hospitalHospitals are very much on my mind, because my husband Chuck is having his second knee replacement on Monday. We will be there very early in the morning because he is the first surgery of the day at 7 am.

So consider your experiences in the hospital in your various capacities: being a patient; parent, child or spouse of a patient; chaplain; minister; or visitor. In what ways have you experienced your times in hospitals? Think of 5 ways and share your blog address in the comments section when you play.

7 thoughts on “Friday Five: Hospitals

  1. I share a comment from the husband of a young outpatient visitor to the hospital where I am a chaplain. We had walked just outside the hospital entrance and into the sun to talk, having recognized in one another a love of the outdoors, nature and the beautiful day outside. “Everyone who enters those doors is trembling,” her husband said.

    In that place of “trembling,” there is the need and the opportunity for compassion and understanding.

    Prayers that your husband’s surgery goes well on Monday, and for you both in this time of anticipation.
    Helen Bodell


  2. 1. I worked a few hours a week (maybe 20? it was so long ago!) for a while in Treadwell Library at Massachusetts General—MGH. In those pre-digital days, we used reams and reams of paper photocopying from journals and books. I loved eating in the cafeteria, and often got to work early so I could breakfast there.

    2. I did CPE at Saint Elsewhere, a.k.a. Boston City.

    3. I’ve never considered myself very good, skilled, adept at hospital visitation, but when I was on pastoral staff many people told me and others how much they enjoyed and appreciated my visits.

    4. For a lot of seasons I could not miss watching Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday evenings. The action and entanglements sometimes got pretty intense, but I watched mainly because I’m soooo Cristina Yang, and when her contract expired (died?) I watched a few times, but it no longer held my interest.

    5. Sending prayers that your husband’s surgery is routine and his team does their inspired best.


  3. I recently had the good pleasure of having emergency gall bladder surgery on March 19th. I found myself giving pastoral care to the woman in the bed next to mine. I could see that she was in much spiritual distress that manifested itself in severe physical distress for her. (I saw this many times over while doing 4 units of CPE and my internship with the Chaplain’s Services Dept. of the Detroit VA Hospital.) I extended grace upon grace to the hospital staff, thankful that I had my previous CPE/Internship experience. This helped me keep in mind what all on the other side of the bed were going through, especially with the woman in the bed next to me. She was giving them enough grief (read the demanding patient from hell, yes it was that bad.) I felt compassion for her, for them. Thankfully she was released and gone when I came back up from surgery. My time then could truly be focused on a peaceful room and healing, as the staff insisted no one else be put in the room with me after all of this. What did I learn, I wish I would’ve had this experience in some ways prior to doing my CPE. I could’ve been even more mindful of the patient’s/family’s or staff needs. I know that my experience has really opened me up further in extending pastoral care. My prayers for healing go out for your husband and for you as well Jan. God’s blessings to all!


  4. Retiring as a pediatric chaplain in the North East US, 2 l/2 years ago, I can say that hospitals always felt like a second home. Of course, I was experiencing this from the provider’s point of view and not the patient’s. I ministered with some of the most wonderful people and worked with an outstanding interdisciplinary team. Most of the professionals I worked with valued the importance of spiritual support. The ones who didn’t, had some of their own issues surrounding religion and their earlier childhood experiences. For those people, I met them where they were at with their own beliefs and we went from there. This seemed to work very well.

    Be well and may each person reading this find some “space” in your mind/body/spirit balance for whatever you need the most.

    Rev. Louise (aka Rev. Weez, to the pediatric patients and staff)


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