Pastoral Care services are available to all patients, their families and significant others, and to hospital staff, regardless of denomination or religious adherence. For many people, emotional and spiritual issues surface when they are in the hospital or facing a crisis. For this reason Pastoral Care services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. During after hours, chaplains are assigned to carry a beeper to provide this service, especially for emergencies.
The chaplains are part of the overall health care team and can offer support and comfort, special listening and counseling skills, as well as a ministry of prayer and sacraments for those who request it.
Chaplaincy primarily includes: pastoral care, pastoral counseling, worship and sacraments, education and a ministry of referral. A ministry of referral might include liaising with community churches or agencies to ensure a continuity of spiritual care or support following discharge from the hospital.