Frequently Asked Questions

What are spiritual needs and concerns?

Spiritual needs and concerns often relate to questions about our existence, our sense of meaning and purpose, and how we experience or accept life events. In times of crisis or change, we might ask:

  • Why is this happening? Why is it happening to me?
  • How do I make sense of everything?
  • What gives me comfort and hope?
  • What am I grateful for?
  • What do I believe in? What informs my decisions and beliefs?
  • Where do I find support?
  • What do I identify as my higher power? How does that relationship guide or comfort me?

Most of us ask these questions at some point in our lives, especially when we or someone we care about is sick or in crisis.

People often find meaning, comfort, hope, goodness and community through their religious practice, beliefs or community of faith. Whether or not religion is part of a person's life, spiritual needs and concerns can still be very important, especially during hospitalization.

What are spiritual resources?

Practices, beliefs, traditions, communities, and relationships grounded in one’s religion or sense of spirituality are some of the many resources that a person may turn to in a time of crisis or concern. Some spiritual resources include:

  • Music
  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Supportive communities (Church, Synagogue, other support groups)
  • Holy writings/scripture (Bible, Torah, Qur'an)
  • Inspirational writings (poetry, devotional materials, prayer Books)
  • Religion-specific items (Sabbath candles, rosary beads, prayer rug)
  • Sacramental practices (Communion, Anointing)

These resources can help one find a sense of balance, hope, or peace when a sense of normalcy has been disrupted by illness or crisis. Spiritual resources may also provide meaning, hope, and comfort during difficult times.

What do spiritual needs and resources have to do with being in the hospital?

Numerous studies conducted over the past 50 years have shown that a person's health and well-being benefits when his/her spiritual needs are addressed. Some benefits include:

  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Improved pain management
  • Improved experience of their stay
  • Improved motivation to complete the tasks of healing
  • Improved management of cardiovascular needs (e.g., heart rate, blood pressure)
  • Improved sense of well-being

If you would like to talk with someone about your spiritual needs or resources or simply connect with someone who can listen to your concerns with empathy and support, please contact our office and ask to speak with a chaplain.

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