5H: Spiritual Care in Hospice: More than Prayer

Carol Shaffer, BCC

At every hospice admission, the team responds to the National Quality Forum (NQF) question 1647: Patient/caregiver/family was asked about spiritual/religious concerns. Oftentimes, the answer notes whether or not a patient is part of a faith community, and if they want hospice chaplain support. Much more is involved in spiritual care for the whole person. Spiritual care includes addressing people’s distress, assisting people in finding and making meaning, helping people define their purpose, and helping people shape and strengthen their relationships with themselves, their loved ones, their communities, nature, and the sacred. Every member of the interdisciplinary team assists in providing spiritual care as a generalist. Hospice chaplains are spiritual care specialists, the team’s experts.

By the end of the session, learners will be able to:

  • Understand how religion and spirituality are related yet distinct
  • Understand how spirituality is defined in whole person health care
  • Discover pathways to provide spiritual care