Anybody work in a religious hospital?

  1. I'm considering going to work at a (*gasp*) catholic hospital when I graduate.
    Has anyone ever worked at a religious institution? What do you find the differences are between these and public, nondenominational hospitals, if any?
    I'd really appreciate your input.
    Thanks,
    Reb
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  2. 32 Comments

  3. by   llg
    I am not a church-goer, but have worked at 2 Catholic hospitals. One was "very liberal" and it posed no problems at all. People of all religions worked there and were patients there and the hospital's philosophy was that it was there to deal with their patients' health concerns, not to force their religion onto them.

    The other hospital was not much of a problem, either, but I had to be a little more careful because my immediate supervisor was a devout Catholic and she, personally, was not as tolerant of others as some of the other managers.

    You really need to investigate the particular hospital and it's culture. They are not all the same.

    llg
  4. by   NurseDennie
    I've worked in a *gasp* Catholic hospital. Of course, being Catholic myself, it wasn't much of a gasp. It was the hospital where I'd done a lot of my clinicals in school (*gasp* Catholic college as well). My college is run by the (Double gasp!) Dominicans, and they are all teachers and nurses, so there were quite a few student nurses and graduate student nurses in the big white habits.

    I liked it more when I first started. It was run by nuns (not Dominicans - Sisters of Mercy) who were nurses. That was great. It was the flagship hospital of a small (3 hospital) chain and we were always in the black. So my hospital helped support the 2 others that didn't do as well AND gave the employees a "share the success" bonus each year.

    Now they have a MD with a MBA in charge and the first year he was there, he had them put in about 2 miles of marble tile hallways - yeah, that's safe -- AND that was the end of the share the success bonuses.

    But as far as working status .... I guess corporate culture... that was okay, too. They do start the day with a prayer over the intercom, (my hospital does, I don't know if others do). Of course, there were no elective abortions there. But they would do therapeutic ones. I had a friend who had to have one.

    I was surprised that the hospital made a BIG point in not accommodating any nurses who were expecting. I saw a lot of them leave and never come back.

    The chaplains were always available - not all Catholic by any means, and perhaps the ethics department was a little more involved than in some other hospitals. When we had our discharge planning sessions, the social workers, unit management, chaplains, us, of course, RT and PT, a rep from the pharmacy, and the ethics committee rep were always there.

    As far as the hospital meddling in the private affairs of the employees, that didn't happen. There's an employee assistance department, as always. There didn't seem to be any policies for or against any particular way of life. TPTB knew that I was having some pretty major marriage problems. We had openly gay and lesbian nurses. One of the service personnel was planning a sex change operation, and so began functioning as a woman. The only "official" word about him was when he couldn't afford the actual operation, and went back to dressing and looking like a male. There was a note sent around so that he wouldn't have to explain it 20,000 a day.

    I think they're pretty much the same as any other hospital. I think the days are gone when the Church had enough money to support Catholic hospitals in the way which they were accustomed, so a lot of the free and very-reduced cost care has gone away. I guess when a lot of your patients are Tenncare, you're already doing very-reduced-reimbursed care anyway.

    Love

    Dennie
  5. by   renerian
    I worked for a catholic hospital and I loved it. I loved the religious affilation. They offered mass for the staff as well.

    renerian
  6. by   traumaRUs
    I currrently work for Catholic hospital - no birth control, no abortion, but that's about it.
  7. by   nursbee04
    I did clinicals in an Adventist hospital, and the only differences as far as I could tell were morning devotionals, no pepper or caffeine served in the cafeteria and a Christian singing group that sang to the patients every morning. I'm religious, so the only thing I minded was the pepper and caffeine bit.
  8. by   dawngloves
    I've worked at Catholic hospitals. The only difference I saw was that we had morning and evening prayer on the overhead paging system, mass broadcast on the TV and a resident priest that came around and gave communion. Oh yeah, and the crosses everywhere.
    I'm not a Catholic, but always liked the prayers. I would stop if I could and just meditate for a minute. The priest were always good too. Great guys, could talk to them about everything.
  9. by   BadBird
    I currently work agency in a catholic hospital and find it very good, not really any different than anyother hospital except you see nuns in the units. Since I work only nights I don't know what they do during the day. The hospital is a bit cleaner than another non catholic hospital I work in, friendly atmosphere and employees who have been there 20 plus years. Most RN's there have the same complaints as anywhere but continue to work there because they like the units and other staff.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I work in both. One Catholic , one NON-religion-affiliated. I like the morning and evening prayers over the loudspeakers. Find it reassuring somehow. The only down side I can think of for our patients, is tubals have to be "approved" by the Sister, in advance. That can be a pita for some patients, esp those who are NOT Catholic or Christian. Usually, tho, this is explained to them. Yes, there crosses in all rooms and at the front desk. Does not bother me; find it kinda reassuring, even tho I am not Catholic. We received personal prayer books from the auxillary at Christmas time. We see nuns here and there. Chaplains also. Nothing overbearing at all goes on there. Patients don't seem bothered by all this. Other than that, not much difference than working in the secular system.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Jan 27, '03
  11. by   delirium
    Thanks for all your responses.

    I was actually raised Catholic (*gasp*), but have no experience with catholic (or any other religious affiliation) hospitals. All of my clinicals have been in non-religious affiliated facilities.

    Its funny because this hospital has a very religious sounding name, and when I read it was a catholic facility I was still kind of shocked. Go figure.

    Anyway, thanks for your collective input.
  12. by   Tookie
    I work for a religous organisation - Have found them to be very supportive and for me the best lot of people that l have worked for - Not evryone in the organisation might agree however that is where l am coming from -
    Yes there are religously significat items - but as we promote a home like environment it is within taste - there are regular services and support for the residents their familiy and staff. We also have a full time chaplian
  13. by   Dr. Kate
    I also work in both a Catholic hospital and a for profit non-religious one. I concur with everything said above.
    The Catholic hospital where I work was bought 6 years ago by another Catholic system. The difference is the way those two organizations runs things is like night and day. That's a corporate culture thing.
    The biggest differences I see between the Catholic and the not is in the use of the Chaplain. Chaplains come in for those life altering things that happen in a gentler, less obtrusive, more humane way than do the social workers who do similar things and they tend to be less harried and rushed. The involvement of the ethics committee in care issues is greater in the Catholic hospital. It seems to help to have a defined tradition backing up the ethical decision making.

    I prefer working at the non-religious hospital because as I have grown older I have become less and less tolerate of hypocrisy. I find I hold the Catholic hospital to a higher standard--I expect them to really do those things they post on the walls about the mission and values of the organization to their employees as well as their patients. (Again a corporate culture thing.)
  14. by   Rock
    Hi Reb:

    I have worked in Catholic hospitals in the past.

    At this present time, you will rarely see a nun in
    any kind of a habit. In fact, you won't even know
    anymore who is a nun and who is not.

    Catholic hospitals are no different than private-
    for-profit hospitals. They are now run by a paid
    administrator, and except for abortions, you'd
    never know you were working in a religious hospital.




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