Exploring the phenomenon of spiritual care between hospital chaplains and hospital based healthcare providers
Hospital chaplaincy and spiritual care services are important to patients’ medical care and well-being; however, little is known about healthcare providers’ experiences receiving spiritual support. A phenomenological study examined the shared experience of spiritual carebetween hospital chaplains and hospital-based healthcare providers (HBHPs). Six distinct themes emerged from the in-depth interviews: Awareness of chaplain availability, chaplains focus on building relationships with providers and staff, chaplains are integrated in varying degrees on certain hospital units, chaplains meet providers’ personal and professional needs, providers appreciate chaplains, and barriers to expanding hospital chaplains’ services. While HBHPs appreciated the care received and were able to provide better patient care as a result, participants reported that administrators may not recognize the true value of the care provided. Implications from this study are applied to hospital chaplaincy clinical, research, and training opportunities.