The healthcare certifying organization, JCAHO, has standards for spiritual care that state that each patient’s “spiritual care be assessed, accommodated, and attended to in ways that are important to them.” (1) These standards are typically followed in the following manner: upon admission to the hospital, the admissions personnel ask patients to state their religion and whether or not they would like to see a chaplain. As a patient or their family members complete their admission paperwork and are directed to their room, spiritual care issues are not as important as they will be immediately before they undergo a procedure. I do not believe the admissions checklist adequately assesses a patient’s spiritual needs for their hospital stay.
(1) Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Joint Commission Guide to Allied Health Professionals. Oakbrook Terrace, IL: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations; 2010.
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