4 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Deanna Stringer 2 years, 12 months ago
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    • #4050

      Kirstin D. Batchelor
      Member
      @kdbatchelor

      I’ve been pondering the notion of prescriptive chaplaincy as discussed in one of our articles. I’ll own that part of me kind of resists this. In particular I remember conversations in CPE about not automatically going to prayer as an avoidance or as a way to end a visit. This probably had the (perhaps not helpful) result of me not using prayer as much as I might. As I became more experienced in chaplaincy I came to see this was actually a big part of what many folks expected from a chaplain and so I certainly used it more frequently in the last few years. However I still find myself not wanting to say that prayer would be the default unless contra-indicated. That said, i did appreciate the way the author drew a parallel between spiritual care and medication, with the goal of getting the “right” care to the right person. It seems to me this is what we do when we make a plan of care for a patient–we are essentially saying here’s what I see going on and here’s how I plan to address it. So diagnosis and prescription, as it were. I appreciated the way this article invited me to think about how I do spiritual care.

    • #4051

      Paul C. Edwards
      Participant
      @pedwards

      I quite agree Kirsten. I try not walk into a room with any agendas. The idea of a prescription is a good one, if one is careful not to rush into prescribing prayers for anyone. I think sometimes rushing to pray can hinder an individual’s ability to process the things they need to do with the chaplain. I tend to offer prayers, when requested, but I will probe reasons, via a good conversation before we do that. In the end, the prayer I offer is prescriptive, (clearly articulating specific concerns), rather than generic.

      Paul

    • #4053

      Kirstin D. Batchelor
      Member
      @kdbatchelor

      Yes! Like you, I try very hard not to go into a room/home with an agenda. And it was always more difficult for me to do this when I had received a particular referral in which a team member would express their own desire for a certain outcome. I had to very deliberately set aside their expectations and my own and focus on being open to what the patient/family expressed in our time together. And often it did result in prayer, and again like you I try to allow that prayer to be a reflection of the sacredness of the conversation and what what shared. When this happened well it could be an amazingly beautiful experience to be a part of. Not doing chaplaincy right now, I find I miss those times. Thanks for the reflections!

      Kirstin

    • #4059

      Hosparus Health Inc.
      Member
      @hosparus

      Yes, I wholeheartedly agree that chaplains can sometimes move much too quickly to prayer.  That can become the only or the most used tool in their spiritual care.  This is sometimes out of anxiety about providing deep and real listening.  Of course, we also have to deal with those patients who may assume that’s the only reason we’re in the room and they don’t really want prayer and are just tolerating our presence.  I work to combat the notion of a minister as only wanting to talk to someone about God rather than wanting to talk to them.  Therefore, like Kristin, there was a time when I didn’t offer prayer but only provided it when requested.   Then, I found that some were offended that I didn’t offer prayer.  Now, I approach this with “what else can I do for you as the chaplain,?” which I find gives them to opportunity to claim part of the chaplain role is to provide prayer and for those that don’t want it, prayer is not something I do to them.

    • #4060

      Deanna Stringer
      Participant
      @dstringer

      I had a lady from our church say, “Well, I guess I should let you go as you read a scripture to me so I guess you need to go.” I had already been there almost an hour. It is a bit different when you are going to see just one patient rather than having a number of patients to see in the hospital but even after an hour I felt like I was rushing her processing. She was lonely and has no family. I tend to stay too long though sometimes and I knew that she needed rest. It is difficult to balance the prescription and what the patient needs physically with what the patient may perceive to desire spiritually. I am still learning that balance. Deanna

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