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Gray
 
 
Thought for Today ---   An Imperative for the Chaplaincy Profession

Other health care disciplines utilize evidence-based tools as a framework for care. Increasingly, all services are being judged ----    and funded ----    by the value of what they add to the system with value defined as Quality/Cost. In the U.S., the major quality goals are known as the "triple aims": improved medical outcomes, reduced cost, and patient satisfaction. Applying evidence-based tools must be an imperative for the chaplaincy profession to be on par with other health care professions.
 
Summer/Fall Catalogue of Spiritual Care Educational Offerings
 
Keeping with the above thought, HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and the Spiritual Care Association (SCA), HCCN's affiliate that is a multidisciplinary professional membership organization, have a wide range of educational offerings to enhance your professional practice and to advance the field of spiritual care. 
Evidence-based knowledge informs these offerings, and will continue to be the foundation for those that we introduce in the future.

Our summer/fall catalogue of spiritual care educational programs and products includes: 

The summer/fall catalogue is below.  My colleagues and I hope that you find this useful.  Please watch for additional offerings in the coming months.
Peace & Blessings!
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and
Spiritual Care Association
 
 
SUMMER/FALL CATALOGUE OF
SPIRITUAL CARE EDUCATIONAL OFFERINGS
July20July 20th Deadline: Last Call to Apply for the New Spiritual Care Fellowship in Palliative Care

SCA will begin offering a Spiritual Care Fellowship in Palliative Care for board certified chaplains currently working in a hospice or palliative care setting.  It is designed to increase competencies and best practices in caring for people who are seriously or chronically ill, and their caregivers, at a time when palliative care is expanding rapidly in the U.S.  It will be offered twice per year, beginning in September and January, with four to eight selectively-chosen participants in each cohort.  The deadline for the first session is July 20th.

Details
  • The year-long fellowship is an online, cohort-based program built upon an academically rigorous and best practice-informed curriculum.
  • Upon completion, fellows will demonstrate competency in intermediate or advance-level practice according to the competency guidelines for professional chaplains who provide palliative and end-of life care.
  • The educational program will prepare fellows for specialty certification in palliative/hospice care by certifying bodies, including SCA.
  • Each fellow will be supervised by a board certified hospice and palliative care chaplain and interdisciplinary team member/on-site supervisor, and participate in weekly, live video conferencing classroom sessions.
  • Learning activities include simulated patient/family interaction role-play, interdisciplinary team building exercises, case presentations, journal article and book reviews, an interdisciplinary team presentation, a quality improvement project, and a publication-ready capstone project.
  • The program was developed by HCCN and is being made available through SCA.
For more information, please contact: fellowships@spiritualcareassociation.org
July28July 28th: Webinar on What Patients Want & How a Patient-Centered Approach to Care Delivers
 
As part of HCCN's ongoing series of continuing education webinars, we will be offering a webinar on "What Patients Want & How a Patient-Centered Approach to Care Delivers" on July 28th. Our presenter is Sara Guastello, Director of Knowledge Management of Planetree, a global leader in advancing patient-centered care.

The webinar qualifies for 1.5 Continuing Education Hours, and is intended for health care chaplains, health care providers, and other interested professionals. It will take place from 1:30 - 3 p.m. ET.
 
Sept14September 14th: New Sessions Starting for Online Chaplaincy Palliative Care Certificate Courses (Fundamentals and Advanced Levels)
 
Two more sessions will begin on September 14th of HCCN's popular palliative care certificate courses offered in conjunction with California State University Institute for Palliative Care. The online courses are available at two different levels: fundamentals and advanced.

The fundamentals course is ideal for board certified and non-board certified chaplains as well as other care providers interested in spirituality practice in palliative care.

The advanced course is ideal for:
  • Chaplains who have completed the fundamentals course who want to build upon that knowledge base and continue to develop their skills to improve patient outcomes.
  • Board certified chaplains wishing to enhance preparation for a specialty certification from a professional chaplaincy association.
  • Department directors who meet the course requirements and desire to build upon their expertise and contributions to the palliative care team. 

