By Elaine Chan, BCC, MDiv, MSW
Explaining what we do as chaplains can be a challenge since folks often associate us with death. Also folks may be concerned that our work is about proselytizing or indoctrinating people into a particular faith. How do we convey what we do in a brief, but meaningful elevator pitch or at a new staff orientation or a business or social gathering? Below is a reprint of an article by Jim Siegel, vice president and director of marketing and communications, HealthCare Chaplaincy, about a new chaplaincy promotional tool.
Earlier this year HealthCare Chaplaincy announced the launch of a new and very short video (just one minute and 17 seconds long) about professional chaplains’ role in today’s complex healthcare world. To view it, click on the arrow in the photo below.
You can also find the video and share it via this YouTube link.
When chaplains use the video, they may wish to introduce it with words like this:
“I welcome the opportunity to introduce you to chaplaincy services here at NAME OF YOUR INSTITUTION. This short video highlights the role of professional chaplains in today’s complex healthcare world. It was produced by the nonprofit HealthCare Chaplaincy organization in New York.”
A second tool has been created to distribute after the video is shown: it’s a one-page Word document that explains spiritual distress, summarizes how and why the chaplain helps patients in spiritual distress, urges referrals to the chaplain, and provides contact information. Chaplains can customize it for their institution, print and hand it out at the orientation session. Here it is:
Click to download the Word file.
When the chaplain distributes this document to new hospital employees, he or she may wish to say a few words about spiritual distress, about how he, she and chaplain colleagues can help a patient in spiritual distress, encourage the audience to refer them to the chaplaincy services department, tell them how that is done in their organization, and that this should be a protocol that becomes second nature for those in their care.
Chaplains who show the video and distribute the Word document, in three minutes or fewer, have presented information that will get chaplaincy services on the radar screen of more hospital staff and help their institution provide truly patient-centered care to more people.
This easy-to-do recommendation recently was published in HealthCare Chaplaincy’s online professional journal PlainViews® and on LinkedIn chaplains’ discussion groups.
If you find this three-minute orientation package useful, please email your comments to [email protected].
Elaine Chan, a member of the NACC’s Editorial Advisory Panel, is chaplain at New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, NY. She works as a hospital chaplain through a contract with HealthCare Chaplaincy.