During stressful and uncertain times, many people seek solace in their faith. When someone is hospitalized, they and their family members experience a range of emotions, from sadness about a worsening health condition to joy over the birth of a new baby.
Whatever patients and families are experiencing, CAMC's chaplains are there as part of the care team to provide support and guidance.
A dedicated team of full-time and on-call chaplains are available at CAMC to serve the spiritual and emotional needs of anyone who seeks their guidance, regardless of their religious preference.
"CAMC chaplains serve in the hospital for all, regardless of the chaplain's own faith background or the background of the patient," said Rev. Ravi Isaiah, director of pastoral care. "We want to meet people where they are on their journey of faith."
"It is my belief that when people are in crisis or scared, it is important for pastors and chaplains to be open to God to help that family or individual as God needs us to...we are to be a vessel for God's love and a presence with patients and families in crisis," said Rev. Margo Friend, an on-call chaplain.
Chaplains at CAMC are available to assist patients and families in many ways, including: prayer, ministry for patients and families at the end of life, assistance with ethical dilemmas, crisis intervention, responding to code blue, grief counseling, memorial services, sacramental ministry, assistance/guidance with medical advanced directives and other services.
Chapels are located at each CAMC hospital and are open 24 hours a day. An interfaith worship service is held each Sunday at CAMC General Hospital on the 2 South medical rehabilitation unit at 10 a.m.
"My time as part of this worship ministry has been very powerful," Friend said. "I've heard a lot of testimonies from patients who have struggled or are struggling to recover from strokes, surgery, motorcycle, ATV and automobile accidents. Though they may not be able to speak the words as well as they might like because of a stroke or other brain injury, they work to share their faith with all who are gathered there."
CAMC chaplains have an important role as part of the care team, collaborating with the teams of medical professionals who care for patients. They are alerted for every code call, as well as trauma calls. "In some situations, there are no words that can really help, so I listen and pray and hopefully remind them of God's love and care for them," Friend said.
Chaplains are also there to share in happy moments with patients, such as a new baby or recovery from an illness. "Although it sounds like chaplains don't see people who are doing well, there are moments of joy we get to experience," Friend said.
The chaplains who serve at CAMC are another side of "the heart and soul of health care."
"The role of pastoral care at CAMC, the heart and soul of health care, is to be a part of the total team of care for patients," Friend said.
"We all work to care for the patient and the patient's family, and not to 'just treat the illness.' We work and pray that the medical team, including ourselves, will meet the patient's physical, emotional and spiritual needs and family members' needs, as God would want us to do."
Chaplains are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at CAMC and can be reached by asking the information desk to call or page the chaplain, asking the patient's nurse to call or page the chaplain or by visiting the pastoral care office at each hospital.