More than 700 chaplains and other spiritual care providers to date have completed and highly praised these certificate courses. For instance, one student said: "I believe future students will be amazed by the new skills they will have gained by the completion of the course. I am one of them."

Sept15September 15th Deadline: Reduced Fee Offer to Take New Online Test of Chaplaincy Care Knowledge

HCCN is offering all board certified chaplains the opportunity to take, through its SCA affiliate, the online test of knowledge and understanding of evidence-based chaplaincy scope of practice, and receive the test prep materials ─ at a significantly reduced cost for a limited time.

The regular full cost for the test prep materials and the online test is $570.
HCCN will pay three-quarters of the cost. Your price for a limited time: $150.

This purchase offer expires September 15, 2016.

When you pass the test, you will receive a certificate that attests that you have demonstrated knowledge in chaplaincy, based on the latest evidence and an objective assessment. This helps standardize and modernize the profession.
 
To take advantage of this limited-time offer:
  • You do NOT have to be a SCA member.
  • You do NOT have to give up your board certification from another chaplaincy certifying organizaition.
Why is HCCN making this offer?

We believe it elevates and adds credibility to professional chaplaincy, contributes to improvement in the delivery of spiritual care, and demonstrates value by:
  • Providing an objective assessment of a chaplain's knowledge of the first evidence-based chaplaincy scope of practice developed by a multidisciplinary, international panel of experts.
  • Evolving chaplaincy similar to how other health care professions regularly adjust their standards based on emerging research, the growing complexity of health care, and other factors.
The Test   ----    What and Why? 
  • This type of test is standard practice in medicine, nursing, and other health care disciplines ----    putting chaplaincy on par with colleagues.
  • It is being developed using subject matter experts and the most rigorous standards, and will be able to be scored objectively. 
  • The knowledge to be tested will be made public, thus allowing chaplains to fully prepare without any uncertainty about the content to be tested. For example, modules in the test include health care ethics, basics of world religious/spiritual systems, and spiritual assessment models.
  • An individual chaplain's test results are confidential.
The test and prep materials will be available this September. We will inform you when they become available, and you can take the test any time after that.
 
Purchase here before September 15th to take advantage of this offer.
OnlineOnline Learning Centers Adds 11th Course: "When It's Time to Say Goodbye: Introduction to Spiritual Care at the End of Life"
 
SCA has added its latest course to the Spiritual Care Association Online Learning Center ----    raising to 11 the number of courses that are currently available. 

The latest course is entitled "When It's Time to Say Goodbye: Introduction to Spiritual Care at the End of Life." This course is intended for those who are new to, unfamiliar with, or wish to learn more about end-of-life issues in order to inform their care for all persons. It discusses various aspects of end-of-life care, including the dying process and physiological changes, advance care planning, conflicts that may occur between dying persons and families, palliative care, and hospice. It will also identify Issues of emotional and spiritual, religious and existential distress, as well as appropriate interventions, cultural, religious, spiritual and existential practices, and care of the family. (Course author: The Rev. Sue Wintz, M.Div., BCC ─ 35 hours & 1 Credit)

All courses in the Online Learning Center are based on the new, standardized evidence-based scope of practice and evidence-based quality indicators developed by two interdisciplinary panels of experts, convened by HCCN, from the fields of chaplaincy, medicine, nursing, psychotherapy, palliative care, social work, research and policy in the U.S. and overseas. These courses are for chaplains and other spiritual care providers, and other types of health care professionals, such as doctors, nurses and social workers.
 
SubscribeSubscribe to PlainViews  ---   The Monthly Preeminent Online Professional Journal
 
PlainViews is a monthly publication that provides a place for professional chaplains and other care providers to find, present and discuss information in accordance with the publication's mission to translate knowledge and skills into effective chaplaincy practice and care for the human spirit.
 
Issues include research articles, clinical experiences, and current events along with regular features, such as News and Journal Watch, and Ask the Chaplain, a brief interview on issues we need to address.
 
Here's a typical comment from a subscriber: "I wish that I had more time during my professional day to read, but always find the time for PlainViews because it is relevant and helpful to my work." 
 
