Hospice Chaplains Excel At Leading Patients on a (Spiritual) Journey

The role of the Hospice Chaplain is such an important role, and benefit, to the hospice team. Their main focus is to provide spiritual support to hospice patients and their loved ones. Very often, our Hospice Chaplains guide patients and loved ones on a personal reflection and spiritual journey.

The Hospice Chaplain is like a Taxi Driver for the Hospice Patient. The hospice patient hops into the “taxi” and directs the Chaplain where they would like to go. Sometimes, patients don’t know where they want to go, and Chaplains can help provide recommendations on where to go first. Chaplains drive the taxi as far or as short as the “customer” wants to go. Many journeys/excursions start by driving towards stories about where they were raised, turn left at the corner and start talking about their family, then head over towards questions about feelings about loss, maybe make a stop with a prayer, and then head over to reviewing highlights about life. The Chaplain drives the “taxi” wherever the hospice patient would like to go.

“Two Thumbs Up! Highly Recommended!”.

The Chaplain on the hospice team is an optional service, but is highly recommended. The hospice chaplain doesn’t arrive in the home and preach sermons, won’t force patients to become religious, won’t make anyone say prayers, and won’t make anyone do anything they do not want to do. Instead, the Hospice Chaplain will provide spiritual support wherever support may be needed – through life review, sharing stories of life meaning, prayers, Bible readings, communion, religious or spiritual rituals, or through helping to answer questions about mortality and beliefs about life after death. The Chaplain provides spiritual support to family members also. Hospice Chaplains will not replace any church affiliation or church leaders that are important and connected to the hospice patient. Instead, the Hospice Chaplain will be an additional support to any support the patients already receive from their church.

Thank you, Hospice Chaplains, for all the spiritual cares you provide to our hospice patients. I am in awe of your service and dedication to our patients, and am honored to serve on the hospice team alongside of you.


Published by TeriBartRN

The author is a dedicated RN with 13-years experience as a Hospice Nurse. She is a Certified Hospice & Palliative Nurse (CHPN) who is passionate about education, and providing compassionate end-of-life cares. She is also a dedicated pickleball player, editor/publisher of a Pickleball eNewsletter, Ambassador, and a Pickleball Blog Writer/Editor.

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