Spiritual Guidance of Patients, Families and Medical Staff during Paediatric End of Life Care
Keywords:Active presence, Chaplain’s role, communication skills, paediatric death, remembrance, transcendent
This article offers four aspects of care that the chaplain caring for children in end of life situations in the Hungarian Christian context have found useful. It provides insights gained from accompanying about 100 children, their families and their medical staff on their end of life journey. Hospital chaplaincy is a new discipline in Hungarian health care. Using the tools of theology and psychology, the hospital chaplain strives to assist the individual in facing death and in working through the pain caused by bereavement. The four aspects of care in the chaplain’s hand to achieve this goal are the chaplain’s active presence (conversation/silence, sharing the burden of dying and death), promoting adequate communication (between patient/family member, patient/medical staff, family member/medical staff), creating opportunities to remember the deceased (photo frame, memorial service, contributing to the book of memories, follow up a er the child’s death) and assisting in turning to the transcendent (Bible stories, play, sacred songs and rituals).
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