TrainTrain Volunteers With Popular Manual 

Expanding the reach of chaplaincy while managing the budget is on every director's mind. Engaging lay or clergy volunteers can be one tactic; however, for this approach to work, effective volunteers require baseline training. That's why HCCN created a comprehensive chaplaincy volunteer training manual, "Chaplaincy Care: Volunteer Training Manual," for use in any health care setting.

Here's a representative comment about the manual from one director: "I am going to be running a volunteer pastoral care training program. I love the Chaplaincy Care Volunteer Training Manual. It's clear, succinct and fabulous. We serve a wide variety of faiths, so this is perfect."

ReadRead the Latest Edition of Caring for the Human Spirit Magazine

The current issue (spring/summer 2016) of HCCN's Caring for the Human Spirit Magazine includes a special section on grief, with articles that can help chaplains and other health care providers in their provision of high-quality spiritual care. The biannual magazine educates and informs its readership of the latest evidence-based best practices, skills, and other developments in the spiritual care field, to enhance whole person care ----    body, mind and spirit. 

The latest issue also looks at:
  • Talking to Kids About Death & Dying
  • Game-Changer: Evidence-Based Quality Indicators
  • Spritual Care Can Drive Patient Experience
  • Jewish Hospital's Hybrid Spiritual Care Model
  • How New Depression Screening Guidelines Impact Chaplains
  • Palliative Care Progress in Mongolia
Complementing the print and online editions of the magazine, HCCN's website includes video interviews with some of the authors in which they expand upon their article topics. The next issue (fall 2016/winter 2017) will be published in late October.

RegistrationRegistration Will Open in the Fall for Fourth Annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference ----    March 13-15, 2017
Registration will open in the fall for HCCN's fourth annual Caring for the Human Spirit Conference ----    a content-rich scientific and educational event that will take place in Chicago on March 13-15, 2017. 

As in the past, the 2017 conference ----    also available via webcast ----    will present first-class speakers and workshops focusing on the integration of spiritual care in health care. The first three conferences have been great successes, drawing a diverse audience of chaplains, physicians, nurses, social workers, psychologists, researchers, administrators, students and others from around the world.

Beth Delaney, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor of nursing, said of this year's conference: "As a nurse practitioner who cares for cancer patients, my nurse research partner and I found attending the Caring for the Human Spirit conference provided a forum for 'like-minded' health care individuals to form a community of inquiry, where learning and supporting one another encourage all of us to continually strive to improve the care for one of the most unique characteristics of all humans ... the spirit."

For more information about registration, as well as exhibitor/supporter opportunities, click here.
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First-of-Its-Kind Advocacy Initiative in Washington, DC

The Spiritual Care Association (SCA) has retained Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, to spearhead advocacy efforts aimed at raising the bar on spiritual care and further integrating it into the U.S. health care system.

Leading the effort will be M. Todd Tuten, a senior policy advisor in the firm's Washington, DC office who has extensive congressional and private-sector experience, including the development and implementation of substantive policies and strategies on a broad range of legislative and regulatory matters, with a particular focus on health care. He is actively engaged in the debate on proposals to strengthen Medicare, Medicaid, and the nation's health care system.

SCA is fortunate to have secured such a well-respected firm. This paves the way for the first time for spiritual care stakeholders to build a united and loud voice on Capitol Hill around this important aspect of whole-person care. We must amplify spiritual care issues in the public interest in order to move the profession forward and, moreover, to assist countless people in need.

SCA plans to educate and engage federal legislators and policymakers with the intent of securing laws, policies, reimbursements and resources that support quality spiritual care for individuals and their family caregivers throughout the continuum of care and in all types of health care settings. We welcome your participation in this important effort. If you wish to be involved, please send a message to info@spiritualcareassociation.org with the word "Advocacy" in the subject line and your contact information.

Read the full announcement about this initiative here.

