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Religion and Medicine

Spiritual Care in the Hospital Setting

The goals of this rotation are to convey to the student an awareness of the options for spiritual care and support within an acute care hospital setting and to give the student an opportunity to learn and practice spiritual care-giving skills appropriate to the physician's role.

The Department of Religious Ministries has professionally certified chaplains of many faiths who will serve as faculty and spiritual care-giving mentors, sharing their practice via being 'shadowed' and their pastoral theological understandings.

During the course of this elective the student will spend time with at least four different chaplains (of Jewish, Roman Catholic, Protestant and Pentecostal backgrounds) to observe their chaplaincy practices and to discuss with them the implications of both faith-specific and interfaith spiritual care. The student will also be instructed in various spiritual assessment models and be invited to conduct at least four assessments (a self assessment, a colleague assessment and two patient assessments) In addition to shadowing individual chaplains, the student will attend departmental morning reports, staff meetings and at least one Sunday's worship services. Topics such as Spiritual Self-Care will be discussed. The students will have a one-hour discussion weekly with Dr. Fortin. The students will prepare a brief essay at month's end, reflecting upon his/her experience. The student will receive a copy of relevant texts on Spirituality in Medicine.