This post was written by Rev. Dan Bellinger, staff chaplain, Parkview Health.
Patients come to the hospital in response to physical needs; you’re not feeling well, you’re in pain, or you’ve received concerning test results. You come to the hospital to be restored to physical wellness. We have doctors, nurses and hospital staff here who have mastered the chemistry and biology of the human body in order to provide you the care you need in this journey. And yet, as many of us already know, wellness is more than just physical.
There is more to life than the things you can detect with the five senses. We are emotional and spiritual beings. We experience life in relationships. We build our lives around values and principles. Because we recognize these unique human needs, Parkview has several teams who work to support patients and their families in nonclinical ways. Chaplaincy is one of them.
Simply put, our chaplains provide emotional and spiritual support. Sometimes this means a chaplain will be helping patients and families with filling out forms, making sure the right person is making care decisions or helping to make sure documents get filed. In other instances, chaplains support patients and families during a medical emergency. There’s a wide range of situations in which Chaplaincy can provide assistance.
How Parkview chaplains can help
At Parkview, chaplains are here to offer spiritual support to patients and family members who are in need of such support. Chaplains pray with those who request prayer. Chaplains connect patients with their religious leaders. Chaplains assist with sacramental requests. If you’re at the hospital and you would like to receive spiritual support from a chaplain, you can request that one visit you.
Our chaplains offer spiritual and emotional support to patients and their families at the end of life. Chaplains help families with next steps and grief support. If you’re experiencing the loss of your loved one, a chaplain will be there to help you walk through these steps.
We help families connect with their loved one who has been brought in emergently. Chaplains escort families to their loved one’s bedside and to the physicians providing them care.
We engage in conversations with patients about their wishes and the values they have that can help direct their care and then help to document these wishes. If you would like to have conversations about your wishes or values, and how they can help direct your plan of care, you can request that a chaplain come to see you.
Our chaplains are notaries. If you are in the hospital and need to have documents notarized, a chaplain can come to your room and notarize your signature. If you need assistance in this way, please request a visit from a chaplain.
I remember a time when we had a patient unfortunately pass away. The patient’s spouse was at the bedside, devastated by the loss. As I looked into the room to check on them, I saw that they were not alone. A chaplain was already in the room, standing with them, offering support. And there are many times when that is exactly what someone needs. Someone to be with them.
If you or a loved one is in the hospital, our dedicated team of Parkview chaplains can be there to support you, emotionally and spiritually. We’re always happy to try and help in any way that we can.