Unprecedented Collaboration Within the Chaplaincy Profession Is Well Underway 

When I announced the formation of the Spiritual Care Association in April, I stated that SCA was committed to inviting collaboration with the many chaplaincy organizations to advance the profession. Our invitations to collaborate have been received with enthusiasm. Over these past two and a half months, on behalf of SCA, I have had highly constructive conversations with many of the chaplaincy certification or accreditation organizations - 11 total so far ─  to discuss if and how the SCA's educational, certification, and advocacy resources could be of value to their members. The overall answers have consistently been "yes" and the discussions of "how" are ongoing. Also, last week we held a group conference call with many of these associations about collaborating in a unified way to benefit the chaplaincy field. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this many chaplaincy associations have participated in such a collective meeting. We continue to invite others to join the conversation.

Since effective spiritual care should involve participation, in some way, of all members of the interdisciplinary health care team, SCA was founded as a multidisciplinary organization to include not only chaplains, but also nurses, social workers, physicians, and others, plus non-chaplain clergy. I can report that we already have up and running advisory committees consisting of nurses and social workers, respectively, and we are forming a physicians' committee. We are also working with a number of major seminaries across the U.S. to serve their constituents.
 
Many SCA Members Have Volunteered to Serve on Committees

After inviting SCA members two weeks ago to serve on one or more committees in formation, more than 70 members have said they wish to do so. The committees include:
  • Advocacy
  • Clinical Chaplaincy
  • Certification & Credentialing
  • Education
  • Hospice & Palliative Care Chaplaincy
  • Pediatric Chaplaincy
  • Research
Agendas for each committee are being developed with activity to heat up in September. If you are an SCA member and are interested in serving on a committee, please send an email message with the word "Committee" in the subject line to info@spiritualcareassociation.org and include your contact information and what committee(s) are of interest. A reply to you with more information will be forthcoming.

A Personal Note

My SCA colleagues and I are very grateful for all the enthusiastic support that we have received from the spiritual care community in the U.S. and other countries, and the rapid growth of membership. Consistent with our commitment to open dialogue, please feel free to contact me via info@spiritualcareassociation.org if you have any questions, want to know more about SCA or wish to have a conversation.
Peace & Blessings!

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and
Spiritual Care Associati
on
 
 
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   June 2016     Issue No. 11
 
Patient-Centered Care News
We hope that you find this complimentary monthly e-newsletter informative. Below are short summaries of each selected item with links to the entire pieces. Also included is a downloadable PDF version for readers who prefer that format.
 
Please feel free to send any questions or comments to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org.
 
Sincerely,
 
Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network & Spiritual Care Association
 
Spiritual Care Research Update
 
Members of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's (HCCN) Research Advisory Board met by conference call last week to discuss the state of research in spiritual care and the field of professional chaplaincy. It was agreed that much has been accomplished in the past decade to affirm and validate the impact of spiritual care and the contribution of chaplains. While the research has been formidable, significant gaps still remain. HCCN is committed to contributing resources and creating the infrastructure to drive the research agenda forward. Next steps include identifying:
  • Other organizations and researchers in the field to involve in this important effort.
  • An agenda of research topics to initiate data collection pilot projects 
If you are interested in participating, please send an email and some detail to comm@healthcarechaplaincy.org with the word "Research" in the subject line. 
 
Spiritual Care & Nursing
 
What Nurses Want: More Guidance on Spiritual Care (HealthLeaders Media News & American Journal of Critical Care)
 
A recent study on nurses' definitions of spirituality and their comfort-levels with providing patients spiritual care has led a Cleveland Clinic research team to create a working definition for spirituality in healthcare.
 
The article "Critical Care Nurses' Perceived Need for Guidance in Addressing Spirituality in Critically Ill Patients," was published in the May 2 edition of the American Journal of Critical Care.
 
"Without a clear definition, each nurse must reconcile his or her own beliefs within a framework mutually suitable for both nurse and patient," said lead author Christina M. Canfield, RN, MSN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-E, in a media release. "Nurses who seek to give whole-person care to their patients' sense that something beyond the technical aspects of their job is needed."
 
She is a program manager, Cleveland Clinic Hospital and clinical nurse specialist at Cleveland Clinic's main campus.
 
Through interviews with 30 nurses, researchers found that even though nurses report they are ready to offer direct spiritual support if they sensed it was needed, they had trepidation about initiating spiritual support for fear of potentially offending the patient or the patient's family.
 
