This is a continuation of my reflections on Deep Doctoring.
I appreciate Rotella raising up the two functions of the spiritual assessment and the use of the SPIRITual History tool. I address what she presents in the SPIRIT model and this puts a structure to putting together the information.
Rotella says, “Doctors may also increase their sensitivity to spiritual concerns through participation in multidisciplinary teams with medical chaplains, including hospice teams.” One of the roles of the Chaplain is to do that – to raise the spiritual issues and how those issues may affect a person’s health.
From another Oates seminar I gained a clearer understanding of the difference between hospice care and palliative care. Hospice care is care given to a dying person to ensure the person has the best quality of life through the dying process. Palliative care is the care a person with a chronic illness to ensure the person has the best quality of life while continuing on with life. Members of my organization have tried for fifteen years to develop a palliative care program for our hospital. We have gotten it to the point where a Nurse Practitioner needed to be hired to oversee the program. The program was scrapped for lack of funding. So many times I see beneficial programs that are good for the care of people are not implemented for financial reasons. Doctors are not the only ones who need to be sensitive to spiritual well-being, all people of the hospital including administration (and the corporate structure) need to be sensitive to the spiritual needs of people who come for care.