Chaplains serve in many hospital settings acting as spiritual counselors to help patients, families, and the healthcare staff members:
- Through periods of crisis
- Reaffirm their spiritual beliefs
- Maintain or establish relationships with a church or house of worship
- Make daily rounds
Chaplains may be ordained ministers or priests, or may have attended a chaplaincy or pastoral care program through a university or hospital.
Because rehabilitation focuses on the whole person — physical, emotional, social, and spiritual, the chaplain often plays a special part in helping a person with a disability cope and recover. When the hospital’s chaplain is unavailable, the patient’s own clergy or spiritual advisor often performs these functions.