Chaplaincy: “It’s not about us having the answer, it’s about us helping you find your answer.”

The Chicago Tribune recently focussed on the role of chaplains in helping hospital staff cope with exhaustion and overwhelming emotional burdens during the pandemic. “Spirituality can help health care providers cope, but it’s “often overlooked,” according to a JAMA essay recently published by a Swiss physician. Things such as mindfulness and meditation can provide comfort, as can prayer and walking in nature. During COVID-19, stressed providers facing burnout could benefit from practices such as meditation and prayer, which can clear the mind, quiet emotions and reduce stress.

“Travis described spirituality as what connects us with things outside of ourselves. For some, that might be called God, or a higher power; for others, it might be people they work with, or family.

“Spirituality is also a search for meaning,” he said. “Why is this happening? Why is this patient doing poorly, and this patient is doing well? Those are all spiritual questions.”

“The Rev. Anna Lee Hisey Pierson, a staff chaplain at Good Samaritan Hospital, is open about the exhaustion she herself has experienced as she seeks to share the burden of other seekers.

It’s not about us having the answer, it’s about us helping you find your answer,” she said.”

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