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Guidance for Muslim patient care
For Muslims at the death bed, spirituality and religious faith are the only empowering sources that help them to face death.
To deliver effective culturally congruent care to a terminally ill Muslim patient, the Islamic rituals must be carried out in a way that recognizes and respects the cultural differences of this particular population. In a recently published paper, the authors present a general overview of the Islamic faith, define terms with which hospice nurses should be familiar, and explain the importance of the different customs of the faith.1
Practical advice about the types of foods, interactions between different genders, and clothing offer guidance to hospice staff members caring for a Muslim patient and family. Also, the importance of friends and family members gathering around the patient is explained. The authors point out that the number of people who might be in the home and with the patient might be seen as a hindrance to patient care by some nurses. Understanding the role that the gathering plays in the Muslim culture promotes better understanding and communication with the family, according to the authors.
Finally, the authors present a list of considerations for preparing the body in accordance with Muslim beliefs when the patient dies.
1. Salman, K, Zoucha R. Considering faith within culture when caring for the terminally ill Muslim patient and family. J Hosp Palliat Nurs 2010; 12:156-163.