Nurses also said they were eager for resources and guidance on how to address their patients' spiritual care needs.

Read more here and here.

A Patient Writes
 
10 indispensables for those with chronic pain and illness (KevinMD.com)
 
 1. Email. 
 2. Being nice to yourself. 
 3. Pacing. 
 4. Earplugs. 
 5. The proper pillow arrangement. 
 6. Not sweating the small stuff. 
 7. Slowing down. 
 8. Amazon's Subscribe and Save (or its equivalent). 
 9. Spinach. 
10. Saying "no." 
 


A Family Caregiver Writes
 
This Is What I Learned, Living in an Intensive Care Unit (Huffington Post)
 
Recently I had the rare and shocking privilege of living in an Intensive Care Unit, or ICU, for three months. I was not a patient, nor a member of staff. I was there because my teenaged son became critically ill. Tim's learning difficulties meant that he needed his dad or me to be with him virtually all the time. I stayed every night for the first month, and then around five nights a week thereafter. ...
During those three months, I learned that crisis means looking after yourself as well as doing your best to help others. Specifically, I learned the following five insights.
  1. Appreciate and care for your body.
  2. Pause, breathe. Sit still in silence every day.
  3. Give healing when you are drawn to do so.
  4. Choose uplifting language.
  5. Adopt a mindset of wellness.
 

Physicians Write

Here are the lessons I learned from caring for my ailing father (KevinMD.com) 
 
My father's illness taught me to be a more humanistic and compassionate physician. Our patients and their families are scared and confused. It is not only our job to know anatomy in the operating room, clinical guidelines, or how to manage fluids and antibiotics; to truly heal a patient, we must understand what they're dealing with along the entire course of an illness. I know that my father's situation was not unique, but it forced me to confront the way that I practice medicine and forever shaped the way that I treat my patients.

Read more
 
A physician's view on when to get more information from your doctor (The Guardian)

Diagnoses are often just educated guesses, and prognoses less certain still. Based on data collected about cancer patients over the past four decades, doctors can talk about the odds of survival. For example, we know that a patient who has localised bladder cancer has about a 70% chance of being alive at five years. But oncologists telling patients that they have a 70% chance of survival at five years is a very different thing from predicting that they have about four years left of life, as some patients with bladder cancer will decline very quickly and others will live for many years.
 
Such discussions entail an honest admission by clinicians that they cannot look into the crystal ball, and such statements are only meant for patients and families to weigh the risks and benefits as they make decisions about their care, because cancer treatment can often make patients very sick and reduce their quality of life.
 
The key to good health might lie in the ability to recognise the hype created by medical reports and how the media treats health stories and health scares. It is important to sense when to push a physician for more testing or to resist a physician's enthusiasm when unnecessary tests or treatments are offered.
 
With polite but firm insistence, we got the doctors to understand that this was not about their plan but my father's. We can learn from this that embracing uncertainty - and asking the right questions - allows for more humane treatment, less anxiety and better care. But to do that we need to confront some sobering realities of our modern medical system.
 
Read more
 
Listening to Patients at the End of Their Lives is Crucial - So Why Don't Doctors Do It? (The Conversation Project & The Guardian)
 
For many physicians around the world, end-of-life care conversations test the limits of their ability to communicate with patients. In a recent opinion piece published in The Guardian, Australian oncologist Dr. Ranjana Srivastava discusses the need to provide physicians with the training and tools that will help them have better conversations with patients about their end-of-life wishes. 
 
"Such training in medicine, especially when it pertains to end of life care, is patchy, undervalued and considered an optional extra rather than a clinical imperative. In an era where we have mapped the human genome and talk about cancer moonshots we have consistently failed to provide not just physicians, but all doctors, with the tools to be effective communicators."
 
 
 
Researchers Write
 
Just 5% of terminally ill cancer patients understood their prognosis, researchers say (e-hospice International, Center for Research on End-of-Life Care at Weill Cornell Medicine, Journal of Clinical Oncology)
 
Too many advanced cancer patients lack basic understanding about their disease, researchers report.
 
