Hospital Notes 41

Reflecting on our work as Chaplaincy Volunteers

On Tuesday 7th March I, along with about 15 others, attended a time of Fellowship and Reflection in the Chapel at Royal Stoke. As we had not met in this way since before the C-19 Pandemic it was an opportunity to reconnect with fellow Chaplaincy Volunteers. We were a mix of people currently working, returners after the pandemic and some new Volunteers.

We started by thinking about our hopes, reflecting on how seeds when planted need attention and nurturing to help them to flourish. Much the same is true about our hopes, especially in dark times.

Then we had a presentation on a method of “Reflective Practice” which involves taking time to think about our actions, consider how things went and could have been different. The aim of the process is to learn continuously how we can respond better next time we come into a similar situation and to grow in our understanding of patient experience, improve our ability to respond and develop our compassion and empathy. We then engaged in a reflective practise exercise using real encounters with patients or others. In the feedback we learned a lot about ways in which we can meet patients needs more effectively. Examples being… how little things can matter such a lot; how communication, especially with family, matters a great deal; how apparently similar situations can result in very different encounters and how memory loss in some patients can complicate our time spent with them.

It was encouraging to hear how our work fitted into the bigger picture of the hospital network in caring for the whole person and being made aware of some of the national guidelines under which we function. We were reminded of the SPaRC Day on 10th May when all are invited to come along and meet the Chaplaincy Team in the Atrium (which I’ve written about previously).

Our fellowship concluded with a closing thought and reflection. Dave Rowlands