Chaplains care for patients and their families and even the doctors and nurses and other members of hospital staffs. This can mean praying together, reading scripture or poems. It can mean listening to stories, helping family members reflect on their most cherished moments with a patient they may soon lose.
It can mean hugging and holding doctors and nurses who sob in the break room after a traumatic death. Or serving as a well of knowledge on matters critical to patients’ well-being but beyond medical workers’ expertise.
Even now, amid the barriers that COVID-19 has introduced, chaplains work to get to know the patients and their families. In those conversations, they try to figure out what will help them each find a sense of peace.
Often, patients will want to reach out to people they’ve wronged, to make amends. Others want to talk to long-forgotten friends. Others want only a few more moments with their families, and a few want only calm and stillness, even solitude.
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