hospice chaplain one more thought

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Hospice Chaplain – one more thought

After having some time to digest my own post on hospice chaplains, I have one thing I feel I need to add. There are some incredible people out there doing the job of the hospice chaplain. They work endless hours for less pay than they deserve and usually get little respect from the clinical staff that surrounds and outnumbers them when they gather around the table for team/staff meetings.

If you have ever met one of these amazing people, you will know it. They spend their time saying prayers, holding hands, giving encouragement, and just sitting still with people who are overwhelmed or emotionally drained. And that is just what they do to support the staff of the hospice. They are the rock that a hospice leans on.

There is no doubt that I am biased here, but let me ask a favor from those of you who work in a hospice. Stop for a minute and think about the role that your chaplain plays around the office. Is your chaplain the one that always seems to know when you are having a bad day? Is he/she the one that always finds something extra to say to you when you need encouragement? Do you know that a phone call to the chaplain can solve a lot of problems for both you and your patients? If you are answering yes to these questions, then do me another favor; ask yourself who does these things for the chaplain? Who is their rock? Who provides them encouragement when their favorite patient is dying? It is my experience that the answer is, nobody. The person who lifts up the staff is usually the one in the office who never gets lifted up. If you know that chaplain, take a moment to let them know how much you appreciate what they do. Take care of your chaplain, they sure do it for you.

If you know a great chaplain, I’d love to hear what you did to let them know about it. Let me know in the comments or send me an e-mail. It’s time for them to get out of the shadows even if it is just for a day.

God bless you all for the hard work you do each and every day.



I just discovered your blog, and you have a great outlook. Re: Chaplains–Our Hospice has a huge number of chaplains, full and part time, but one stands out. He is so kind and caring and I always send him voice mail replies to his messages about my patients, or even other pts when it particularly touches me. He is part of how I keep my sanity in the “new world” of computers and team meetings dominated by a computer screen instead of talking with each other.