I'm a nurse. Last night, a very frightened 91 year old woman who had a fracture in her spine was crying and praying that she would heal and not die from this. She asked me point blank if I believed in god. I lied and said yes.
Its still bothering me. I felt violated in a way, having to lie but what else could I have done? She was very sharp mentally, and obviously struggling with her faith, asking me why god was letting her suffer in pain. I tried to change the subject and reassure her that she would get better from this and that was the truth, which it is. She was actually feeling sicker than she is.. Still, did I do the right thing? I still feel like such a traitor to myself and I know I'm going to be faced with this again, some time. Though I hate discussing my personal beliefs with patients, they often ask me what I believe.