Spiritual and Pastoral Care
To ensure that the spiritual needs of patients and family members are met and that ethical issues or concerns related to religious beliefs are addressed, St. Clair Hospital provides a comprehensive array of non-denominational spiritual care services.
In addition to individualized spiritual counseling, the Hospital also offers a Prayer Room for patients, guests, employees and volunteers. St. Clair Hospital’s team of health care professionals is dedicated to respecting every patient’s individual right to practice his or her spiritual beliefs through symbolism and other expressions of faith. Every effort is made to meet each patient’s spiritual needs, in a manner that is both private and confidential.
Spirituality and Illness
In addition to the medical care patients receive, individuals dealing with chronic or life-threatening illnesses often find comfort in the form of spiritual care. While some people draw strength from their spirituality during difficult times, others might feel as if their faith has been shaken by their illness. Many patients struggle to find meaning in their lives or maintain hope during a hospitalization. Some patients wonder if they are to blame for their illness, or if there is life after death. All of these thoughts and feelings can lead to personal distress and anxiety for the patient, as well as conflict or disagreements among family members.
Spiritual care serves to address these issues by providing a holistic approach to wellness while integrating all aspects of one’s being – physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual. Patients, as well as family members who are impacted by their loved one’s illness, can all benefit from spiritual care.
From sharing one’s private feelings, to praying or meditating, to reading Scripture, to talking about the meaning of life and the experience of dying, spiritual counseling can take on many different and unique forms.
Pastoral Care Services
Patients admitted to St. Clair Hospital are offered the services of visiting clergy. To participate in this program, patients must include their name, religious preference and church affiliation in the Hospital directory upon admission.
Spiritual services are also available to patients or families facing emergency situations, those without a church affiliation, or in the absence of a personal priest, minister or rabbi. Additionally, spiritual support is offered to patients in critical condition, those nearing death, individuals suffering from a serious or disabling injury, patients facing major surgery, or any patient or family member dealing with ethical issues related to religious beliefs.
Patients of Catholic Faith
The Diocese of Pittsburgh, in cooperation with Catholic priests who are in the South Hills Deanery, provides emergency on-call coverage to patients of St. Clair Hospital. Holy Communion is offered by a group of trained Eucharistic Ministers at least five times weekly.
Patients of Other Religious Affiliations
Volunteer clergy of several faiths from the South Hills community provide on-call coverage to St. Clair Hospital.
Spiritual Care and Counseling
From sharing one’s private feelings, to praying or meditating, to reading Scripture, to talking about the meaning of life and the experience of dying, spiritual counseling can take on many different and unique forms to meet the personal needs of every patient. While some individuals are calmed through the receipt of Sacraments, others benefit from sharing their life story or experiences, and still others find comfort by simply sitting in silence with a spiritual counselor or a loved one nearby.
To address the wide-spectrum of spiritual needs during an illness or hospitalization, a full-time spiritual counselor is available at no cost to St. Clair Hospital’s patients, family members, employees and volunteers. Counseling is provided on a confidential basis, and all religious beliefs and practices are honored.
Patients or family members interested in spiritual counseling may ask their nurse or another health care professional to contact the Hospital’s spiritual counselor, or may call the counselor directly at 412.942.5072.
St. Clair Hospital offers a Prayer Room where patients, guests and staff members may gather to meditate, pray, grieve and reflect. Located on the Fourth Floor of the Hospital, the Prayer Room is available 24 hours a day.