Accounting for the Unaccountable
Making Sense of Extra-Ordinary Experiences in Hospitals
Keywords:Chaplaincy, extra-ordinary experience, narrative, nursing, spirituality
Chaplains are familiar with patient narratives which recount “extra-ordinary” experiences. These may include a vision or awareness of a deceased person. It may take other forms of description which do not fit into day-to-day discourse. There is also a significant multi-faith and multi-cultural diversity to the nature and expression of such events. This paper outlines a narrative structure which could be used authentically by health care staff to enable and value the patient’s experience of extra-ordinary episodes. This is seen as a significant way to support a patient’s dignity and enable them to integrate experiences in an effective way.
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