The Spiritual Care department of University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) addresses the spiritual needs of our patients, their family members and the hospital staff. Our staff chaplain and more than a dozen Pastoral Care team members, consisting of volunteer chaplains and lay pastoral care volunteers, offer spiritual care 24/7.
Our chaplain and Spiritual Care team at UM CRMC can help you cope with difficult experiences and find meaning, value and connection, especially during difficult times.
You don’t have to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. We support all types of spiritual expression: religious practice, personal relationships, artistic creation, a connection to nature and more. Our spiritual care professionals will help you express your feelings and concerns in a way that honors your values and beliefs.
Contacting Spiritual Care
When you are admitted to the Emergency Department or hospital, you will be asked during your admission interview if you would like a visit from a chaplain during your stay. A chaplain will visit you, usually, within 24 hours.
If you would like a visit immediately, you, your family or your medical care giver can request that your nurse contact the chaplain. There is a chaplain available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Spiritual Care Offers:
- Encouragement and solace
- Support for loss and grief
- One-on-one visits
- Opportunities for prayer, meditation and reflection
- Facilitation of religious and spiritual rituals when requested
- A liaison to area faith communities:
- Providing contact with patient’s own clergy and/ or faith community
- Collaborating with all faith communities in a shared mission of health and spiritual wellness
Religious Services at the Bedside
Blessings, anointing, prayer and commendations are available at the bedside by request. Roman Catholic Eucharistic ministers try to see all Roman Catholic patients every Wednesday to give Holy Communion to those who wish to receive. Protestants may request Holy Communion at the bedside.
The Hospital Meditation Room
The Meditation Room, located on the second floor, is always open for prayer and quiet reflection. It is used by persons from every faith and denomination. Prayer requests may be written in the journal in the Meditation Room.
We offer spiritual and emotional support following hospital or community-wide disasters. To arrange for a pastoral care visit, call the hospital operator at 301-609-4000.
Common Misconceptions About Spiritual Care
What if I’m not a religious person?
You do not need to be religious to benefit from spiritual care. Spirituality is about finding meaning, value and connection, especially during times of difficulty.
Will you try to convert me?
No. Spiritual care professionals respect your spiritual and religious beliefs. We are not here to change them. We minister to persons from every faith background including those who do not have a particular faith. The program is staffed by qualified lay and ordained chaplains.
Is the staff chaplain a volunteer from a church?
No, the staff chaplain is a professional, employed by UM CRMC, with training in hospital chaplaincy.
Is spiritual care only for someone who is dying?
No. Spiritual care at CRMC is for everyone coping with change, illness or loss. Spiritual care is also available for all patients, families and staff.
When Staff Might Ask for Spiritual Care
- In response to a request from a patient, family member or friend
- When faith, spirituality, meaning-making or all of these together is obviously important
- When a patient, loved one or staff member seeks a religious or spiritual ritual
- When a patient, their family members or everyone involved is struggling with impending surgery, prognosis or diagnosis, death and dying, or significant loss
- When a patient or their family’s spirit seems troubled
- When the treatment team requires a religious or spiritual assessment of a patient.
- When a patient is separated from or has few visible supports
- When a patient is close to death or has died
- When staff seeks support to identify internal or external resources when faced with workplace challenges
- To contact the Compassionate Companion program (No-One-Dies Alone) to support end-of-life patients without family support