A chaplain’s role is to alleviate distress, experienced in day to day living, from work, illness, anxiety. Chaplains work to decrease distress on four levels: emotional, physical, spiritual and social. Professional health care chaplains work as members of care teams which include doctors, nurses, social workers, and therapists. Each care team members invests themselves in a person’s well being, healing and recovery. At HealthCare Chaplaincy NetworkTM our commitment to patients is for the mind, body and spirit.
Professional chaplains do not provide definitive answers to questions and issues of spiritual distress. Instead, they help people in spiritual distress to identify and draw upon their sources of spiritual strength – regardless of religion or beliefs. As one very experienced professional chaplain puts it:
“Our most fundamental human condition is that we come face to face with our own mortality. As chaplains, we walk into some dark places and help bring in light. We’re not afraid of their darkness. We’re not afraid of their fear. We don’t care who a person is or who you’ve been. We want to be with you where you are.
“We try to find common ground and a common language, speaking about hope, love, faith, relationships, family, regrets. Our goal is not to get you from one point to the other. Our goal is to help you identify where you want to go.”
Professional chaplains will accept without judgment the person in pain’s own beliefs, faith and practice as well as their doubts and misgivings.
A professional health care chaplain becomes board certified by one of the professional associations when he or she meets the requirements: has completed graduate level study and 1600 hours of supervised clinical training, demonstrates competencies through a rigorous peer review process, and commits to a professional code of ethics prohibits proselytizing.
Some professional chaplains are also ordained clergy or recognized religious/spiritual leaders depending on their tradition; some are not.
Professional chaplains seek to care for everyone – whoever you are and whatever you believe.
You can connect with a professional health care chaplain through the free and confidential feature Chat with a Chaplain.