Spiritual care is valuable at any time, for any patient. As described in an article published by the British Association of Critical Care Nurses, “people of all faiths, and no faith, can benefit from a supportive presence who can take the time to help them find meaning and purpose in their suffering,” (Timmons, F., et al, 2015). At Precious, we’ve learned how it is particularly essential for hospice patients as they struggle with apprehensions about nearing the end-of-life.
Social workers make a big difference by bringing psychosocial and emotional support to patients and families, and it is as important to Precious to also have a Spiritual Care Coordinator as a vital member of the interdisciplinary team to provide spiritual support.
Three Ways to Assist with Spiritual Guidance for Your Patients:
- Ask your patients about their faith, or lack thereof. If they belong to a religious community or congregation, encourage them to connect with fellow members and the leader(s) of their communities. At times, patients and families have hesitations, as they do not want to be a burden to others, and therefore might need encouragement to reach out.
- First, learn a little bit about your patient’s, and/or their family’s, beliefs and interests. Then, look in the bookstore or online for patient-oriented books on death and dying to recommend appropriately. There is an abundance of books on death and dying, from the humorous example of “Can We Talk About Something More Pleasant” by Roz Chast to the very deeply philosophical “Advice on Dying” by the Dalai Lama, plus many others in between.
- Ask a Precious care team manager about connecting with the Spiritual Care Coordinator.
Spiritual Care Coordinators at Precious
Specialized spiritual care is an essential responsibility of the Precious interdisciplinary care team, specifically our Spiritual Care Coordinators. Precious SCCs are always available to support patients and grieving families with counseling appropriate to any faiths—and no faith at all.
Our SCCs help patients and their loved ones cope with grief and loss. They are there for families for 13 months after a death, and can provide one-on-one support, support groups as well as grief education.
Timmons, F., Naughton, M. T., Plakas, S., & Pesut, B. (2015). Supporting patients’ and families’ religious and spiritual needs in ICU – can we do more? British Association of Critical Care Nurses, 20(3). Retrieved from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/nicc.12177