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Spiritual Care in Practice


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Foreword. Christina M. Puchalski, MD, Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences, The George Washington University School of Medicine, and Founder and Director of The George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health. Introduction. George Fitchett, DMin, PhD, Professor and Director of Research, Department of Religion, Health and Human Values, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Part 1. Paediatric Case Studies. Steve Nolan, PhD, Chaplain, Princess Alice Hospice, Esher, UK. 1.1. "God tells the doctors to pick the right medicine" - LeeAnn, a 12 year old girl with cystic fibrosis. Daniel H. Grossoehme, DMin, BCC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Division of Pulmonary Medicine), Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. 1.2. "I can tell you this, but not everyone understands" - Erica, a mother of a two year old girl with cancer. Alice A. Hildebrand, MDiv, BCC, Women's and Children's Service Line Chaplain at Barbara Bush Children's Hospital of Maine Medical Center, Portland, Maine. 1.3. "Why did God do this to me?" - Angela, a 17 year old girl with spinal injury. Katherine M. Piderman, PhD, BCC, Staff Chaplain, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. 1.4. Critical Response to Paediatric Case Studies - A Chaplain's Perspective. Alister W. Bull, BD, Dip Min, MTh, PhD, Secretary to the Mission and Discipleship Council, Church of Scotland, previously NHS Healthcare Chaplain, Yorkhill Children's Hospital, Glasgow and Lead Chaplain, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, UK. 1.5. Critical Response to Paediatric Case Studies - A Psychologist's Perspective. Sian Cotton, PhD, health psychologist and Director, Center for Integrative Health and Wellness and UC Health Integrative Medicine, University of Cincinnati. Part 2. Psychiatric Case Studies. Steve Nolan. 2.1. "I am frightened to close my eyes at night in case the witch comes to me in my sleep" - Yesuto, an African man in his early thirties troubled by his belief in witchcraft. Rosie Andrious-Ratcliffe, PhD, Trust Chaplain and Mental Health Lead, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK. 2.2. "I tried to kill myself. Will God keep me apart from the person I love in the life-after?" - June, a 78 year old woman who attempted suicide. Chris Swift, PhD, Head of Chaplaincy Services, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, and Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds, UK. 2.3. "My family wants me to see a priest. It can't hurt, right?" - Nate, a 20 year old man and his sexual identity. Angelika A. Zollfrank, BCC, ACPE, Clinical Pastoral Educator, Massachusetts General Hospital. 2.4. Critical Response to Psychiatric Case Studies - A Chaplain's Perspective. Graeme D. Gibbons, DMin, BA, BD, Grad Dip Psych, Ordained Minister, Uniting Church, Australia, and accredited Clinical Pastoral Educator by the Association of Supervised Pastoral Education, Australia. 2.5. Critical Response to Psychiatric Case Studies - A Psychiatrist's Perspective. Warren Kinghorn, MD, ThD, Assistant Professor in Psychiatry and Pastoral and Moral Theology, Duke University Medical Center and Duke Divinity School. Part 3. Palliative Case Studies. Steve Nolan. 3.1. "I need to do the right thing for him" - Andrew, a Canadian Veteran at the end of his life, and his daughter Lee. Jim Huth, PhD, Spiritual Care Provider, Sunnybrook Veterans Centre, Toronto, Canada, and Wes Roberts, MTS, BRE, Chaplain, Sunnybrook Veterans Center, Toronto, Canada. 3.2. "What can you do for me?" - David, a mid-60s Jewish man with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Nina Redl, BCC, Bryan Medical Center, Lincoln, Nebraska. 3.3. "Tell her that it's OK to release her spirit" - Maria, a Native American woman, grieving the loss of her dying mother. Richard C. Weyls, MDiv, STL, BCC, Staff Chaplain, Paaliative Care Consult Team, Swedish Health Systems, Washington. 3.4. Critical Response to Palliative Case Studies - A Chaplain's Perspective. David Mitchell, BD, Dip P Theo, MSc, PG Cert, TLHE, Programme Leader, Postgraduate Education in Healthcare Chaplaincy, University of Glasgow, UK. 3.6. Critical Response to Psychiatric Case Studies - A Nurse's Perspective. Barbara Pesut, PhD, RN, Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics and Diversity, and Associate Professor, School of Nursing, University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Part 4. Ethical Issues in Chaplaincy Case Study. David B. McCurdy, DMin, BCC, adjunct faculty member in Religious Studies, Elmhurst College, and previously Senior Ethics Consultant and Director of Organizational Ethics, Advocate Health Care. Afterword. John Swinton, PhD, BD, RNM, RNHD, Professor, Practical Theology and Pastoral Care, School of Divinity, Religious Studies and Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, UK.

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Detailed case studies and critical reflections provide an honest insight into how healthcare chaplains actually work with the people in their care

About the Author

Steve Nolan, Ph.D., is a palliative care chaplain at Princess Alice Hospice, Surrey, UK, where he works daily with people who are dying, supporting them and their families. He regularly teaches spiritual care to students visiting the hospice and is a tutor on the MTh in Chaplaincy Studies at St. Michael's College, Llandaff, part of Cardiff University.


Fitchett and Nolan, along with the writers of these cases, have provided us with a long-missing resource essential to the further integration of spiritual care and professional chaplaincy into healthcare. These cases should become fundamental to every chaplain's training and every interdisciplinary team's discussion about spiritual care. Swinton's Afterword sets the context brilliantly and probably should be read first. Kudos all around! -- The Rev. George Handzo, BCC, Director of Health Services Research & Quality, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network
This ground-breaking book will enable healthcare chaplains to critically reflect on the care they provide and communicate their work more effectively. It will be a valuable tool for educating new chaplains, for continuing education for experienced chaplains, and for students of practical theology, as well as for others working in healthcare. -- Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor of Medicine, and Director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
This book is intended to be a learning piece and a conversation starter for the chaplaincy profession but it is also of interest to all those interested in the provision of spiritual care in a health care setting. Chaplains often work in small departments isolated from the support and supervision afforded to other healthcare professionals; books such as this can provide a valuable learning experience and enable chaplains to reflect on their own practice and how they might have handled the situations described in the case studies. -- Emily Wood * Health and Social Care Chaplaincy, Issue 4.1 (June) 2016 *

It breaks new ground in illustrating the educative role of case studies in the training and continuing education of healthcare chaplains and in demonstrating the nature and value of healthcare chaplaincy services to clinicians and healthcare payers. The external reviews of the chaplains' work with their individual patients are particularly useful, typically illustrating deficits and concerns that the participating chaplains may not otherwise have considered - relevant research is cited, emerging theoretical perspectives and theological implications considered and with good cross-referencing to other disciplines.
It provides a valuable learning resource for healthcare chaplains to employ in reflecting on their own practice and to consider how they themselves might have handled the cases described.
...I can certainly recommend this book as important reading for all healthcare chaplains and to those clinical and managerial colleagues who wish to increase their understanding of the modern healthcare chaplain's role.

-- Andrew Miles MSc MPhil PhD DSc * European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare *

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