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Posts Tagged ‘sunday’

Religion and healthcare has been, from the beginning of my Nursing degree, and still continues to be, a great passion of mine. Whether I contemplate the impact that my own religious beliefs have on my life, or if looking to my patients and their ‘holistic care’, I am strong in wanting the most for spiritual care. But I have recently been drawn to consider religion and the workplace.

Two weeks ago I had my first proper interview for a Nursing post in a large general hospital, I was asked at the conclusion of my interview if I had any questions to ask my interviewers. I only had one. I am currently on a 4 week elective placement. When I was given my shifts for the first two weeks, I was disappointed to see that I was due to be working for both Sundays. I had a lengthy discussion with my previous mentor about the consideration of working hours when being interviewed for a nursing post and we together were curious if that was something that was asked and taken into consideration by the NHS. My question was simple and was by no means an opportunity to ease my curiosity, but was practically for my own knowledge. I posed the question to my interviewers ‘Does the hospital have a policy for Sunday working in relation to religious persuasion?’

I was faced with two rather blank looks. This seemed to be a question that had not arisen before. Apparently no-one else was worried about working on the Lord’s day…

I remember a time when Sunday was actually acknowledged in England as different… Shops were open, but only for a limited time and NO-ONE was forced to work on a Sunday if they didn’t want to. In fact, no-one would even be put on a rota for a Sunday unless they had consented to it.

The answer that I received came with a hint of disgust ‘We do run a 24 hour, 7 day a week service you know. There are patients to treat every day of the week, even on Sundays, at Christmas, Easter and other important days to you… I believe Churches have a morning and an evening mass, surely if you were to discuss it with your ward manager then you could work out a way to go to one or the other, but you’ll have to be flexible…’ It became very apparent to me that times have changed. Although I am well aware that healthcare stops for no-one, and I am more than happy to work the occasional Sunday… I also am very aware that for me, God comes first, Church comes first, yes… even above my job and the money that comes with that…

Now that we have come to the point where religion appears to be misunderstood and not considered, is there any way of going back? Will promotion of religion and religious needs be sufficient to raise awareness? Or have we gone too far in the wrong direction?

Our country has become so very clearly a secular one, by no means a Christian society. With this is mind; is it still reasonable to expect a level of leeway when it comes to religious beliefs and religious freedom?

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