I agree that the good part of the article is about the definitions.  I find that often, having 269 residents I can be lulled into doing the screening for a crises or for important information about the resident, and a decent history, invite them to those activities which they want to attend and then shift into neutral.  Part of this is because we have about 100 deaths a year and I am doing end of life care and then doing the above all over again.  As was said I think by David, having students involved can help bring a better spiritual assessment which we would do together plus involving the resident.

I mentioned this to a colleague who knows me and my situation well and she was wanting to say the assessment and intervention are happening but are not as intentional, professional and documented as I would like.  This is probably a fair assessment of my situation.

On page 174 of the Drummond article at the bottom is a listing of five ways in which religious spirituality contributes to the promotion of health and the patient care environment.  This list reminds me a lot of my daily reality in caring and providing support and care to the residents, families, staff and volunteers.

For me over the years the challenge has b4een to not smoothly slide over the deep things, but to try and make the connections to what is going on in peoples lives and help them see, discover and explore what the paper quotes Larty listing as the dimensions of spirituality.  I like to find questions or observations which allow the resident to make those connections for themselves.  In the moment these interactions can feel kind of deep, allowing a type of rudimentary theological reflection.  Especially with my students (and anyone who will listen really) I like to brain storm ways we might ask a question or make a comment at a particular point in the visit which allows a focus on meaning, values, the experience of God, illumination of a sacred/secular text which will allow some focus; which the resident may find helpful.  As I see Larty, the word relationship comes up.  This is central I believe in all our connections; build on and grow in relationship–to self, others and the transcendant.

I like re-reading the standards at least three of four times a year.  They keep me grounded, focused, and questioning how I would further develop an area of weakness or need in the ministry.  I often am inspired to do a search for more information on an area and have thus been able to grow in this way.  This is how I discovered Oates several years ago.