Spiritual Care Services provides spiritual or religious services to promote spiritual well-being to each patient and his or her family as they are affected by the diagnosis of catastrophic illness by:
- Assisting our patients and families with religious, spiritual, and emotional family problems brought on by illness.
- Assisting the family unit experience their faith as a positive source of strength and encouragement during the treatment process.
- Providing religious education through counsel and literature.
- Serving as liaison between the patient/family and the area religious community.
- Serving as consultant to the patient care team to help them understand the significance of religious/spiritual factors and how they affect a patient's illness, treatment, and recovery, and developmental and educational needs.
- Participating, upon request, in research designed to contribute to improved care of the family unit and their adaptation to chronic illness.
Spiritual Care Services is a referral only service. We do not see all patients. A patient, immediate family member/caregiver, or any staff person may make a referral. Requests for services that originate from extended family, friends, community clergy, hospital staff, or any other person must have patient or immediate family approval before services will be rendered.
- The Chaplain considers the patient and his or her family as individuals with personal value and belief systems, each being worthy of the love of God.
- The Chaplain considers it his or her responsibility to advocate for each patient and family in allowing them to express their spiritual beliefs and practices, within the guidelines of the hospital policies and procedures, regardless of religious affiliation.
- The Chaplain considers each patient and parent as individuals with the right to religious services including spiritual welfare, support, counsel, and visitation through the spiritual or religious ministry of their choice and at their request.
- The Chaplain considers the surrounding religious community as being a valuable resource for providing spiritual care for the St. Jude patients and families. The Chaplain will attempt to help each patient or family to link to one of these resources upon their request.
The Department of Spiritual Services supports the mission of St. Jude, "to advance the health of children through biomedical research," by advancing the specific goals of the hospital:
- Patient Care – Spiritual Care Services is that part of the total care which aims at meeting the spiritual and, at times, the emotional needs of the patient, families, and staff without regard to race, gender, or religion. These services are provided upon referral.
- Research – Spiritual Care Services supports the research efforts of the hospital by participation in and review of research projects and protocols upon request.
- Student Training – The department has a continuing training agreement with Memphis Theological Seminary and offers an on-site practicum for other theology students upon request.
- Extramural Programs – The department is involved in a number of extramural programs including religious and community education and public relations.