How Does Spiritual Care Help Health Care Professionals?

Being a health care professional can be mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually draining. As a Spiritual Care Provider, I am available to support you and your organization in the following ways:

1) Direct Patient Care:

I am available to collaborate with your team to provide spiritual and emotional support for your patients and their families. They may be struggling with spiritual distress or very common existential questions fundamental to the human spirit, including: “Why is this happening to me?” “What happens next?” “What have I done to deserve this?” I am trained to sit with people in these difficult times and help them to connect to their spiritual resources to provide strength and comfort. 

Studies have shown that integrating Spiritual Care into patient care significantly enhances patient satisfaction. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey conducted in the United States recently demonstrated that patients who have met at least once with a spiritual care provider are significantly more likely to endorse and recommend their facility and assert that “staff addressed my emotional and spiritual needs.” In contrast, when patients’ spiritual needs go unmet, the rating of both satisfaction with care as well as the quality of their care received are significantly lower.  

2) Consultation and Education about Spiritual Screening:

I will help your staff learn to screen for spiritual needs, concerns and signs of spiritual distress in your patients, which are important tools for caring for an individual. After all, a person’s spirituality may affect how they take care of themselves or make health care decisions. A patient, for example, may decline medication or treatment for a curable illness because he feels the disease is a punishment from God.  Another patient may be withdrawn and experiencing symptoms of decline due to feeling distant from their source of strength, be it a faith community, a family member or old friend.
A clinician who is trained to sit with her patient and conduct a spiritual screening may be the first person to uncover and understand these concerns and begin to take steps to help the patient better cope.
When health care staff conduct basic spiritual assessments, they learn comprehensive and valuable information that enhances the overall quality of patient care.

3) Personal or Group Support for Health Care Providers:

Whether in response to a traumatic situation including an unexpected loss or in prevention of professional burnout, I am available for individual or group sessions. These sessions encourage processing and increase self-care. I help staff to recognize their triggers of spiritual distress, mental and emotional burnout and to identify resources of strength and support.