Spiritual Care Encounter – Journeying with a Grief Stricken Family
Although the simulated patient learning format has become commonplace in the rest of medical education, it has been nearly absent from the learning formats employed for training health care chaplains. Chaplain training programs have rarely featured any simulation and specific training in intentional communication skills, especially in situations involving interpersonal conflict. Kissane et al2 have provided an extensive review of the efficacy of such communication training in improving performance. They suggest that “Art, science, and practical wisdom need to be combined in a program that is learner centered, flexible, engaging, and instructive. This does not result from a witty lecture, but needs an experiential process of role-play to practice skill development.” We believe a primary reason for this is that historically health care chaplain training has been mostly subjective in its evaluation of competency. One feature of the subjectivity of competency evaluation is that health care chaplaincy lacks a normative language of interventions and outcomes. What is it exactly that health care chaplains actually do? What are their goals? How would we know whether they have accomplished their goals? What are the actual criteria for a chaplain doing a good job? These questions have been barriers to constructing simulations that would include chaplains performing their craft.