Friday, January 29, 2016

Test Your Knowledge of Terms Describing Limitations of Dementia Patients

In the list below, match the term on the left with the description on the right.  The answers are at the bottom of the page.  I would be interested to know how you did. Please comment.

  1. Aphasia
  1. Number problems
  1. Apraxia
  1. Writing disorders
  1. Anomia
  1. Body image disorders
  1. Alexia
  1. Movement disorders
  1. Agraphia
  1. Impairment of language
  1. Visual Agnosia
  1. Inability to recognize familiar people
  1. Spacial Agnosia
  1. Inability to recognize writing and pictoral material as a whole_only parts
  1. Simultanngagnosia
  1. Difficulty finding words
  1. Prosopagnosia
  1. Inability to find one’s way around familiar place
  1. Anosognosia
  1. Inability to name or use an object without touching it
  1. Acalcula
  1. Reading difficulties

  1. e
  2. d
  3. h
  4. k
  5. b
  6. j
  7. i
  8. g
  9. f
  10. c
  11. a 


How did you do? 

10-11—You’re an Expert  7-9 You’re Advanced  5-6 You’re New To This

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Role of Clinical Chaplaincy

The Role of Clinical Chaplaincy


From time to time, great articles are written that need world-wide distribution.  This article by George Hankins Hull is one of those articles.  It stands juxtaposed with my article titled, “Seriously, you want Chaplains to do what?”


Thank you, George Hankins Hull for a definitive statement on the work of the clinical chaplain.  May we all embrace these truths.


November 12, 2013

ELEMENTS OF CLINICAL PASTORAL ASSESSMENT: The Role of the Clinical Chaplain By George Hankins Hull


Clinical Chaplaincy is relational, neutral and non-judgmental. It is a patient centered approach in keeping with the person centered model as advocated by Carl Rogers, integrating the arts and sciences relative to psychodynamic theory in pastoral practice.

Around any illness is a collection of stories. The chaplain endeavors to be present to the patient as a fellow human being, as the patient’s stories unfold; bearing witness to the patient’s dilemma- not judging the patient for what they say or how they choose to express themselves. This narrative approach places the chaplain in the unique role as the interpreter of metaphors, assisting the patient in making the connections to their story.

At times these stories are confessional in nature, as a patient, through narrative seeks to reconcile themselves with the life that they have lived. At other times, the stories they relate represent more a review of their life inextricably interwoven with finishing the business of living.

Consequently, clinical chaplaincy is a patient centered narrative approach. Integral to that, is the patient’s family. Working with the stories that patients and families share, the clinical chaplain can begin to assess how the family approaches illness, and in particular, this hospitalization.

The Clinical Chaplain also assesses how the patient utilizes their religious experience or their philosophy of life as a means of support as they seek to come to terms with their diagnosis and its attendant ambiguities of living each day.

Extensive clinical training and a proactive integration of the social sciences, especially in the fields of counseling and psychotherapy is essential to the work of the Clinical Chaplain.

George Hankins Hull, Dip.Th, Th.M.

Director of pastoral care and clinical pastoral education at UAMS Medical Center. He is a Diplomate in the College of Pastoral Supervision & Psychotherapy and a board-certified clinical chaplain.






Seriously, you want Chaplains to do what?

Seriously, you want Chaplains to do what?

The role of the Chaplain has changed in some hospices nationwide.  The reasons vary, but one of the key reasons is financial.  It is more affordable to have a Chaplain perform certain duties than an RN.  For instance, there are Chaplains who are being directed to pronounce patients.  In Florida, I am told this is perfectly legal.  Interesting… 

This raises an ethical conundrum.  Just because a Chaplain is legally allowed to do something, is it the right thing to do in the dynamic of hospice care?  Having attended hundreds of deaths, there were clear-cut roles defined by hospices I served.  The hospice nurse attended the dying patient, the chaplain attended the grieving family.  Somehow, that was a strategy that worked very well for all involved.  The family members expected the medical issues, including pronouncing, to be the role of the medical professional, not the spiritual care professional.  What exactly is a hospice trying to accomplish by assigning this medical duty to a chaplain.  If it is to save money, then that is an ethical issue that that hospice will have to wrestle with.  If, as so many hospices trumpet, patients and families come first, why would any hospice blur the clear distinctions between the disciplines of medical and spiritual care?  And, further, what are the repercussions on the chaplains who are required to do this?  I cannot answer the first question, but I can answer the second.  In fact, if a spiritual care manager from one of the hospices requiring pronouncing of its chaplains wants to know, then I suggest they enquire of their chaplaincy staff.  If you still can’t find an answer, let me share this with you, on a weekly basis I receive calls from Chaplains who do pronouncements who are concerned they are doing something they are grossly unqualified to do and thus in their un-comfortability in this task, are seeking other places of service.