Evaluation of a chaplain residency program and its partnership with an in-patient palliative care team
In 2009 a Consensus Conference of experts in the field of spiritual care and palliative care recommended the inclusion of Board-certified professional chaplains with at least 1,600 hours of clinical pastoral education as members of palliative care teams. This study evaluates a clinical pastoral education residency program’s effectiveness in preparing persons to provide spiritual care for those with serious illness and in increasing the palliative care team members’ understanding of the chaplain as part of the palliative care team. Results showed chaplain residents felt the program prepared them to provide care for those with serious illness. It also showed that chaplain residents and palliative care team members view spirituality as an integral part of palliative care and see the chaplain as the team member to lead that effort. Suggested program improvements include longer palliative care orientation period, more shadowing with palliative care team members, and improved communication between palliative care and the chaplain residents.
Note: this article was mentioned in the October 2017 ACPE Research Network Article of the Month.