sustaining harmony in the life of older persons. This workshop compares stress and spiritual coping of three groups of Maltese Christian older residents (N=141): Australia (n=31); Malta (n=66) and Gozo (n=43), mean age 72.8 years; males (n=36) females (n=105). Findings revealed that the multi social activities and daily occupational therapy exercises in both homes of Australia contributed towards ‘normal’ levels of stress and higher use of spiritual coping and independence than the groups in Malta. Thus, the role of the nurse in facilitating spiritual coping in order to help the older persons to live harmoniously by finding meaning and purpose in their life.

Learning outcomes of the workshop:

  • outline reasons for stress in institutionalisation;
  • identify various religious and existential coping strategies
  • increase awareness about the importance of the spiritual dimension in the rehabilitation of older institutionalized persons
  • reflect on the current delivery of care to older persons outline the role of the nurse in maintaining harmony in older persons’ life

D. The theoretical framework for spiritual care in psychiatric patient-nurse relationships in the light of spiritual and existential phenomena
Tiburtius Koslander, RN, MSc, RNT, Lecturer
Ansgar Theological Seminary, Sweden

Presentation and material

In the psychiatric care patients are suffering of different mental illnesses. Patients pondering have often spiritual and/or existential character. Patients are willing to bring up this subject in caring context but at the same time they feel that nursing staff are not able to address it. On the other hand nursing staff are not aware of how they should meet these needs. Nurses have also lack of knowledge about these phenomena. Today, generally in Sweden the nursing care are missing or have not implemented in their work a theoretical framework which considerate those patients needs. The theoretical foundation for caring science should incorporate existential philosophy and its holistic view on human being. By that means seeing human being as body, soul and spirit as an integrated whole.

Learning outcomes of the workshop:
How the implementation of existential philosophy in theoretical foundation can show the way for nurses to understand and help patients address their spiritual and existential needs


Thursday April 23rd 2009
Concurrent workshops 14.45  – 16.00:

A. ”Pastor! My faith is killing me!” –  faith as cure or corruption of the human soul
John Kristian Rolfsnes, Hospital Chaplain
Haraldsplass Deaconal Hospital, Bergen, Norway


http://www.sykepleien.no/ikbViewer/page/sykepleien/vis/artikkel-forskning?p_document_id=256314

It is obvious that faith and spiritual life can be a significant buffer against challenging life incidents and cause cure in human life when integrated.  It is also obvious that faith under certain circumstances can cause the quite opposite and corrupt human soul and life quality.  In this workshop I will share my experience working with patients at a psychiatric hospital, and how therapy and pastoral care can supply each other in supporting the patient to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy faith systems.
Learning outcomes of the workshop:
As health workers it is an interdisciplinary responsibility to recognize and support healthy spiritual recourses within and around the patient. In a healthy spiritual life, faith often becomes a resource.  We will focus on how we as health workers can identify support and differentiate a healthy spiritual life from the unhealthy?! Cooperation between pastoral counsellors and health care workers is an important and interesting area for future development.    


B. Devastated Faith
Pictures of "Self" and "God" Meeting the Dark Side of Reality
May Bente Matre, Therapist/ Social worker
Centre for Life Managenment, 80 %, Centre for Spiritual Guidance, 20 %

Presentation and material

Life is not always what we hoped for or what we are prepared to meet. When we have to deal with suffering, sorrow, illness, loss, real disappointments etc the Christian faith can be a great resource. But there are times when the experience is that the faith is of no help when we really had needed it to be so. The things we believe in can even be felt as a burden upon all. It is difficult when the picture we have had of ourselves and of God no longer seems to make sense or even tell the truth. Crises in life are often followed by crises in faith.

Learning outcomes of the workshop:
This workshop is a help to come aware of how difficulties in life also can effect peoples faith in God in a very serious way. How can this be understood, accepted and even helped? The workshop will focus on what happens when faith simply seems to be unable to give comfort, meaning or hope? The outcome of the workshop will hopefully be a help to meet this problems in patients life and in our own lives. As we know, - we often have to help ourselves before we can help others!

C. Exploring spiritual care
Linda Ross, BA, RGN, PhD
University of Glamorgan, South Wales

The workshop will consist of 4 exercises, related to the learning outcomes, which participants will complete in small groups:
  1. Ex1. Poetry collection - recognizing spiritual needs & thinking about spiritual care
  2. Ex2. ER clip (You Tube) - recognizing spiritual needs & thinking about spiritual care
  3. Ex3. Patients’ inner needs – reflecting on your own practice.
  4. Ex4. Assessing spiritual needs – what questions can we ask patients?

Please come prepared for Ex3 by identifying a patient/client who coped well and/or badly on being given bad news. What made it good? What made it bad? What were their inner needs? What did they value besides physical care?

Learning outcomes of the workshop:
  • To explore and define spiritual needs, and spiritual care,  in a healthcare context
  • To consider how it might be provided to patients & practitioners
  • To consider how we could assess the spiritual needs of patients

D. Considering ethical issues: a discussion
Jenny Hall, MSc (Reproduction & health) RN RM ADM PG (Dip)HE
University of the West of England, Bristol, UK & Editor, The Practising Midwife journal


As future midwives and nurses we will face (and may have already faced) challenges when caring for people, including situations that may feel to be outside our personal beliefs. For example: What do you feel about:
  • Keeping people alive on life support?
  • Terminating pregnancy?
  • Stem cell research or cloning to save the lives of others?
  • Dealing with shortage of staff?
  • Research studies on very small babies?
These are just a few questions and you may have others you would like to bring with you. This will be an interactive session and be prepared to discuss and debate with others what the appropriate ethical responses may be to some of these questions, in order to meet the needs of our clients.

Learning outcomes of the workshop:
  • To be reminded of ethical principles in relation to respecting the whole person
  • To have discussed issues relevant to personal practice and considered appropriate responses