Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
James Hightower, Jr.
Children's Hospital—New Orleans is a regional medical center for children with a 247-bed capacity. The hospital is growing in size and scope. However, the number of quality spiritual care providers has not kept up with the growing needs of the institution. As a medical center continues to grow, more spiritual care providers are needed to meet the demand of our increasing patient population. Financial resources are limited and budgets do not favor hiring additional full-time staff chaplains.
A spiritual care training manual was developed to increase the number of trained volunteers to provide spiritual care coverage. A 12-hour orientation training course was developed and utilized at Children’s Hospital—New Orleans in the fall of 2017. The course provided basic pastoral care visitation skills to volunteers. The 14 participants were asked to answer pre- and post-test surveys and also to complete an evaluation at the conclusion of the course. Data was extracted from the surveys using a qualitative case study research methodology.
The study reflected the attitudes of the participants and their understanding of spiritual care in a pediatric setting. Out of 14 participants, nine completed all the course work. A certificate of achievement was given to those who completed the course and they were encouraged to complete the process to become spiritual care volunteers. One of the participants was a nurse on staff at the hospital. She was informed by administration that she could not volunteer to provide spiritual care and also work as a nurse in the same hospital. Five of them now actively serve as spiritual care volunteers at Children's Hospital. In addition, there is now a manual to guide the training of volunteer spiritual care providers.
Based on the participants' learning as expressed in their evaluations and comments, the course was well received. As a pilot program, this model of spiritual care will serve as the foundation to further develop the spiritual care program at Children's Hospital—New Orleans. This model will be explored, revised and further developed to promote the growth of spiritual care in this pediatric setting.
Spiritual care (Medical care); Children--Hospitals--Louisiana; Chaplains, Hospital; Volunteers--Training of
Mitchell, Allen L., "A Pediatric Spiritual Care Training Model Utilizing Volunteers at Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana" (2019). Dissertation Projects DMin. 676.
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