Chaplain Job Description

The chaplains are requested by patients when their terminal illness no longer responds to medical treatment. Usually, patients facing such an emotional situation seek spiritual care as well.

Responsibilities:

  • The chaplains meet with patients and their families and assess their spiritual care needs.
  • Chaplains may consult with doctors and patients’ community clergy members to get a better sense of patients’ state of mind.
  • Chaplains provide personalized support that fits with patients’ spiritual beliefs as they deal with impending death.
  • Chaplains counsel family members and offer spiritual support as they prepare for their loved one’s death.
  • Chaplains may organize or lead funeral or memorial services as well.
  • They manage bereavement services as dictated by hospice policy and federal and state hospice regulations.
  • Chaplains may lead regular memorial services for staff members and perform other liturgical assignments as requested.

Skills:

  • The chaplains must be members of the clergy who administer spiritual care to terminally ill patients.
  • They may represent any faith group but allow patients’ spiritual beliefs to guide the care that they provide.
  • They must be empathetic and able to handle situations of great stress and sadness.
  • They must be able to provide emotional support and stability in times of both happiness and grief.
  • They should be able to participate in formal ceremonies, and the ability to maintain a professional demeanor appropriate to the situation is required.

Knowledge:

  • The chaplains can come from diverse backgrounds.
  • They are formally educated at a university or seminary; others may ascend to their positions with little formal education.

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