What Does a Hospice Chaplain Do?
Hospice care helps support the physical and emotional needs of patients who have a terminal diagnosis. The team approach of hospice includes a nurse, social worker, and a chaplain under the supervision of a physician. Personal care aides and therapists may be added to support as well.
A chaplain ensures that patients feel free to discuss
- their spiritual concerns,
- ask essential questions,
- realize the importance of their lives, and
- feel at peace as they near death.
- Chaplains also play an integral role in supporting the family of the patient.
- Hospice chaplains do not necessarily have a religious affiliation or denomination. Their goal for interactions is not to convert or challenge the patient and family in their belief systems.
How Hospice Chaplains Help Patients
A hospice chaplain’s typical job responsibilities include the following:
- Regularly meeting with patients
- Participate as a hospice team members for care collaboration
- Support a patient’s ritual or spiritual practice, such as prayer or meditation
- Addressing questions about spirituality
- Helping patients and family process the loss
- Having meaningful conversations with patients about how their lives have value
How Hospice Chaplains Help Patients’ Families
- Hospice chaplains provide spiritual care to patients and their families
- Hospice chaplains also support families during the bereavement process after a patient has passed away.