Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
Hearing The Music And Dancing The Dance
A Tale of the Wood
June 9th. 2013 ...
The Nature of Sacrifice
The Magick of Buildings
Start your own Pagan Church in Canada - A Detailed Guide
June 2nd. 2013 ...
Maiden, Mother, Who?! (A Discussion of the Triple Goddess)
Gods Who Live In My House
Why the 'Redneck Pagan'?
Among the Greenwod - An Interview with Raven Grimassi
May 26th. 2013 ...
So You Think You've Found a Teacher...
Learning To Live Your Own Life
Raising Personal Magickal Energy for Spellwork
Casting The Wiccan Circle
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Pagan Clergy Hospital Visits
Article ID: 14456
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 802
Times Read: 2,858
RSS Views: 12,438
Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: April 10th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,858
I am providing a little bit of background about me. I am an RN with a bachelor’s degree in health care administration. I have been in the healthcare system for more than 35 years, and I am also head minister/clergy for a legally incorporated Pagan/Wiccan group centered in Mid-Michigan. I retired from the huge hospital and now work in a local surgery center.
I have looked for information about being clergy within a hospital setting but found not much is available. Because of my healthcare experience I have decided to share some information that may help others considering hospital ministry visits.
I have approached 2 local hospitals in my area to be on their clergy call list and obtain privileges to visit patients asking for Pagan/Wiccan spiritual care. The first hospital was the place I had worked for 35+ years. I met with the head of the spiritual care team and sat down with her to find out what I needed to do to get privileges. She requested documentation that I was indeed clergy and then proceeded to share informational guidelines/policies for the hospital. Some of the items covered were:
I was fortunate to have had a working relationship with this person before I retired and this gave me an advantage of being able to having an open dialog with her. She knew me and my reputation during the many years I worked in this facility. She was comfortable with telling me her concerns of having Pagan clergy performing rituals within the hospital setting. So, after listening to her I assured her that I was aware of how different this would be for everyone concerned (patients, staff, and administration) . I shared with her that I would introduce myself to the staff on the unit I would be visiting and ask for any information that they felt I needed to know about the patient. She already knew I was well aware of the privacy concerns that centered on sharing information with others without permission from the patient. I also told her I would conduct myself as any other clergy would conduct themselves during hospital visitation. She was satisfied with how I handled myself during the interview and sent me to security for my picture ID.
Most facilities require you to wear your ID badge at all times, be sure you have yours available for easy viewing. You need to know what area is assigned for clergy parking. Many facilities have parking structures that charge by the hour or by the day and many provide you with a parking pass that waives the parking fee. You also need to know if you are called after-hours (non-visitation hours) , where should you park and what doors are open for after- hours entry.
Another issue is the privacy of the patient. You must keep all information about the patient private and not share it with anyone without permission from the patient. It is easy to slip up and mention in social conversation that you did a hospital visit when talking to other members of your organization or group. It is important to ask the patient what information if any they want shared.
After acquiring privileges with this hospital it was easy to acquiring privileges for the second hospital. All I had to do was apply and share with them I already had privileges at another local hospital. Many times one badge is good for all area hospitals, however you still have to ask for privileges and get on their clergy call list.
I gave much thought on how I would handle my visits and I felt it was best not to show up with an outfit and jewelry that shouted PAGAN. I had no intention of making anyone feel uncomfortable. I decided it was best to dress in a casual, comfortable outfit and carry a small tote with basic supplies that may be needed during my visits (cloak, candles, oils, alter cloths, chalice, etc.) . Remember, I still have an advantage of know many of staff members, although they were not aware I was Pagan. My plan was to give the hospital staff time to get comfortable with me for those that had not met me. I also wanted to let everyone know I was approachable for any questions they had about Paganism.
Drawing from my knowledge of being a nurse in a hospital setting and being clergy I want to share some of the things you may want to think about when planning your hospital visits:
•Take the time to introduce yourself to the staff; they can make a big difference in your transition of providing Pagan spiritual care.
•If you plan on having others helping you during the ritual, make sure you get permission. There may be a restriction on numbers of visitors.
•Show respect for the patient in the next bed if it is a double occupancy room:
1. Most likely they are non-Pagan, so be aware of noise level [chanting and singing].
2. You can pull the curtains closed to allow for more privacy.
•Be aware of safety issue:
1. Is oxygen being used for either patient? No matches/lighters are to be used.
2. You may want to cancel altogether the use of candles that you light. I always take flameless candles.
3. Be aware that smells bother people more when they are ill/hospitalized. You may want to limit using incense and oils. If you decide to use incense, ask the patient in the other bed if he/she minds.
4. Keep in mind that many people have allergies. This is important when asking about incense and oils.
5. Is the patient on a NPO diet (nothing per mouth) , no food or drink?
•When you are contacted to do clergy visitation, remember to ask some basic questions from the patient:
1. Ask if he/she is in or out of the closet in case family members or friends are present.
2. If doing a ritual, have a generic ritual on hand or postpone ritual altogether to avoid problems.
3. Does the patient work with specific deities? – Try to incorporate them.
Because Pagan/Wicca hospital visitation is a relatively new it is going to be what I call a “work-in-progress”. Meaning you will have to learn what is allowed and what will work best for you. Remember you may experience some resistance when you first start out but be persistent and patience will prevail.
Location: Davison, Michigan
Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. etain.butterfly - Click HERE
Bio: I am an Eclectic Pagan, Head Minister/President of Sacred Birch Society - Mid Michigan.
Other Articles: Rev. etain.butterfly has posted 8 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Rev. etain.butterfly... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).