A Comparison between Reactive and Proactive Chaplaincy Approaches
Keywords:hospital chaplaincy, spiritual care, service development, availability, accessibility, equality, justice, work enjoyment, work satisfaction
Healthcare chaplains are expected to be competent to address diverse spiritual needs in today’s multicultural society by being compassionate, sensitive, accessible and available. What should availability and accessibility look like? This paper examines the practices of two different chaplaincy teams within the same health board, notes differences in philosophy and practical approach, comments on relative strengths and weaknesses and offers reflective conclusions. It interacts with contemporary literature and the results of original research conducted through interviews. This paper finds that healthcare organisations need to have a full and frank description of its expectations of chaplains to promote uniformity of service provision, equality of workload, and to better enable health board management to grasp the level of resourcing required. It also identifies competing concepts of patient-centred versus person-centred care, and that local expectations of the chaplain’s role can significantly clash with the chaplain’s own sense of identity.
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