Defining and Operationalizing Chaplain Presence: A Review
- 59 Downloads
Presence is a vaguely defined word often used by chaplains to describe their work with patients, families, and staff. The current literature defines presence as a process of creating a trusting atmosphere for nonjudgmental and compassionate sharing in another’s story. Presence has no apparent agenda, much flexibility, and requires emotional vulnerability in the chaplain interactions. This presents four problems: distinguishing chaplain presence from presence by other providers; dependence on chaplain vulnerability in the encounter; difficulty of assessing impact on patient/family care; and clearly communicating the importance of presence to the interprofessional team. An operational definition is provided including parameters for care and intended outcomes.
KeywordsPresence Chaplain Spiritual Healthcare
Compliance with Ethical Standard
Conflict of interest
The author has no conflict of interest associated with this review article.
Human and Animal Rights
The developing of this review article did not involve research with human participants or animals.
Informed consent was not indicated in the developing of this review article.
- Adams, K. E. (2015). Patterns in chaplain documentation of assessments and interventions, a descriptive study. (Unpublished Doctor of Philosophy). Virginia Commonwealth University.Google Scholar
- Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc. (2016). ACPE standards and manuals. Retrieved from http://www.manula.com/manuals/acpe/acpe-manuals/2016/en/topic/cover-page. Accessed 8 October 2016.
- Association of Professional Chaplains. (2015). Guidelines for the chaplain’s role in health care ethics. Retrieved from http://www.professionalchaplains.org/content.asp?contentid=204. Accessed 8 October 2016.
- Gawande, A. (2014). Being mortal: Medicine and what matters in the end. New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company.Google Scholar
- Guralnik, D. B. (Ed.). (1980). Webster’s new world dictionary (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Facke, G. (1990). Presence, ministry of. In Hunter R. J., Maloney H. N., Mills L. O., & Patton J. (Eds.), Dictionary of pastoral care and counseling (pp. 950–951). Nashville: Abingdon Press.Google Scholar
- Idler, E. L., Grant, G. H., Quest, T., Binney, Z., & Perkins, M. M. (2015). Practical matters and ultimate concerns, “Doing”, and “Being”: A diary study of the chaplain’s role in the care of the seriously ill in an urban acute care hospital. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 54(4), 722–738. https://doi.org/10.1111/jssr.12235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Massey, K., Barnes, M. J., Villines, D., Goldstein, J. D., Pierson, A. L., Scherer, C.,… Summerfelt, W. T. (2015). What do I do? developing a taxonomy of chaplaincy activities and interventions for spiritual care in intensive care unit palliative care. BMC Palliative Care, 14, 10-015-0008-0. eCollection 2015. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12904-015-0008-0.
- Meacham, J. (2012). Thomas Jefferson: The art of power. New York, NY: The Random House Publishing Company.Google Scholar
- Morris, W. (Ed.). (1976). American heritage dictionary of the English language: New college edition (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.Google Scholar
- Mowat, H. (2008). The potential for efficacy of healthcare chaplaincy and spiritual care provision in the NHS (UK): A scoping review of recent research. Aberdeen, Scotland: Mowat Research Ltd.Google Scholar
- The compact edition of the oxford English dictionary. (1971). In J. A. H. Murray (Ed.), Glasgow: Oxford, Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
- Verghese, A. (1994). My own country: A doctor’s story. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar