For all its difficulty, human illness can also be a call to deeper faith and hope. Supporting the entire person, including providing resources for spiritual needs for inpatients, has also been central to Lourdes’ mission.
Lourdes hospitals in Camden and Burlington offer a number of options for patients of faith or seeking solice:
|Lourdes sees a special connection not just between health and psychosocial well being but also between hospital care and spiritual support. It offers resources to patients who want avail themselves of this type of support.|
- A Pastoral/Spiritual Care Office each of the hospitals coordinates for patients the worship/religious/well-being resources listed below. The staff of these offices endeavors to identify and meet the needs of all religious traditions represented by patients in the medical centers. These offices can also assist patients with advance directives.
- Chapels at both hospital sare located on the first floor, off the main lobby and have regular services. Schedules for services are posted at the chapel or are available from the staff or by calling the Pastoral/Spiritual Care Office.
- Chaplains are available every day, and the may be called for special needs in evening and night hours. Lourdes chaplains serve all patients, regardless of faith tradition and spiritual experience. They respect and support patients and families of all denominations. The interfaith chaplain team works daily to evoke and encourage the faith within us all. Lourdes chaplains can provide bedside visits, the comfort of the scripture and a healing hand on the brow,as part of this ministry.
- Clergy from area Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Islamic congregations visit the hospitals regularly. For help from one of these clergy members or assistance in arranging support from a specific clergy member — priest, minister, rabbi, imam or other clergy member — patients or family members are welcome to contact the Pastoral/Spiritual Care Office. With permission, the office also can notify the patient’s home faith community about the patient’s hospitalized.
- Lay chaplain assistants — who are volunteers of all faiths specially trained in pastoral ministry — also offer bedside prayer
and support to help patients and family members draw on spiritual resources during care.
General hospital volunteers are also oriented toward the spiritual role, sometimes offering to pray with patients or simply spend supportive time with them.
|For access to these pastoral/spiritual support services at Lourdes, simply dial “O” for the operator and ask for the Pastoral/Spiritual Care Office. Or, to reach this office outside the hospital call: Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center: 856-757-3808 or Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County: 609-835-3202|
- Patients may view mass and other televised religious programs from their bedside TVs.
- For Catholic patients, Eucharist ministers from local parishes distribute Holy Communion daily upon request. Hospital chaplains also offer the Sacrament of the Sick, also called the Anointing of the Sick, which is intended as a means to strengthen all those who are ill. They also make Reconciliation available to patients. An ecumenical laying on of hands and anointing with oil is available for Christians of other denominations.
- Lourdes periodically holds special events, such as musical concerts, that provide spiritual support. It also partners with WXPN’s Musicians On Call program to bring recorded and live music to patients’ bedsides.
- Lourdes offers a range of wholistic therapies that help patients relax and improve their sense of well being. These approaches include massage, energy therapies, aromatherapy, therapeutic touch, integrated imagery and more.
If the staff determines that a patient’s condition has become terminal, all Lourdes caregivers become especially sensitive to the individual’s personal needs and requests for visitation with family and friends. Especially in such cases, all members of the staff will witness deep concern for the patient’s welfare as well as support for the family.
|Among Lourdes community-based programs, its Parish Nursing Program
provides medical screenings and supports hospitalized or home bound local Catholic parishioners, especially among the most vulnerable populations. Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County is the only hospital in southern New Jersey with such a program. This ecumenical ministry of allied health professionals has trained hundreds of parish nurses in promoting healthy lifestyles, providing information on available resources and encouraging fellow congregants to assume responsibility for their own health.Lourdes currently conducts the program with faculty from Philadelphia’s LaSalle University. Attendees are taught to focus on the whole person when emphasizing wellness, disease prevention, health promotion and healing — and to link the interrelationships of mind, body and spirit. Extending the resources of Lourdes Health System into the community, successfully trained parish nurses can also help congregants access and navigate the health system. Lourdes hosts continuing education and networking sessions so parishes can share best practices and ideas in this type of support.