Chaplain, Gill Hancock, Reflects on the value of Spiritual Care:
Using the word ‘spiritual care’ can automatically provoke a barrier for many people who think they are going to be got at by the God squad! During a patient’s journey of dealing with illness or impending death, their most significant and immediate spiritual need changes with time according to their circumstances, mood and level of awareness of their prognosis.
Spiritual care is not about patching up broken lives or sticking a plaster over a wound. Spiritual care involves empowering others to live with, and through, anxiety and distress in a manner that feels right for them. If we are able to stay with patients’ helplessness in difficult, irresolvable situations, we may truly be a comforting, hopeful and memorable presence. Saying “I don’t know” and still being available is spiritual care at its best.
“When a person is treated with respect, when they are listened to in a meaningful way, when they are seen and treated as a whole person within the context of their life, values and beliefs, then they are receiving spiritual care.”