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Spiritual Care

The Role of Chaplain at Hospice of Palm Beach County

A chaplain, according to Wikipedia, is "typically a priest, pastor, ordained deacon, rabbi, imam or other member of the clergy serving a group of people who are not organized as a mission or church (or other place of worship), or who are unable to attend church (or place of worship) for various reasons; such as health. Though originally chaplain was a Christian term it is also now applied to people in other religions filling the same role."

Hospice of Palm Beach County understands the vital roles that faith and spirit play in the lives of patients and their families, and consider our chaplains an integral member of the healthcare team. You may request a chaplain by asking your nurse or physician to contact the chaplain assigned to your Hospice Team. Chaplains are available to provide pastoral care for patients and family members, and will also provide competent spiritual support and objective crisis intervention when needed.

Our chaplains also serve as liaisons for local clergy. With the patient's permission, they can call the family pastor, priest, rabbi, imam or other religious leader. They can provide pastoral care and support until the patient’s own clergy arrives. If the patient and family do not have his or her own clergy, the Hospice of Palm Beach County Chaplain serves as a trusted friend and pastoral figure.

When to Request a Chaplain

  • When someone is wrestling with spiritual or religious issues, such as: unresolved grief, lack of faith, inability to pray, dealing with losses in one’s life, a sense of being abandoned by God, experiencing a lack of hope or questioning the meaning of life.
  • When spiritual guidance, support or prayer is desired.
  • When specific rite or ritual (i.e., communion, baptism, the sacrament of the sick, vidui, or anointing) is desired.
  • When there is a death or crisis.
  • When information about community religious groups and/or resources is needed.
  • When assistance is required with funeral arrangements.

How to Request a Chaplain

Ask your nurse or other member of your Hospice Team to contact a chaplain on your behalf.

References: Chaplains. (2008) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaplain

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