Only a small consortium of advanced cancer patients were able to show that they could identify and fully understand their prognosis according to a study led by faculty members from Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medicine, which aimed to uncover the influence of prognostic discussions on the accuracy of illness understanding.
 
The open access study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, compared patients' understanding of their illness before and after scans that staged their cancer, and before and after discussing results with their oncologist. Before the restaging scan visit, just nine (5%) of 178 patients acknowledged being at the end stage of incurable cancer with just months to live.
 
Find out what our contributing faculty members at the Center for Research on End-of-Life Care at Weill Cornell Medical College had to say about this issue.


Palliative, End-of-Life, Hospice Care
 
Early Palliative Care Improves Outcomes for Family Caregivers of Cancer Patients (Oncology Times)
 
Introducing palliative care shortly after a cancer diagnosis results in better quality of life and fewer depression symptoms for family caregivers, according to a new study.
 
The study (Abstract 10131) was featured in a press briefing and will be presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
 
"The benefits of early palliative care extend beyond patient outcomes and positively impacts family caregivers. Early integration of palliative care for patients with newly diagnosed lung and GI incurable cancers leads to improvement in family caregivers' depression and aspects of quality of life," said lead author Areej El-Jawahri, MD, Director of Bone Marrow Transplant Survivorship Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston.
 
"This study suggests that early palliative care creates a powerful positive feedback loop in families facing cancer. While patients receive a direct benefit from early palliative care, their caregivers experience a positive downstream effect, which may make it easier for them to care for their loved ones."
This is the first study to show that early palliative care alone for a patient with cancer can have a strong impact on family caregivers, she said.

Read more
 
End-of-Life Care in Hospitals Has a Long Way to Go  (Health Leaders Media)

Many doctors and patients don't talk about how to handle the pain, disability, or despair that may accompany a serious illness or imminent death. Hospital leaders can push for greater competency in advanced planning among clinicians.
 
Medicare may reimburse primary care physicians for end-of-life talks with patients, but those conversations between seriously ill patients and their doctors often don't occur, even when patients are being treated for serious illnesses.
 
A survey by the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care shows that 85% of Massachusetts residents believe that physicians and their patients should talk about end-of-life care, but only 15% have actually had such conversations.
 
Working with healthcare delivery systems will be one of the coalition's most important tasks, according to Atul Gawande, the coalition's co-chair and a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Read more
 
Palliative, hospice care lacking among dying cancer patients, researcher finds (Science Daily, Stanford University Medical Center & Journal of Palliative Medicine.)

Medical societies, including the American Society of Clinical Oncology, recommend that patients with advanced cancer receive palliative care soon after diagnosis and receive hospice care for at least the last three days of their life. Yet major gaps persist between these recommendations and real-life practice, a new study shows.
 
Risha Gidwani, DrPH, a health economist at Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Economics Resource Center and a consulting assistant professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and her colleagues examined care received by all veterans over the age of 65 with cancer who died in 2012, a total of 11,896 individuals.
 
The researchers found that 71 percent of veterans received hospice care, but only 52 percent received palliative care. They also found that exposure to hospice care differed significantly between patients treated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and those enrolled in Medicare. In addition, many patients who received palliative care received it late in their disease's progression rather than immediately following diagnosis, as recommended by ASCO.

Read more
 
What You (i.e. Palliative Care Team Members) Can Do To Improve Quality Right Now (Palliative in Practice blog from Center to Advance Palliative Care)
 
Post written by Diane E. Meier, MD, Director, Center to Advance Palliative Care
 
I had the privilege of visiting palliative care colleagues in Melbourne, Australia in February of this year. Not only did they share some great book recommendations (Songlines by Bruce Chatwin - which includes this quote comparing western to Australian aboriginal culture: "We give our children computer games and guns...they give their children the land.") and fantastic wine and food that rivals that in my home town of New York City, but also a breathtakingly simple way to monitor quality of palliative care during your weekly team meeting.
 
