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CHAPLAIN RESOURCE INDEX - — MINISTERING TO THE SICK

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CHAPLAIN RESOURCE INDEX
— WELCOME CHAPLAIN
— THE ROLE OF CHAPLAIN
— THE MINISTRY OF CHAPLAINCY
— GRIEF: CARING FOR THOSE THAT HURT
— MINISTERING TO THE SICK
— PRAYING WITH A PATIENT
— BASIC LISTENING SKILLS
— WHEN GOD SHOWS UP
— COMMON SENSE EVANGELISM
— CONVERSION BY CONCUSSION
— STANDARDS FOR BIKER CHAPLAINS
— UNITY
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Ministering to the Sick

Excerpts from the Pastoral Care Training Course given by Dr. Simon Harrison


Some “Do’s and Don’ts” in ministering to the sick and making patient calls in the hospital:

1) If you have a cold, a sore throat, the flu, or anything else that is catching, stay home.  People in the hospital don’t need the complications of these diseases in addition to the conditions they already have.

2) Be careful about your appearance, cleanliness, and smell (avoid cologne or perfume).

3) Check at the volunteers' information desk for the location of the patient and directions.  Be careful to observe visiting hours and all rules of the hospital.

4) You will be entering the patient's bedroom as a guest. Be in prayer for the patient before you go to visit and offer to pray during the visit.  You may ask, "What specific things can I pray for.  How can I pray for you?"

5) Be sensitive to their privacy.  Often there are several patients in a room; be sensitive to them as well.

6) Always consult the nurses when a patient's curtain is pulled, the door is closed, or there are isolation signs on the door about wearing a gown, mask, and gloves, before entering.

7) If the patient is sleeping, do not wake him.  Patients should not be visited right after surgery.

8) Enter the room quietly, seriously, but smiling.  Be calm and settled, not rushed.  Look the person in the eyes.

9) Don't sit on or shake the bed.  Don't touch the IV machine or tubes.

10) Limit the time of your visit so you don't fatigue the patient, but don't keep looking at your watch.

11) Many patients will appreciate a gentle touch or holding of the hand, especially during prayer, but don't squeeze the hand with an IV.

12) Most patients appreciate being given a booklet if they are able to see it.  If distributing literature, be sure to read it first yourself, and make sure it is acceptable for the patient before giving it.

13) Your presence is what matters.  It’s not about saying the right thing or about saying something profound or about having answers to difficult questions. It’s about being present with someone who’s going through a difficult season, and letting your presence demonstrate your caring and love for them.  And about showing the love of God for them by doing so.  Express love, and genuine interest in the patient.

14) The patient will generally like to discuss their sickness and other needs if asked. You should listen more than speak.  Listen to their stories instead.  You’re there for them, not for you. Listening is the greatest gift we can give someone, especially when they’re in the midst of a difficult season.  So just ask questions, listen and be curious, and bless them.

15) The patient may complain about the medical treatment they are receiving.  Don't say anything that would undermine the staff's authority or expertise.

16) You want to encourage the patients, so don't bring bad news about the world.  The patient may want, however, to talk about the news.  Men often enjoy talking about their work.  Women often enjoy talking about their family.

17) If you don't know the patient's spiritual condition, ask!  But don't argue or theologize.  Don't carry a large Bible.  If the person is unsaved share the Gospel using Scripture and/or your testimony and a non-threatening Gospel tract.

18) Accept any interruptions of your visit from doctors, staff, or family.  Often there will be opportunities to visit and minister to the family.

Some suggestions for comfort and support with a terminal patient:
1) Be honest in sharing your feelings.  Admit your helplessness and concern.
2) Don't be shocked by whatever the dying person may say.
3) Try to anticipate physical needs without being told.
4) Don't stop being a comforter when the patient accepts his impending death, or when others begin to avoid the patient.
5) If the person is saved, talk about Heaven and the  Lord's presence.  Always have hope, look forward to something.




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