Friday, April 3, 2015
8 Very Helpful Questions
Along the journey of hospice chaplaincy a Chaplain discovers nuggets of gold that greatly enhance the pastoral care relationship. I found such nuggets published by the University of California at San Francisco in their article dealing with caring for AIDS patients. You can find it here… http://hivinsite.ucsf.edu/InSite-KB-ref.jsp?page=kb-03-03-05&ref=kb-03-03-05-tb-03&no=3. It is expected of Chaplains to be able to initiate and sustain a conversation. Also, experience indicates that patients desire conversations about other subjects besides religion. A Chaplain must be conversant about sports, world events, local events, taxes, education, child-rearing, family dynamics, and a plethora of other topics. To accomplish this, a Chaplain must be well-read and in tune with his or her world. Generally speaking the following 8 questions are very effective in getting a spiritual care conversation started and moving. Please use these in your next visit and let me know how the conversation turned out. Getting Started "Tell me how things are going for you." "Can you tell me about your understanding of about your illness?" "What is the most difficult part of this illness for you?" "As you think about what lies ahead, what concerns you the most?" "As you look ahead, what do you hope for?" Continuing phrases "Tell me more about that." "Sounds like you're really worried about..." "What do you mean by '__' ('futile,' 'vegetable,' 'hopeless,' 'giving up,' 'everything')?" Bless you Chaplains for yours is a sacred work. May you have wisdom and compassion as you serve the spiritual needs of patients, their families, and your colleagues.