Recognizing that health is influenced by the spiritual, emotional, mental, and social aspects of our lives as well as the physical, the Pastoral Care Department at Wheeling Hospital provides spiritual care as an integral part of the care of the whole person.
Illness is usually regarded as a crisis by the patient and family, especially when recovery is a lengthy process or the outcome is in doubt. Spiritual care by the chaplain may also take the form of prayer, reading of scripture or other religious acts, according to the patient’s or family’s expressed need. A key element in effective spiritual care is helping people identify and get in touch with their own resources of spiritual support. That may involve facilitating visits by the patient’s own community clergy. The department also arranges for volunteers, who are Catholic Eucharistic ministers, to bring Holy Communion to Catholic patients throughout the week and on Sunday.
Department services include:
- Assessment of the spiritual needs of the patient, family and/or staff
- Crisis intervention
- Grief counseling and grief support through “Journey to Hope”
- Holy Communion
- Memorial services for bereaved families
- Patient/family visitation
- Sacramental needs
A patient, family member, employee or hospital staff member can request a chaplain visit through the attending nurse.
Pastoral Care services are available to all patients, their families and significant others, and to hospital staff, regardless of denomination or religious adherence. For many people, emotional and spiritual issues surface when they are in the hospital or facing a crisis. For this reason, Pastoral Care services are available 24/7. During after hours, chaplains are on call, especially for emergencies.
The chaplains are part of the overall healthcare team and can offer support and comfort, special listening and counseling skills, as well as a ministry of prayer and sacraments for those who request it.
Chaplaincy primarily includes: pastoral care, pastoral counseling, worship and sacraments, education and a ministry of referral. A ministry of referral might include liaising with community churches or agencies to ensure a continuity of spiritual care or support following discharge from the hospital.
The hospital chapel, located on the first floor, is always open. Patients, families and hospital staff are welcome to visit the chapel for prayer and meditation. Services are televised over Channel 22.
- Monday – Friday: noon
- Saturday: 4 pm
- Sunday: 11 am
- Sunday: 2 pm