Published Apr 25, 2002
Well, we're getting lots of cuts thanks to our new gov't's ideas on how health care should work and one of the cuts is we are losing our chaplains. The chaplain was apparently given an hour to clean out his office and leave the premises, escorted by security. Do any of your hospitals have other ways you meet the spiritual needs of your patients? Do you still have chaplains? Would this upset you? Any comments....
we have chaplains and rabbi's on call actually!
That's really terrible!!! But unfortunately I can't say I'm surpirsed! We are becoming an increasingly secularized society and I fear that this may become a trend. We took God out of Schools...so why not hospitals? I am not a deeply religious person but I would not begrudge anyone the comfort that a chaplain can bring in their moment of need. Nor deny anyone their "last rights." And might I add...that there's no such thing as an athiest in a foxhole. So when the train starts slowing and it's coming to the "scary stop" I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want the comfort of a Chaplain there. Just my opinion.
I am personally not religious at all either and have no objection to removing God from schools or hospitals. But, this pastoral service was never meant to be denominational. It isn't about religion, it's about the spiritual care of our patients and families. Even the non-religious have spiritual needs and the chaplain we had never brought in his beliefs about God unless asked for. He has a Masters degree in counselling and many have pointed out that even if we had enough ministers in the community to volunteer their time they aren't really trained to deal with these issues like the chaplain was.
Apparently hospitals here are obligated to provide some sort of pastoral care or they won't meet the accreditation standards, so I don't know where this will lead.
Our hospital did this a couple of years ago, almost the same scenario. The Chaplain in this case had moved back to the area and just finished building a new home and had no inkling this was coming, his wife is a nurse that I had worked with on many occassions and they were just stunned, as were the whole "hospital family". To this day , I'll bet 75% of the community does not know we don't have a Chaplain and are very surprised when they find out. Luckily he found a church nearby and now has his own flock again.
where i am at at the moment...........has small, but HAS A GREAT PASTORAL SERVICES DEPT.....
and they function as part of the staff and plan of care, where appropriate........
and no matter what religious affiliation that they may hold, they are great.........
as they are truly some of the most nonjudgemental people I have had the pleasure to meet and work with..........
they are just there for the spiritual component of the person's care and when us nurses feel that we don't have anything to offer or just not enough time to offer it.........they are great.....
even chaplain on call after hours...........
so sad, when this side of care goes missing.......we are more than physical bodies.........
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