Supportive Care Services
Because caring for the spiritual needs of our patients is an essential
part of total patient care, the hospital chaplain functions as a member
of the health care team. The primary focus of the health care team is
that it works toward optimal care of our patients and their families.
It also provides mutual support among professionals relating to the care
we give in the hospital, community resources, and a forum for dealing
with ethical issues.
It is the role and task of the chaplain to recognize and explore the relationship
between disease diagnosis; the experience of illness, including cultural
and social factors; and the expression of spirituality. This recognition
and interpretation helps avoid the breakdowns in communication that may
arise in the highly specialized realm of medicine.
Such a multidisciplinary approach allows various kinds of healing to take
place and enables spirituality and medicine to come together in a complementary fashion.
Our Supportive Care Philosophy
The term “total patient care” means many things to many people.
To some, it implies technical sophistication; to others it refers to the
wealth of available material and physical resources, such as intensive
care units. To still others, it means the abundance of personal skills
that contribute to medical care. Each of these plays a part in total patient
care, but there is another perspective as well. It is increasingly evident
that the spiritual dimension-the realm of values, beliefs, hopes, fears,
and meanings- is another vital component in the concept of total patient care.
At Atlantic General Hospital and Health System we believe total patient
care is patient-focused care, and it involves more than excellence in
medical or surgical achievement because people are more than a physiologic
structure. Patients, families, and associates are all social, emotional
and spiritual beings, as well as physical and chemical. Healing in total
patient care will include all these dimensions at Atlantic General Hospital
and Health System.
Supportive Care Services at Atlantic General Hospital may facilitate and
guide the efforts in the following ways:
- Provide compassionate listening and respect for individuals' values,
and cultural and spiritual beliefs.
- Support community clergy as they visit patients and families in the hospital.
Assist with completion of
advance directives and living wills.
- Assist with the appointment of a Health Care Agent.
- Family and Patient support through the process of organ donation.
- Facilitate referral to the Advisory Committee for ethics review.
- Provide spiritual and emotional support through pastoral counseling.
bereavement support and references to community recourses for grief support.
Arrange and officiate ecumenical services in the hospital
chapel when appropriate.
- Care for the spiritual and emotional needs of the dying patient and their family.
- Promote the positive benefits of spiritual beliefs in healing.
To speak with a chaplain while you are in the hospital, ask your nurse
or another member of the hospital staff to call a chaplain for you. Please
call Supportive Care Services at 410-641-9725 for further information.
Volunteer Chaplains Welcome
Community clergy are invited to help provide spiritual, religious and emotional
support to patients, families and Atlantic General Hospital staff on an
on-call basis. On-call hours are nights, 4 p.m. to 8 a.m., and/or one
weekend a month. Please call Pastoral Care Services at 410-641-9725 for