The Jackson Hospital Chaplain Program is a care program available to patients and their families. They are hands-extended, caring for the patient’s spiritual needs.
The Hospital Chaplains, staff of the hospital who completed orientation on the Hospital’s patient privacy and HIPPA regulations, will make rounds, as a doctor does, to visit patients in the hospital. While the doctor tends to the physical, medical needs of the patient, the Chaplain tends to the patient’s spiritual needs. The Chaplain’s interaction with patients is one of comfort and counsel: the visit is not for proselytizing or recruitment.
How it works is the Chaplain consults the Hospital patient census to organize that day’s visit schedule. Highlighted on the census are those patients who answered yes to the “request for Chaplain Visit” question at the time of hospital admission. If a patient is unsure or declines the Chaplain visit at admission, then later changes their mind or a family member seeks the Chaplain, they need only to make their request known to the nursing staff and that patient will be included in the Chaplain’s rounds. Head Chaplain LaVon Pettis is “encouraged by the receptiveness of the Chaplain outreach at the hospital.”
For patients having a medical emergency or taken to the Emergency Department due to a trauma, the chaplain is on call 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The Chaplain will arrive at the Hospital to provide comfort to patients and their family. Reverend Dr. Huw Christopher says that “serving as a Chaplain helps build a relationship with the staff, too.” This relationship is important because in a trauma situation the Chaplain may also serve as a communications link between family members and the nursing staff caring for the trauma patient.
If you would like to participate in the Jackson Hospital Chaplain program, please contact Debbie Matthews at (850) 526-2200.