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Bringing comfort and concern to the bedside of the sick or dying is a challenge for lay people and clergy alike. In this practical guide, Neville Kirkwood shares his wisdom-gleaned from some twenty years of experience as a hospital chaplain-on the art of hospital visitation. This classic handbook is now updated, with an all-new section addressing best practices for hospital chaplains. Pastoral Care in Hospitals, with additional sections addressed to clergy and trained lay pastoral workers, as well as ordinary lay people who simply want to visit their fellow-parishioners, shows visitors ways to make the encounter meaningful and enriching to the patient. Kirkwood guides readers through the minefield of hospital visits-from false heartiness to too much talking-and offers a theology of visitation that can guide both professionals and laity in their ministry. A variety of exercises and a section of prayers for specific circumstances make this a must-have resource for all who work with the sick and dying, and an excellent text for course work.
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Table of Contents

FOR HOSPITAL VISITORS; 1. Off to Hospital; 2. Visiting the Patient; 3. Respecting the Patient; 4. Observe; 5. Relatives and Friends; FOR LAY PASTORAL WORKERS; 6. The Patient's Needs; 7. The Patient in Crisis; 8. Temptations; 9. The Place of Prayer; 10. Jesus: A Theological Model; FOR CLERGY VISITING HOSPITALS; 11. Know Yourself; 12. Competence and Empathy; 13. Why Suffering?; 14. Depression; 15. Theological Reflection; FOR THE HOSPITAL CHAPLAIN; 17. Pitfalls for the Chaplain; 18. Avoiding the Pits; 19. Stop, Revive, Survive.

About the Author

Neville Kirkwood is an ordained minister who has had a long career as a hospital chaplain. He earned his doctor of ministry degree at the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The author of A Hospital Handbook on Multiculturalism and Religion, he resides in Australia.

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