Departments, Wards, Patients, Oh My

The schedule at my CPE was changed this week and I’m actually scheduled to begin to see patients today. On Wednesday, we spent an hour shadowing a chaplain and seeing how the work is done. I was involved with the visits of four patients, met several families, tried some reflective listening, and also was pushed aside by a doctor at one point. I felt I got a nice little showcase of what to expect during CPE. I’m glad for that.

At the end of the day yesterday, my group and I received our department assignments. Each of us received three units. My units are: the department dealing with heart attacks and heart trauma (I forget the medical name for that), a general medicine unit, and pediatrics ICU. I kind of knew I would get kids because I was one of the few folks in the group who didn’t say “I don’t want kids.” I didn’t say anything not because I wanted to work with kids but, rather, I felt that if I started putting barriers on where I wanted to go, it wouldn’t serve my learning this summer. I’m not particularly good at ministering to groups and I have no experience ministering to family members who have a sick child or sick sibling. I know my future ministry will not be restricted to merely one-on-one meetings with individuals. I’m going to have to deal with families, friends, and all the baggage that entails. I will say that I am worried and a little concerned about working with kids but I do know I’m not alone. Even though I am the chaplain in these departments, I have a massive number of chaplains to help me out. It’s great to have resources.

So, as I write this, my stomach is in knots a bit but that’s okay. I’m nervous and a little anxious but I’m only visiting patients for an hour today. I’ve been given a couple of examples of how to introduce myself when I enter the room. I’ll have business cards to give out at the end. It’ll work out.

One thought on “Departments, Wards, Patients, Oh My”

  1. When I’m troubled about a task at hand, that I won’t get out of it…I ponder the words of St. Paul to the Corinthians:

    “No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”

    May God give you you the strength to endure this trial!

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