Pastoral Care provides spiritual and emotional care to patients, families and staff. It supports the healing mission of Saint Francis Medical Center and meets the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations' standards that state, "Patients have a fundamental right to considerate care that safeguards their personal dignity and respects their cultural, psychosocial and spiritual values." The Pastoral Care program features:
Pastoral Care's professional chaplains are theologically, psychosocially and clinically trained clergy or laypersons whose work reflects:
- Sensitivity to multicultural and multi-faith realities
- Respect for patients' spiritual and religious preferences
- Understanding of the impact illness may have on individuals and their caregivers
- Knowledge of healthcare organizational structure and dynamics
- Accountability as part of a professional patient care team, participating in medical rounds, patient care conferences and charting spiritual care interventions in medical charts
They may also assist with stress reduction, healing touch, and holistic healthcare programs addressing health and wellness.
Services for all faiths
Pastoral Care's professional chaplains reach across all faith group boundaries and provide supportive spiritual care to people in distress through:
- Grief and loss care
- Risk screening to identify individuals with religious/spiritual conflicts that may compromise their recovery or satisfactory adjustment
- Facilitation of spiritual issues related to organ/tissue donation
- Crisis intervention/critical stress debriefing
- Spiritual assessment
- Conflict resolution among staff, patients and family members
- Presurgical and postsurgical visits
- Staff support of personal crises or work stress
- Organizational support during Medical Center changes or crises
Ceremonies of worship and ritual
Pastoral Care's professional chaplains design and lead all religious ceremonies of worship and rituals at Saint Francis Medical Center, including:
- Prayer, meditation, sacraments and reading of scripture
- Memorial services and funerals
- Rituals at the time of birth or other significant times in life
Catholic mass is held at the Medical Center at 11 am Monday-Friday.
Scripture readings are held daily at 8 am and 8 pm.
Pastoral care also supports perpetual adoration, which is staffed by more than 300 volunteers from the community who pray for all the needs of the Medical Center 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Mission, ethics and education
Pastoral Care's professional chaplains lead or participate in healthcare ethics programs by assisting patients and families in completing advanced directives and clarifying moral issues. Pastoral Care consults with staff and patients about ethical concerns, especially those related to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. They also educate the healthcare team and community about the relationship of religious and spiritual issues to Medical Center services in the following ways:
- Ministerial alliance participation
- Making presentations concerning spirituality and health issues
- Mission integration activities and orientation of new employees (i.e., history, tradition, philosophy and values)