More and more, hospitals and the medical profession in general are recognizing the value of chaplains — this at a time when the number of NONES (people who subscribe to no religion) is on the rise. This is one of the take-aways from an article by Laura Landro in the Wall Street Journal earlier this month. Here is an excerpt:
Wendy Cadge, a sociology professor at Brandeis University and author of the 2012 book “Paging God: Religion in the Halls of Medicine,” says she has seen nurses in intensive-care units pray for patients, or respiratory therapists say a prayer when they must remove a breathing tube, in the presence of family. But chaplains, she says, “define healing in a much broader, more holistic way than other members of the health-care team,” her research found, and they almost universally they believe they can best facilitate healing by helping patients tap their inner resources, rather than by calling on a higher power to intervene in their outcome.
Until recently there has been little data on what U.S. medical schools teach with regard to spirituality. A 2010 survey by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that 90% of medical schools have courses or content on spirituality and health. Ms. Cadge says such courses, along with an increase in academic research, have helped raise awareness among doctors about spirituality’s importance to health.
Here again is the link to the full article — and share any thoughts you might have about Ms. Cage’s statement that chaplains help “patients tap their inner resources, rather than by calling on a higher power to intervene in their outcome.”