4 Roles of Hospice Chaplains In Providing Home Patient Care

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Hospice Chaplains are an integral part of the Hospice Interdisciplinary Team. Together with the Medical Director, Nurse, Volunteer, and Home Health Aide, the Chaplain participates in the patient’s unique care plan by offering spiritual support.  Like their intellect, physical body, and emotions, every person’s spirit is a natural dimension. The spirit and spirituality are described within the being of one’s relationship with the universe together with their sense of meaning and purpose. A Chaplain can help support the patient’s spiritual goals. While other experienced care workers cater to a patient’s physical and psychological needs, a caring hospice chaplain is in charge of spiritual care.

What Hospice Chaplains Do 

A hospice chaplain is a health care practitioner who plans, examines, and caters to a patient’s spiritual needs during the end-of-life process.

A hospice chaplain’s position is critical because many individuals turn to faith for solace towards the end of their life. The experienced spiritual care and guidance that a chaplain gives are vital in helping patients and their loved ones find peace.

We can better understand the role and objectives of the hospice chaplain by acknowledging the need for spiritual support on their end-of-life journey.

Hospice Chaplains’ Role in Patient Care 

First and foremost, the chaplain is committed to giving care and spiritual guidance to the patient.  A patient is not obligated to interact with a hospice chaplain or any other sort of spiritual caregiver; it is entirely voluntary, and the patient has the right to refuse at any moment.

That said, consulting with a hospice chaplain can lead to certain spiritual benefits and inner peace:

 1. Chaplains Promote Spiritual Coping Techniques 

As spiritual specialists, chaplains know the complex links between religion, spirituality, and culture, and how those components of a patient’s life impact how they cope with their end-of-life journey.

Chaplains may use this rich spiritual knowledge to assist patients in identifying the rituals, prayers, and other spiritual coping techniques that help them feel at ease and provide the most comfort.

2. Chaplains Provide Companionship 

In-home health care professionals are committed to ensuring that each patient is surrounded by soothing, caring friends at the end of life, regardless of the time of day or night. A hospice chaplain is part of this dedicated team.

3. Chaplains Enhance a Patient’s Comfort 

The patient’s well-being is inextricably linked to their spiritual health. According to years of research, patients with a balanced sense of spirituality report higher levels of optimism, lower levels of pain, and more comfort even at the end of their life.

A hospice chaplain assists patients spiritually and physically, emotionally, and psychologically by offering compassionate spiritual care.

4. Chaplains Assist Patients in Preparing for Death

The hospice chaplain’s role is to help patients recognize the value of their life and their positive impact. 

It’s understandable that when a terminally ill patient approaches death, deep and complex emotions like fury, despair, and guilt may begin to take root. Patients may start to question life’s meaning, purpose, and whether or not their lives were meaningful. While the chaplain may not have all the answers, these emotional conversations can lead to emotional and spiritual healing.

Final Thoughts  

A hospice chaplain is an essential member of a patient’s care team. And while their primary focus is the patient, family members and loved ones also get the emotional and spiritual support they need as they bid farewell. 

Gateway Home Health and Hospice is committed to providing the highest quality hospice care in the greater Phoenix and Denver areas, with an atmosphere of respect for human dignity. Our highly trained clinicians and therapists strive to exceed the expectations of our patients, families, caregivers, and physicians. Contact us today! 

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