The Healthcare Chaplain is an integral member of the care team working in conjunction with physicians, nurses and other caregivers. The Chaplaincy Services department provides emotional and spiritual support to patients, their families, hospital staff and volunteers. Our Chaplains work as part of the healing team with duties including: responding to crises; assisting persons in the resolution of ethical questions regarding patient care; contacting pastors, priests, rabbis or other religious representatives as requested; and providing ongoing spiritual and emotional support.
Chaplaincy Services Staff
Patients and their families, as well as staff, who need spiritual and emotional support, can turn to the Sentara Albemarle Medical Center Chaplaincy Services staff. The men and women of our team are a diverse group of spiritually mature and culturally competent professionals.
How to Contact a Chaplain
To speak with a chaplain, arrange a visit or request a spiritual caregiver of a particular faith tradition, please call (252) 384-4125 Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. On evenings, holidays or weekends, ask your nurse to contact a chaplain.
Requests and Consultations
Patients and families of all faiths can request a visit with a chaplain. Any member of the healthcare team can assist in setting up a consultation. People call on chaplains for a number of reasons:
- Apprehension about surgery
- Loneliness and isolation
- Discouragement and despair
- Helplessness and hopelessness
- Loss of meaning and purpose
- Fear and anxiety
- Conflict with others
- Facing change and loss
- Struggling with the meaning of life
- Feeling cut off from God
- Grappling with questions about life and death
- Baptisms, blessings and naming ceremonies
- When there is a miscarriage or stillbirth
- When a patient is near death or has died
- Needing the comfort of prayer or spiritual support
- Support for changes in code status
- Decisions regarding a living will or advance directives
- Working through the loss of a loved one
- Facing ethical dilemmas
- Request for resources, such as Bibles, Rosaries, Sacred Texts or Shabbat candles
- Wishing to receive Communion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation or Sacrament of the Sick
- Hospital personnel needing pastoral guidance or counsel
- Family members wishing a visit from a chaplain
- Other types of spiritual care as needed
- When a patient or family is having difficulty dealing with a diagnosis, prolonged illness or deterioration of the patient’s condition
Chaplains Provide Emotional and Spiritual Support
- Chaplains listen with respect and without judgment.
- Chaplains journey with patients, families and staff through grief and loss.
- Chaplains facilitate debriefings after difficult events.
- Chaplains provide partnership in prayer.
- Chaplains offer comfort in times of distress and despair.
Sentara Albemarle Medical Center Chapel and Chaplain’s Office
If you need a quiet, meditative space, the Chapel is located on the first floor near the Main Lobby and is always open. The Chaplain’s Office is located inside the Chapel.
Spiritual Well Being
Spiritual Well Being is a concept which is multidimensional in nature, incorporating both existential and religious elements. The existential aspect focuses on purpose and meaning in life, while the religious aspect revolves around a person’s relationship or understanding of God or the sacred. The concept of Spiritual Well Being may be defined as “the affirmation of life in a relationship with God, and/or self, community and environment that nurtures and celebrates wholeness.”
Sentara respects the religious diversity of our patients and staff. We will try to accommodate any requests related to your religious beliefs to make your experience with us as comfortable as possible.
Spirituality and Health Resources
- Christian Daily Online Devotional – www.d365.org
- George Washington Institute for Spirituality and Health (GWISH) - www.gwish.org
- Duke University Center for the Study of Religion/Spirituality & Health -
- Hospice Foundation of America - www.hospicefoundation.org
- National Palliative Care Research Center - www.npcrc.org
- National Cancer Institute - www.cancer.gov
- CancerCare - www.cancercare.org