Chaplains have been utilized for years in acute/tertiary hospitals to meet spiritual needs of patients, their caregivers, and staff. Due to size, nature, and scheduling issues encountered in rehabilitation hospitals, these often do not employ a chaplain, relying on community clergy for religious or emergent needs. This article explores eight roles a chaplain assumes to assist in the total care of the patient and/or support system in conjunction with the rehabilitation nurse and other treatment team members. It also explores the value of the chaplain in ethical situations, as a link to the community and a resource to staff. These eight “roles” come from the author's nineteen years as a chaplain, as well as other resources, where noted. The article gives some suggestions how, in the chaplain's absence, the rehabilitation nurse may help to meet these spiritual needs, concluding with recommendations for the future.
Author(s): Marianne C. Sailus
Journal: Rehabilitation Nursing
DOI: DOI: 10.1002/rnj.222
Categories: All Categories, Clergy/Theology, Service systems