Who Provides Spiritual Care?
Professional chaplains at MaineGeneral provide spiritual and pastoral care to patients coping with challenging health-related events.
Professional chaplains are nationally certified, specialized ministers educated and trained to offer support and referral services to meet the spiritual and religious needs of a diverse population.
Using a specialized spiritual assessment process, MaineGeneral's chaplains provide confidential and meaningful support designed to meet the each patient's/family's needs.
Health care organizations are obliged to respond to spiritual needs because patients have a right and often a desire to such services while in the hospital.
The professional chaplain does not displace local religious leaders but fills a role required within an intensive medical environment.
In addition to staff chaplains who are available during weekly day shifts, our Spiritual Care Department provides pastoral care 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To reach a chaplain in the evening or on weekends, please ask your nurse for assistance or call the hospital operator and ask for the "chaplain on call."
Patients and their family members/friends can also request a visit from a chaplain.
Additionally, chaplains assist clergy or pastoral visitors coming to visit their community members at MGMC.
When to Ask for a Chaplain
Patients should consider asking for a chaplain when:
- They feel concerned or fearful about what is happening
- They would like the rituals of their faith tradition performed
- They would like to speak to someone about spiritual, religious or ethical concerns
- They would like to contact someone from their own faith community
- They would like support for a family member or friend
Medical staff should consider requesting a chaplain when:
- They or their patient question the meaning or possible impact of a patient's illness or treatment
- Their patient expresses concern while awaiting diagnostic reports
- Their patient faces a life-threatening diagnosis or procedure
- Their patient has major or repeated setbacks
- They want help with comfort care, especially for those who are dying
- The patient's families or friends need comfort while grieving for someone who has died
- Their patient is diagnosed as needing "comfort care only" or is referred to Palliative Care or Hospice
When a chaplain visits you or your patient at MaineGeneral, you can be assured the chaplain is there to support you in meaningful and helpful ways by:
- Facilitating communication between patients, patient families and medical staff
- Providing you with the information and assistance you need
- Serving as an interdisciplinary care team (ICT) member committed to professional standards of excellence in health care
Professional chaplains reach across faith groups and do not proselytize. Our chaplains support your spiritual/religious beliefs and practices in your time of need.