I observed the weekly palliative care team meeting during my visit.  After "running the list" and discussing each patient on service with the whole team, Dr. Jenny Philip pulled out the spread sheet (at link) and asked everyone if they had observed any of the following among the patients they had cared for:
  • Uncontrolled pain and symptoms for >24 hours
  • Fecal impaction
  • Dissatisfaction with the team's care on the part of patients, family members, colleagues
  • Occurrence of requests for a hastened death
  • Emergency room "crash" admissions
  • Team distress
  • And others
If such an occurrence was noted, specifics were recorded and the team leader then developed a plan of inquiry, root cause analysis and remediation.
 
Read more
 
Podcast with Substantial Content about a Successful Palliative Care Program Operated by UCLA Health for the Motion Picture and Television Fund (Palliative in Practice blog from Center to Advance Palliative Care)
 
Interviewed are Nurse Practitioner Linda Healy and Chaplain Rabbi Arthur Rosenberg. The program was set up to help the entertainment community - inpatient, in residence care, and outpatient  - get proper care when facing serious illness and comprises geriatricians, nurse practitioners, nurses, chaplains, licensed clinical social workers, dietitians and activity coordinators. Guidance and counseling is also provided for those struggling with complex decision making about medical issues.
 
Rabbi Rosenberg completed the Palliative Care Chaplaincy Specialty Certificate course offered jointly by Health Care Chaplaincy Network and the California State University Institute for Palliative Care. Rabbi Rosenberg emphasizes that delivering effective spiritual care requires the professional chaplain as the specialist and the other members of the interdisciplinary team as generalists.
 

Caring for the Human Spirit

Emotional, spiritual needs can affect health outcomes and how a chaplain helps (The Union Democrat - Sonora, California)
 
A Joint Commission Study found that health outcomes can be positively affected by attempts to address emotional and psychosocial needs.
To that end, Chaplain Mario DeLise at Sonora (California) Regional Medical Center said he works with staff to give them the tools to try to help patients on a personal level.
"It's not just chaplains that can have a calming experience (with a patient)," he said. "We want to give specific tools to everybody to talk about spirituality that builds up community. Just to give them the ability to engage people in a way that works for everyone."
When DeLise talks about spirituality, it's about noticing the spiritual experience a fellow human being is going through when they are sick.
"Spirituality is often seen to include how we make meaning of life, what we find to be our purpose in life, and how we connect in meaningful ways - with ourselves and with that which is outside ourselves. Also, chaplains and others who join a sick person as a support person help remove them from isolation as we participate in what they are going through and provide compassion and empathy," DeLise said.
"One of our things is to set people at ease. Let them know they are not going through it alone. That is typically appreciated," he said. "It would probably be disingenuous to say everyone we leave is beaming in joy, but typically we have a calming effect on people."
However, there's only so much spiritual care can do, he allowed.
One patient DeLise met was "suspicious of everyone who came in."
DeLise spent some time with him, just visiting and talking for a while.
"His wife later told me that really changed things for him. He was able to feel more trust for the whole hospital team," DeLise said. "That was a noticeable, positive thing."
DeLise said another former patient had a long history of health issues.
"I just kind of gave her space to talk. She shared her story. ... Finally she just kind of paused. She said, 'You know, I think God is using this to draw me closer to himself.' I didn't say that to her," DeLise said. "When she explored her experience in the greater context of meaning, she discovered through talking. It doesn't take away her health struggles, but for her it gave her a more positive outlook."
Read more

Keeping Our Spirit in Mind (Huffington Post)
 
"Spirit is the essence of being human," said the late Joseph Fabry, who wrote Guideposts to Meaning and Pursuit of Meaning, based on Vicktor Frankl's existential humanistic theory known as Logotherapy. "You have a body that may become ill; you have a psyche that may become disturbed. But the spirit is what you are. It is your health core."
 
That health core - our life force, needs to be cared for. When someone is ill or suffering physically, it is imperative that the person's spirit is also cared for. This is why the Spiritual Care Association came into being earlier this year. When we see all that the spirit does for us, is it any wonder that we emphasize the importance of keeping it healthy?
 
Should you ever feel that your spirit is not in prime condition or temporarily "out to lunch," heed the words of the well-known physician, spiritualist and author Deepak Chopra. "Ultimately spiritual awareness unfolds when you're flexible, when you're spontaneous, when you're detached, when you're easy on yourself and easy on others."
 
