Addressing spirituality is part of the holistic care that critical care nurses seek to provide, and it is an area that sometimes makes us feel uncertain or uncomfortable. We can measure the growth of our skills in performing psychomotor and cognitive tasks—the time it takes to start a new intravenous line or the accuracy of a blood gas analysis—but tasks related to spiritual care are less tangible. How and when should we offer spiritual support? How do we know if we are getting it right?

We meet our patients and their families when they are vulnerable and likely to seek strength from a spiritual connection with a nurse. The creation of a protocol or a clinical practice guideline for care that must be individualized to a specific set of needs and beliefs is challenging. However, attending to spiritual needs not only results in...

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