How can a chaplain help?
Being sick or injured can be disorienting and emotionally draining. A hospital chaplain is available to listen, to comfort, and to help you draw upon your own spiritual and emotional strength. If you just need quiet company, prayer, or an inspirational reading, a Chaplain is content to follow your lead and energy level.
Anyone, not only those who identify as religious or spiritual, can call for a chaplain's support and they will listen with compassion as you talk through what matters most to you.
Chaplains respect your religious tradition and personal experiences. While connection with their own faith tradition often gives a chaplain strength and depth, in the context of the hospital they are trained to support, not to persuade. Their help complements the pastoral ministry of your denomination, and they are happy to contact your faith leader, or a leader from a local congregation to visit and comfort you and your family.
Is there a Roman Catholic chaplain in the hospital?
The chaplains who minister at Chester County Hospital are trained to work on an interfaith basis. They are comfortable praying traditionally Catholic prayers and may offer helpful conversation to Roman Catholic patients.
While COVID-19 limitations are in place, if you do not have access to your own priest, the Roman Catholic priests of the West Chester area parishes are available on an emergency basis to celebrate the Sacraments, including the Anointing of the Sick, with patients who are close to death. If your patient is in this situation, please ask your nurse to page the priest who is on-call. We are also happy to help you contact your home parish priest to help coordinate a visit for pastoral ministry, which may of course include the appropriate Sacraments at any time. Under non-emergency circumstances we recommend that these visits follow Patient Visitor Guidelines.
Eucharistic ministry has been temporarily suspended. The Catholic cable station EWTN broadcasts Mass on a regular basis, and is available as channel #62 on the televisions in most rooms.
Are there scriptures and spiritual care literature available at the hospital?
Gideon Bibles are available in both English and Spanish from the Nursing, Volunteer, or Chaplain’s Offices. Translations of the Qur’an, the Torah, and other spiritual literature are available from the Chaplain’s Office 610-431-5637.
Where is there a quiet place for reflection or prayer?
The Interfaith Prayer/Meditation Room is available on the 3rd Floor of the East Wing. Effort is made to keep this space welcoming to members of any faith tradition. Any staff member will be able to help you locate it.
Where do faith leaders and clergy park when visiting patients at the hospital?
Faith Leaders may park anywhere in the Main Parking Lot or Parking Garage with patients and visitors. The entrance to the lot is at the intersection of East Marshall Street and Montgomery Avenue, and parking is free. You will be asked screening questions and have your temperature checked as you enter. Please obtain a temporary visitor’s badge at the reception desk in the lobby when you arrive. The front desk attendants will call the nursing unit to announce your arrival and will provide directions or an escort to your patient's floor.
What are the hospital’s visiting hours?
DURING COVID19: Please read the hospital’s Patient Visitor Guidelines.
While visitor limitations are in place, please coordinate with your patient’s family and nursing unit at the hospital to arrange a visit. Please contact the Chaplain’s Office, or Patient Experience if you have questions or need help. Faith Leaders are welcome to visit patients any time of day, but are encouraged to plan visits when the specialty care units are open to general visitation.
Are faith leaders notified when a patient is admitted to the hospital?
When asked to do so by patient or family members, the nurse or chaplain will be happy to contact the patient’s faith leader or spiritual support person. A patient’s religious affiliation or denomination may be recorded upon admission to the hospital; however, the registration questionnaire does not ask about membership to specific faith organizations or congregations.
May faith leaders request that a hospital chaplain offer support to hospitalized members of their community?
When you are unable to visit a member of your community, you are invited to contact the Chaplain's Office at 610-431-5637 to have them visit the patient on your behalf. Updates on a patient’s well-being will be provided at patient’s request. A chaplain is also happy to help coordinate virtual visits and telephone calls when visitation is not possible.
May I volunteer as a chaplain at Chester County Hospital?
If you have had CPE, equivalent pastoral experience in a clinical setting, or Stephen Ministry training, you are invited to apply to be a member of our team of highly-valued Volunteer Chaplains. Please submit a Volunteer Application, email Volunteer Services or call 610-431-5191 to apply. For more information, email the Chaplain’s Office or call us at 610-431-5637.
How do I get a Chester County Hospital clergy identification badge?
Frequent visitors may find it convenient to obtain a Chester County Hospital Clergy identification badge. Please contact Volunteer Services at 610-431-5191. They will email you a registration form and schedule a time to have your picture taken with security. There is no fee for the badge.