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New York-Area Alzheimer's Home Care Agency to Offer "Virtual" Spiritual Care by Connecting With Chaplains via Phone, Email, Video
 
For individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias, and their family caregivers, isolation, anxiety, and existential questions often accompany this terminal brain disorder. Now, a New York-area home care agency is collaborating with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) to offer its clientsa direct connection toprofessional health care chaplains who can help with the emotional and spiritual distress surrounding this disease and other illnesses.
 
ACS Home Care LLC (Alzheimer's Care Specialists), based in Northport, NY and servicing Nassau, Queens, Suffolk, and Westchester counties, is introducing "virtual" professional chaplaincy as a value-added service to new and existing clients. The service, Chat with a Chaplain, enables patients and family members to confidentially speak to a professional multi-faith chaplain via phone, email, or video chat.
 
The announcement coincides with Alzheimer's & Brain Awareness Month in June. ACS specializes in Alzheimer's disease, and also serves clients with other illnesses and needs.
 
This is the first home care agency HCCN is collaborating with to provide the unique service, which is staffed by HCCN's professional multi-faith chaplains. Chaplains are the spiritual care specialists on health care teams; they listen without judgment and provide comfort and meaning.
 
Chat with a Chaplain is available to anyone, regardless of religion or beliefs, or no religion or beliefs. Clients can obtain emotional and spiritual support as well as submit prayer requests. In the face of illness, common questions include, "Why me?" or "Has God abandoned me?"
 
Robert Macedonio, RN, president, director of patient care services at ACS Home Care, said he expects people facing Alzheimer's disease and related dementias to especially benefit from this service.

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Chaplains: Take New Knowledge Test

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) is offering all Board Certified Chaplains the opportunity to take ─ through its affiliate the Spiritual Care Association ─ the online test of knowledge and understanding of evidence-based chaplaincy scope of practice, and receive the test prep materials ─ at a significantly reduced cost.

The regular full cost for the test prep materials and the online test is $570.

HCCN will pay three-quarters of the cost. Your price for a limited time: $150.

This offer expires September 15, 2016.

When you pass the test, you will receive a certificate that attests that you have demonstrated knowledge in chaplaincy, based on the latest evidence and an objective assessment. This helps standardize and modernize the profession.

To take advantage of this limited-time offer:
  • You do NOT have to be a SCA member.
  • You do NOT have to give up your Board Certification from another chaplaincy certifying organization.
     
Why is HCCN making this offer?
 
We believe it elevates and adds credibility to professional chaplaincy, contributes to improvement in the delivery of spiritual care, and demonstrates value by: 
  • Providing an objective assessment of a chaplain's knowledge of the first evidence-based chaplaincy scope of practice developed by a multidisciplinary, international panel of experts.
  • Evolving chaplaincy similar to how other health care professions regularly adjust their standards based on emerging research, the growing complexity of health care, and other factors.
     
The Test - What and Why?
  • This type of test is standard practice in medicine, nursing, and other health care disciplines-putting chaplaincy on par with colleagues.
  • It is being developed using subject matter experts and the most rigorous standards, and will be able to be scored objectively. 
  • The knowledge to be tested will be made public, thus allowing chaplains to fully prepare without any uncertainty about the content to be tested. For example, modules in the test include health care ethics, basics of world religious/spiritual systems, and spiritual assessment models.
  • An individual chaplain's test results are confidential.
     
The Spiritual Care Association

For those not familiar with the Spiritual Care Association (SCA): It is a professional, multidisciplinary membership organization that has created the first comprehensive evidence-based model to define, deliver, train, and test for the provision of high-quality spiritual care. SCA has invited all chaplaincy associations and certifying bodies to aid the field through collaboration and application of the model's components for their own members.

The test and prep materials will be available this September. You can take the test any time after it becomes available.

Sign up here before September 15th to take advantage of this offer.
Peace & Blessings!

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO
HealthCare Chaplaincy Network and
Spiritual Care Associati
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So appropriate to what professional chaplains do: "We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that something deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit." - e e cummings (hat tip to Gratefulness.org)

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