Auditing a Paediatric Chaplaincy Provision
Reflections On the Use of a Taxonomy
Keywords:Taxonomy, paediatric, adult, chaplaincy, children’s hospital
Birmingham Children’s Hospital, with permission from Advocate Health Care in Chicago, adapted a taxonomy of chaplaincy activities for a paediatric context. Twelve members of the Chaplaincy team, representing three world faiths, recorded their activities on 80 taxonomy charts and an audit questionnaire. The audit addressed issues outside of the taxonomy chart, including how spiritual needs were assessed, and asked for reflections on the use of the taxonomy. A thematic analysis was carried out on the audit responses by a team of four, including experienced chaplains and researchers. Themes identified for intended effects (why chaplains do what they do) were: initiate/build supportive relationships, engage to assist sense of belonging, mitigate/process feelings, enhance assets; for method (how chaplains do what they do): demonstrate/offer care, empower/enable, explore and process, engender and encourage strengths and emotions, family/community; and for intervention (what chaplains do): religious care, sense/ meaning making, processing, enhance spiritual wellbeing. The audit heightened intentionality and facilitated recording and explaining what chaplains do to multidisciplinary staff. It also helped the team better understand how they work through purposeful articulation of encounters.
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