A LEAP OF FAITH?
ENABLING HOSPICE STAFF TO MEET THE SPIRITUAL NEEDS OF PATIENTS
Keywords:spiritual care, staff, hospice, training, Setting the Scene
This article is based on research undertaken for the degree of Doctor of Ministry. Its focus is the investigation of two phenomena raised by members of hospice staff as impediments to the delivery of spiritual care. These are the problems of discerning the spiritual aspect of interventions with patients, and the apprehension staff feel in being faced with the prospect of meeting those needs for which they consider themselves unprepared. These two phenomena were tested by sharing with staff, six pastoral conversations and recording the degree to which they were able to pick up the spiritual content of the conversation. The research discovered that staff, although highly motivated, do not always have the confidence or the knowledge to address the spiritual needs of patients at an appropriate level of sophistication.
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