Friday, October 3, 2014
3 Commitments the Hospice Chaplain Makes
3 Commitments the Hospice Chaplain Makes The fundamental foundation of Outcome Oriented Chaplaincy is built upon three commitments: 1. Accountability—Never has this commitment been more important than now. Hospice, in general, is in the midst of the throes of multiplied changes in the Medicare re-imbursement structure. More is being required of all disciplines. Chaplaincy is not excluded. Therefore, accountability must take the forefront in the ministry of the Chaplain. Holding ourselves accountable means we make a commitment to our employer. Our employers have a right to expect the Chaplain to make a positive difference in the lives of patients and families. For this reason alone, I re-wrote our Spiritual Plan of Care so the Chaplains may find success in identifying spiritual concerns, goals and expected outcomes of their work, and a plethora of interventions to make these pastoral encounters meaningful. 2. Best Practice—The hospice Chaplain is charged with the responsibility of knowing best practices to make his or her work effective and efficient. Caseloads are larger and expectations are higher these days. There is no such thing as a one-size fits all methodology to hospice spiritual care. The Chaplain must take the initiative to grow in the field by reading, attending events, and personally interfacing with other Chaplains to discover better ways and means to serve patients and families. 3. Collaboration—The basis of collaboration is invitation. The hospice Chaplain invites the IDT to discover the fundamentals of hospice chaplaincy. This is done in a number of settings: the IDT meeting where the Chaplain is an active participant and educator of the staff; personal interactions with the staff when engaged with a patient; and in telephone conversations with staff members alerting them of potential crises. The Chaplain’s personal manner will go a long way to make collaboration a key component of his/her work. Collaboration is a piece of the Clinical Note the Chaplain writes these days, so this is not just a theoretical concept, it is one that is measured. Blessings, Chaplain Friends, as you conduct your ministry. You have a great responsibility. Carry it out faithfully.