Recognizing that health is influenced by the spiritual, emotional, mental and social aspects of our lives as well as the physical, the Pastoral Care Department at Wheeling Hospital provides spiritual care as an integral part of the care of the whole person.
Illness is usually regarded as a crisis by the patient and family, especially when recovery is a lengthy process or the outcome is in doubt. Chaplains are often able to help people reflect on their feelings and concerns in a way that enables them to move through their fear and anxiety to a point of enhanced spiritual and emotional stability. Spiritual care by the chaplain may also take the form of prayer, reading of scripture or other religious acts, according to the patient's or family's expressed need. A key element in effective spiritual care is helping people identify and get in touch with their own resources of spiritual support. That may involve facilitating visits by the patient's own community clergy. The department also arranges for volunteers, who are Catholic Eucharistic ministers, to bring Holy Communion to Catholic patients throughout the week and on Sunday.
Department services include:
- Patient/family visitation.
- Sacramental needs.
- Crisis intervention.
- Grief counseling and grief support through "Journey to Hope."
- Memorial services for bereaved families.
- Assessment of the spiritual needs of the patient, family and/or staff.
A patient, family member, employee or hospital staff member can request a chaplain visit through the attending nurse.