Healthcare Heroes: Spiritual Care
Apr 22, 2020 Katie Rosenblum
In times of crisis, many people lean on their faith to see them through it. As a faith-based institution, Cedars-Sinai strives to embrace the religious needs of all our patients.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought uncertainty and unease to our daily lives, and the Spiritual Care team has been working hard to support not only patients but also staff dealing with the fallout.
"We are in so many ways made for this. We are in so many ways made to move through this."
"We're all trying to navigate. We're all in uncharted territories and it's complicated, but we're all doing the best we can," says Rabbi Jason Weiner, director of the Spiritual Care Department.
While their day-to-day routines might look different now, the team is adapting to better help patients in need.
"COVID-19 has changed our work in a lot of ways," says Rabbi Weiner. "We're not going into COVID-19 patient rooms. For some patients, we are saying prayers from outside of the rooms."
The team isn't only available for patients—they're also supporting the needs of staff.
"I've been hanging out with a lot of nurses and other staff to provide them a time to relax and decompress, or just tell some jokes and hang out with a chaplain for a while," Reverend Christina Shu says.
The chaplains also want to share messages with staff about the importance of taking time for themselves, even during the busiest of times.
"We can have permission to take a breath, to take a break at some point, to reflect, to care for ourselves," Rabbi Weiner reminds us.
Above all else, they hope to share words of hope and inspiration with those who need it most.
"We are in so many ways made for this. We are in so many ways made to move through this," says Reverend Peggy Kelley. "There's great loss and great pain and incredible sadness, and we will move through it."