Tuesday, January 03, 2006


I've got over 300 clinical hours now in my CPE unit. And it's two weeks until we're done. It's nice not to have to worry about the count anymore, but I'm going to miss the hospice unit fiercely. The patients, the families, the staff... It's been an incredible stroke of luck, this placement. The first time I walked on the unit, I felt as if I had somehow come home. The staff were so open-hearted, they were willing to answer any question, help me understand anything I needed. I found myself falling into a work pattern sort of like that of the social worker who works days--the boundaries around our job descriptions are a bit porous, so I may find myself offering prayer with a family or patient, gathering input for a bereavement assessment, talking to a family about how they are doing, how they understand what is happening to their loved one, talking to the loved one about dying, or getting ice, helping a CNA turn a patient, answering the phone, listening to the sorrow of a staff member who has a family member ill. I found this pattern natural for me, as I've never been comfortable "sitting" while someone needs a hand, and also I've found the patients and families are more likely to trust me if I'm not just a figure who is called "chaplain" but also someone who helps them find the coffee machine, or holds a cup for a sip of water, or brings ice, or laughs at jokes. It feels right to me.

God, I'm going to miss it.


Blogger Fred Cherry said...



1:25 PM  

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