Publications

CHARTING A PATH FOR PASTORAL CARE

May-June 2018  |  Volume 99, Number 3

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Creating Spaces for All to Be Well

BY: FR. JOSEPH DRISCOLL, DMin

Amid the rush hour mid-morning hallway traffic, the chaplain intern leans against the wall outside the patient room he just left, jotting notes and cross-checking his census list. His serious demeanor is crowned by a deeper disappointment in his inability to get the patient to open up about obvious signs of distress.

Suddenly the chaplain intern hears a booming, emotionally rich cry and the simultaneous clang of a dropped mop against its bucket of water.

"Aww, honey, what's the matter with you today, you look so sad?"

He peers into the room and sees a large African-American housekeeper wrapping her arms around the man he had just visited. The patient is sobbing uncontrollably in response to her continued rocking and lulling, "It's OK, honey, it's OK."

This scene of a day in the life of spiritual care arcs the reality of my 40-year history in pastoral care, from chaplain intern to national leader. Amazing — all of the myriad issues of identity and role clarification, legitimacy and recognition, cost and reimbursement are still alive and spanning the pages of this issue of Health Progress.

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hp1805 Research Points to Spirituality's Role_ci

Research Points to Spirituality's Role

BY: TRACY A. BALBONI MD, MPH, FAAHPM with ALEXANDRA NICHIPOR MTS
I first read this quote from Sulmasy in his book The Rebirth of the Clinic: An Introduction to Spirituality in Health Care1 in 2006, the same year I was completing my training in radiation oncology and embarking on a career of caring for patients with incurable cancers. I understood his words as true at the time, but the depth and breadth of their truth has only expanded over the ensuing years that I’ve cared for, and learned from the experiences of, terminally ill patients.
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Measuring Pastoral Care Performance

BY: RABBI NADIA SIRITSKY, DMin, MSSW, BCC; CYNTHIA L. CONLEY, PhD, MSW; and BEN MILLER, BSSW
hp1805 Measuring Pastoral Care Performance_ciThe Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services calls pastoral care — that is, the full range of spiritual services — "an integral part of Catholic health care"1 but doesn't specify how to fulfill it. As a result, there is a wide variation of ways that pastoral care is provided across the country, often at the expense of both staff and patients.

Because organizations tend to be subjective, decisions about staffing pastoral care departments suffer from lack of research that documents chaplains' effectiveness. The need for chaplains currently is assessed by productivity metrics that depend upon the number of patients in the hospital, their acuity and factors connected to the hospital's mission and values. Although chaplains also provide spiritual support to staff, most productivity statistics don't measure that.
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A Nurse Finds Pilgrimage to Be Pathway to Renewal

BY: CAMILLA M. JAEKEL, MSN, PhD, RN
Pilgrimage, in the literal sense, is to travel to sacred places that hold high moral or spiritual significance for the pilgrim. In a metaphorical sense, pilgrimage means traveling within one's spiritual or belief system..
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Would Software Have Soothed Fr. Mulcahy?

BY: D.W. DONOVAN, DBioethics, MA, MS, BCC
The chaplain's role in ministering to the ill, injured and suffering, as well as to their caregivers, has been acknowledged as critical for as long as hospitals have been built and staffed, as long as prisons have housed men and women and as long as people have been sent into battle.
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The Creative Tensions in Spiritual Care, circa 2018

BY: ZAC M. WILLETTE, MDiv, BCC
hp1805 Creative Tensions in Spiritual Care circa 2018_ciEvery professional field that takes its own growth seriously will face ongoing tensions in confronting change, succeeding and learning, failing and learning, and grappling with what's essential versus what's negotiable.

What are the key tensions for spiritual care? The goal is not to pick sides or resolve the tensions, but rather to lift up these poles so that we may elicit creativity and clear thinking between (and within) them.
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Chaplains, Pope Francis and the Healing Encounter

BY: STEVEN J. SQUIRES, MEd, MA, PhD and PHILIP ANDERSON, MDiv, BCC
The theology of Pope Francis has tremendous influence on how the Catholic health care ministry should view pastoral care. Images and themes such as the culture of encounter, accompaniment and the field hospital are woven into the Catholic health care lexicon. But what do encounter, accompaniment and field hospital mean, on a practical theological level, for those of us who provide pastoral care and for our encounters, especially with patients at the end of life?
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A Reflection on Staying the Course with God

BY: SR. MARY THOMAS, PBVM
This year we had the experience of watching Olympic athletes put forth their best on the world stage. Their moment on the stage was backed by years of preparation as they single-heartedly focused on their goal. In their desire to excel, they were reaching for the "more."
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Opportunity for Catholic Health Care: The Evidence-Based Spiritual Care Paradigm

BY: GEORGE FITCHETT, DMin, PhD and ALLISON DELANEY, MA, BCC, PT
Around the world, a new evidence-based paradigm is informing the work of health care chaplains. This is a change from the dominant paradigm for spiritual care in the mid-20th century, shaped by the client-centered model of the psychologist Carl Rogers, which focused on empathic presence and active listening. John Gleason, BCC, in 1998 described an emerging paradigm shift at the beginning of the 21st century to spiritual care as a response to individual need. He pointed to the developing models of spiritual assessment as an indicator of the shift. Gleason’s observations were astute
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Is Catholic Health Care Assessing Spirituality?

