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Spiritual Care is a priority at NHH in Cobourg

Cecilia Nasmith

By Cecilia Nasmith, Northumberland Today

Submitted Photo

(Back row, from left) Carolyn Simpson (restorative care-palliative care), Tom Barker (rehab unit and obstetrics), Sabine Fischer (volunteer team lead), Janice Buck (rehab), Andrew Truter (intensive-care unit and emergency), (front, from left) Karen Truter (nurse practitioner and committee hospital liaison), Darlene Brown (chemotherapy and dialysis), (not present) Barbara Russell (chemotherapy and dialysis) and Ewen Butler (2B) are members of the Northumberland Hills hospital Spiritual Care Committee.

Submitted Photo (Back row, from left) Carolyn Simpson (restorative care-palliative care), Tom Barker (rehab unit and obstetrics), Sabine Fischer (volunteer team lead), Janice Buck (rehab), Andrew Truter (intensive-care unit and emergency), (front, from left) Karen Truter (nurse practitioner and committee hospital liaison), Darlene Brown (chemotherapy and dialysis), (not present) Barbara Russell (chemotherapy and dialysis) and Ewen Butler (2B) are members of the Northumberland Hills hospital Spiritual Care Committee.

COBOURG -- Northumberland Hills Hospital recognizes Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week this month with a variety of activities and awareness initiatives.

Sponsored by the Canadian Multifaith Federation, the theme for the 2017 national week is Forgiving In An Unforgiving World -- which, the press release stated, serves to reinforce the hospital's commitment to support and value the services offered by spiritual and religious providers at the hospital, as well as in the community at large.

Recognizing the role spiritual care can play in the total health and well-being of patients, the NHH Spiritual Care Committee and its on-call Spiritual Care Program work in collaboration with local faith communities to support interfaith care for th hospital's patients, families and team members.

Those involved in spiritual care at NHH are all volunteers, the announcement stated.

"They include ministers, priests and lay people trained in counselling, social work or other related fields,"it listed.

"Rather than representing their respective faith groups, they work as a team on behalf of NHH. Their role is to provide a safe space for patients, as well as hospital personnel, to communicate their feelings and hopes and to receive the spiritual and emotional support they need. "

Spiritual-care providers are assigned to the hospital's various units, and they visit patients on a regular basis. They are also available as needed, on an on-call basis. Patients and their loved ones may speak to any member of their care team at any time.

The hospital's Spiritual Care Centre (located on the first floor) serves many purposes and many faiths. It is open around the clock seven days a week to serve as a quiet spot for reflection by both staff and patients.

Spiritual Care Providers are assigned to various units in the hospital and visit patients on a regular basis. They are also available, as needed, on an on-call basis. Patients, or their loved ones, may speak to any member of their care team to request spiritual care at any time.

Spiritual and Religious Care Awareness Week offers an opportunity to recognize the value of spiritual and religious care and to honour those who provide the care, and this year marks its first formal recognition at NHH.

"Spiritual and religious care is about listening, clarifying and offering spiritual direction to those who request it," team lead Sabina Fischer said in the press release.

"When one is scared, lonely, confused, angry or disillusioned, spiritual and religious care providers can offer emotional and spiritual support.

"While spiritual care providers are trained to discuss spiritual concerns and conflicts, their professional ethical obligations require that they do not impose their own values and beliefs on those served," Fischer added.

"This type of care is provided to all, regardless of faith, creed or no spiritual belief system. In a time of need, the spiritual care providers are there to provide support for patients, families or staff."

The Spiritual Care Committee will have an information display this month, with the volunteers set up on the main floor (by the stairwell outside the Bistro) the week of Oct. 16 to 22.

cnasmith@postmedia.com

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