"The appropriateness and relevance of standard questions asked when accessing a health service"

About: Silver Chain Service Centre Metro South East

(as the patient),

I accessed a health service for the first time and was concerned about a standard question asked on admission to a clinic.

In this day and age, I believe it is not appropriate to ask direct questions about a persons spirituality or religion - without explanation - on admission to a non denominational clinic.

When I raised my opinion with the clinic nurse, she explained that information about spirituality and religion can inform their health service. An example the clinic nurse gave was - if a female who identifies as being Muslim may wish to be treated by female practitioners only. I believe that assumptions based on spirituality and religion are flawed, and the uniqueness of the individual and their needs is of utmost importance.

It is my recommendation that such questions about spirituality and religion be reworded to respect the patient and provide them with an option about whether they chose to share information about their spirituality or religion needs to enhance the service they receive.

It was confronting to tell the clinic nurse that I was only comfortable for them to record that I believed in God. This experience was very distressing and raised my blood pressure to a level that needed medical attention.

I plan to participate in the Consumer Engagement program to enhance and inform the health service.

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