Basic Hospice Chaplain Training
Part One: The qualifications of the hospice chaplain prepare him or her for this important responsibility.
Some states require that hospice chaplains have a specialized form of training called Clinical Pastoral Education. Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) most often takes place in a medical setting where a small group of trainees are under the supervision of a CPE Supervisor.
CPE gives the hospice chaplain self-knowledge, as well as insight into the ways spirituality is expressed across a broad section of humanity. For more information see the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education website at http://www.acpe.edu/ .
Although not as widely recognized as ACPE, another chaplaincy training organization is the Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association (http://www.hcmachaplains.org/).
Most states identify the appropriate provider of spiritual care for hospice patients as an individual who is theologically trained and ecclesiastically recognized by a religious organization. Most religious organizations issue statements of endorsement for individuals who identify with them through membership in a local church (contact your denominational leadership for information).
The education, training and spiritual endorsement of the hospice chaplain are important because hospice chaplains must be skilled in understanding what spiritual care is and why spiritual care is important to the hospice patient and their family.
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