Articles/Essays From Pagans
September 11th. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
Magic in Sentences
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
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: 1,998
Times Read: 3,647
RSS Views: 12,438
Author: Rev. etain.butterfly
Posted: April 10th. 2011
Times Viewed: 3,647
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 9 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 1997-2016 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).