BY: BILL BRINKMANN
One of my favorite images for the healing ministry is the parable of the fig tree (Luke 13:6-9). In the story, a disappointed owner wants to cut down a fig tree that is not producing fruit. His gardener suggests giving the tree extra cultivation and fertilizer, then reassessing its productivity.
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Chaplains Work to Update Meaning of
Spiritual Care

hp1805 Chaplains Work to Update Meaning of Spiritual Care_ciBY: DAVID LEWELLEN
Years ago, Bonnie Burnett was doing spiritual care rounds at a hospital in Indiana when she was called to a very ill patient whose family gathered around the bedside. As a chaplain, the family asked, could she administer last rites to their mother?

Well … Burnett is not a priest, and the family was not Catholic and it wasn't the time or place to explain what "last rites" meant. But they had seen last rites on TV, they knew their mother was dying and they needed some kind of spiritual acknowledgment of the moment. Burnett suggested they conduct a prayer ritual. The family gathered around the bed and put their hands on the dying woman as Burnett prayed for peace for the patient and her loved ones. The family was satisfied and grateful for the opportunity to say goodbye.
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Spiritual Care Comes Home

BY: LUANN TRUTWIN, MDiv, BCC
Thp1805 Spiritual Care Comes Home_cihis is a story about Ben … and many elderly adults who have needs not being met through traditional health care. Ben was in the hospital several times last year. First it was diabetes, then heart problems, then a blood clot in his lung and finally a broken hip. Ben now has to coordinate care with many different providers, he takes lots of pills, and — most importantly — he isn’t able to volunteer at the food bank and church. Ben wants his life back.

Enter Providence Elder at Home, the first program of its kind within an integrated delivery system in the Pacific Northwest. Providence Elder at Home is a team-based, multidisciplinary model of care to serve the health and spiritual needs of people like Ben — and to do so in the comfort and familiarity of their homes. For the fragile elderly patient, "home" may be a private residence, an adult care home, assisted living or an intermediate care nursing facility.
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Spiritual Distress Is Not Confined by Walls

hp1805 Spiritual Distress is Not Confined by Walls_ci BY: JENNIFER COBB, MDiv, MBA, BCC and REV. CATHY CHANG, MDiv, BCC
A few years after her husband, David, died, Carol found a lump in her breast. When shefound the lump, questions ran through her mind: "What do I do now?" "Is it cancer?" And the one that echoed the loudest, "Why bother?"

Carol and David had been married 40 years. Carol was a critical care nurse but, as David's health deteriorated, she left nursing to be her husband's caregiver for 15 years until his death.
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Chaplaincy: Identity, Focus and Trends

BY: DAVID LICHTER, DMin
As the health care environment in the United States continues to evolve, so does the profession of chaplaincy. In Catholic health care particularly, the men and women who serve in the spirtual care ministry have seen the makeup of their ranks and responsi-bilities change dramatically during the past 20 years. In 1997, Catholic health care's spiritual or pastoral care workforce was composed of nearly 79 percent Catholic chaplains who were religious women, priests and some local clergy, according to studies conducted by the Catholic Health Association and the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
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FEATURE

Ministry Identity and How We Measure It

BY: BRIAN SMITH, MS, MA, MDiv
Identity is never static. We know that our individual identity evolves over time; the person we are at age 4 is not who we are at ages 24, 44 and 84. Traditions, values, personality and the circumstances of life contribute to identity, which is not to imply that our identity is ungrounded. It simply recognizes that we are not insulated from others or the things happening around us — and we don't know who we really are and what we stand for until we are tested by encountering people with different ideas and values and until we have had experiences that develop or challenge us.
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DEPARTMENTS

Editor's Note

BY: MARY ANN STEINER

Ethics - Fear Is Not A Catholic Value

BY: FR. CHARLES BOUCHARD, OP, STD

Thinking Globally - Responding to Natural Disasters

BY: BRUCE COMPTON

Community Benefit - Housing And Community Benefit: What Counts?

BY: MARY AYALA AND JULIE TROCCHIO, RN, MS

Age Friendly - Creating an Age-Friendly Continuum in Boise, Idaho

BY: BECKY BEAVER, MBA, MSN, RN AND JULIE TROCCHIO, RN, MS

Formation - A Spiritual Antidote to the Tyranny of the Urgent

BY: DIARMUID ROONEY, MSPsych, MTS, DSocAdmin