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visit from a chaplain_couple

This week’s blog is part four in a series about what you can expect when engaging with Hosparus Health’s care. Click here to read Part 1, here to read Part 2 and here for Part 3.

When you or a family member decides to access our services, the first step is a visit from one of our admissions nurses. After you are admitted as a patient, you’ll receive visits from each member of your team to customize a plan of care. One of the visits you can expect is from your Hosparus Health chaplain. A chaplain’s role is to get to know you as a person, offer companionship and counsel, and help you find peace.

Your First Visit with a Chaplain

When your chaplain arrives, they focus on building trust with you and your family caregivers. They will look for clues about what matters most to get to know the “you” you are beyond your diagnosis. They may take note of your surroundings, including family photographs, mementos and hobbies.

Some questions a chaplain might ask during your visit include:

  • Who are the people in your life that are most important to you?
  • What are the places and things that matter to you?
  • Where and how do you feel love or give love?
  • Where are some places you turn to for support?
  • How do you make meaning out of life?
  • What are you most proud of?
  • What are your regrets?
  • Is there any unrest in your important relationships?
  • What might you want to say to your family in terms of your hopes for them?
  • Do you have a sense of peace with whatever you might call your higher power?

Patients and families guide the conversation, answering only what they feel comfortable with. One of the hallmarks of chaplain training is to have no agenda. A chaplain’s goal is to listen to the emotion and the issues of the moment, and respond as needed.

Misconceptions About Chaplains

One of the biggest misconceptions about our chaplains is that they advocate for specific religion or denomination. That is not true at all. They help patients focus on whatever gives them meaning, support and strength, whether that includes religion or not.

If religion is an important part of your life, they will talk about that. If it’s not, you can still visit with a chaplain. They take care of people of any faith tradition or none.

Another fear or misconception is that chaplains only come when a person is about to die. They can (and often do) offer spiritual care for weeks, months or years.

Emotional and Spiritual Care

Social workers and chaplains partner closely because their roles are very similar. Like social workers, a chaplain may let you know during your first visit that they are available to provide counseling and help with end-of-life planning such as advance directives or funeral services.

At the end of your first visit, your chaplain will ask when you would like them to come back. The frequency is up to you. You may decide you want to see them once a month or once a week, or not at all.

Whatever you decide, please know that Hosparus Health chaplains are here to offer emotional and spiritual care at any time. They can help you explore places of meaning and joy, as well as any regrets. They can offer counsel on how to help heal relationships, create more moments and make the most of each day. Just like the rest of our care team, our chaplains are here to support you and your family as you navigate the challenges of serious illness.

If you or a loved one could benefit from our care, please call us at 800-264-0521 to make a referral.

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