Everything You Need to Know About a Hospice Chaplain

hospice chaplain

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” 

– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a Jesuit priest 

“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.” 

 Martin Luther King Jr., a renowned activist, and revolutionary leader

As the above quotes allude to, being spiritually aligned to your needs is essential, especially when you are about to pass on. Fortunately, you or your beloved patient can satisfy this means through hospice care. Specifically, a trained chaplain should oversee these spiritual necessities, regardless of cultural background, religious upbringing, and creed. To have a deeper understanding of what you can expect from them, take note of the following roles every chaplain should have: 

Every patient deserves to be attended to during their final moments

Remember, the foundation of hospice care is no one must be alone at the end of their life. While the chaplains carry this huge responsibility, they are also tasked with orienting the medical team, the family members, and the caregivers when necessary. This aspect is especially crucial since some religious practices may have specific spiritual rituals that need to be met before burial. Through these means, the patient is treated with respect and compassion as nature takes its course.

Assists patients and families to spiritually prepare for the inevitable 

Passing on is a momentous event for the person undergoing hospice care. The patient’s family is a huge part of this, especially for specific religions or spiritual practices requiring the loved one’s involvement. Although the situation seems bleak and challenging to process for everyone, the chaplain is there to listen, guide, and oversee the spiritual side of repose. 

One of the most popular means to do so is most chaplains often employ appropriate coping mechanisms (e.g., prayer, readings from spiritual texts). It has an uplifting impact on the patient and the immediate family, boosting the morale during these trying times. This way, necessary action is taken for any final wishes or spiritual preparations for the next life, depending on the religious background. 

Provides much-needed encouragement during difficult medical issues

It is no surprise that most patients in hospice care often become disheartened by their condition, so much so that they question their religious zeal and the entire belief system they thought would be with them during times of hardship. Fortunately, many chaplains are aware of these incidences. They know when to be of service to them during tough trials in their treatment, such as experiencing excruciating pain due to major symptoms. While it does not make the illness go away, it is a much-needed intervention for the patient to endure, feel better, and go about their last days with utmost hopefulness.


Having a chaplain for your hospice care setup can be a necessity for your dear patient. Thus, it is worth considering what they can bring by referring to the duties mentioned above and other related details. Meanwhile, if you are having trouble determining what exactly is best for your loved one, consult with experienced hospices near you.

Are you in need of professional hospice care options to address your needs? We at Bridge Home Health & Hospice can provide you with that. Our team specializes in various healthcare solutions and can serve you through our numerous locations throughout California. Call us at (800) 476-0043 or chat with our online assistance to assist you. 


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