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Spiritual Care for Non-Communicative Patients


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Table of Contents


Responding to a Need
A Quality Improvement Project.

How to Use this Guidebook
Gently, slowly.

In the Hallway.
The Long Walk

Entering the Room - the patient is alone.
Crossing the threshold.
The Family is Here
Balancing a pastoral visit with the patient and the family or friends.

The Team Will see You Now
A member of the medical team is in the room or nearby.

Staying in the Room
Drawing on pastoral skills to stay until the visit is complete.

The Spiritual Heart of the Visit
How to discover it.

Every step is a prayer.

Summary of Skills

Teaching Resources
The Didactic
ChapTime list
Role Plays
Voices of Chaplains



Promotional Information

How to deliver excellent spiritual care to patients who are unable to communicate, and their families

About the Author

Linda Golding has worked as a Staff Chaplain at New York-Presbyterian Hospital since 2010, chiefly involved with Neurology, Neurosurgery and the Neuro ICU. She also serves as the Chaplain on the hospital's Ethics Committee.

Walter Dixon is a Board Certified Chaplain as well as an ordained pastor within the United Methodist Church. His principal clinical foci in hospital employment were cardiology, oncology, general medicine, staff support and palliative care.


SPIRITUAL SUPPORT FOR NON-COMMUNICATIVE PATIENTS is an important guide for chaplains, clinicians and caregivers. This book offers practical and spirit filled insights into techniques for being with patients and families whose lives are on hold. Read it, teach it, welcome it. -- Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor of Medicine, Director, Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
Many chaplains and chaplain-interns will be exclaiming: "Where has this book been before now!?" Golding and Dixon have given us a much-needed, ethically sensitive, pithy, and eminently practical guide to spiritual care with a particularly challenging patient population, affirming that silence and the "ministry of presence" is a profound gift to both patients and their families - and can be a deepening spiritual experience for the caregiver as well. -- Pamela Cooper-White, Christiane Brooks Johnson Professor of Psychology and Religion, Union Theological Seminary, New York, and author of Shared Wisdom: Use of the Self in Pastoral Care and Counseling

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