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Chaplaincy Care and Education > When to Call a Chaplain

When to Call a Chaplain


While chaplains may conduct religious ceremonies, their larger role extends beyond religious concerns to include all aspects of spirituality in the healthcare setting.  Services offered by the chaplain may include:

  • Assisting patients in drawing upon their own spiritual resources and traditions in coping with healthcare concerns.
  • Providing a reflective, clarifying voice when patients and families face difficult ethical decisions.
  • Assisting patients in dealing with issues of meaning, purpose in light of illness, loss and suffering.
  • Providing appropriate religious resources to patients, families, and staff members.
  • Providing spiritual assessments that assist the healthcare team in identifying patient spiritual and emotional needs.
  • Participation in interdisciplinary meetings (ethics committees, institutional review, goals of care meetings, clinical rounds, etc.).
  • Facilitate Advance Care Planning discussions and documentation.

Patients and families may desire pastoral care when:

  • Anxious about their condition or treatments.
  • Facing difficult decisions.
  • Having spiritual or religious concerns or questions.
  • Wishing to receive religious sacraments and do not have their own clergy.
  • Struggling with the meaning of illness.
  • Grieving over a loss (e.g. death, disability, life transition).
  • Trying to sort out feelings.
  • Thankful for results and positive outcomes.
 
 





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