AIM: This paper is an exploration of the challenge of negotiating the highly personalized concept of spirituality within the public sphere of professional-patient interactions. BACKGROUND: Spirituality has become increasingly prominent within the nursing discourse, and providing spiritual care is often positioned as an ethical obligation of care. However, bringing such a personal concept into the public domain of care creates some unique tensions and ethical risks. DISCUSSION: Nurses bring three potentially competing identities to spiritual care encounters with patients.
The MMPI profiles of 42 nurses presenting themselves for treatment of alcoholism or opiate addiction in a residential setting were examined. When comparisons were made, no significant differences in this sample emerged based on sex, level of professional training, or drug of choice. Results suggested that a significant elevation emerged on the Pd scale, and the D scale approached clinical significance. The clinical implications of these data as they impact the treatment of impaired nurses are discussed.