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Spiritual Care in the Hospital

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger
The Truth Network Radio
October 20, 2019 11:37 pm

Spiritual Care in the Hospital

Hope for the Caregiver / Peter Rosenberger

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October 20, 2019 11:37 pm

In a segment we like to call "Meet the Neighbors," Chaplain Ken Mottram of Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital, called the show to share insights about hospital chaplains. 

Ken shares on the show that so many equate hospital chaplains with death, but they offer so much more. In our lengthy years of hospital visits, Gracie and I have benefited greatly from many hospital chaplains. To that caregiver spending sleepless nights in the recliner by the hospital bed, a chaplain can provide such encouragement, care, and support. 

Prayers, a timely verse, and even songs as one chaplain friend of ours sings to patients and caregivers, Chaplains provide a tremendous service to the wounded and those caring for them. 

Brought to you by STANDING WITH HOPE. 

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Welcome to Hope for the Caregiver on Family Talk, Sirius XM 131.

This is Peter Rosenberger. This is the nation's number one show for the family caregiver and we are so glad that you are with us. This is a show that is for those individuals who are putting themselves between a vulnerable loved one and an even worse disaster. For those who are up late at night doing lots of laundry, back and forth to doctors' hospitals, dealing with a loved one who has some type of mental illness, who has a meltdown. I mean there's just so many different scenarios. Back and forth to rehab, there's so many different things that are afflicting individuals around the country and every time you see somebody with a chronic impairment, you're going to see a caregiver.

Somebody who is orbiting them however poorly they may be doing it. It's okay. It's all right. You show up bloody bedraggled. That's a good word by the way. Bedraggled.

And sometimes even swearing under your breath. All right. That's okay.

We get it. This is the show for you and we speak fluent caregiver. We'd love to have you be a part of the show. If you want to be a part of the show, 877-655-6755.

877-655-6755. You can also follow along on our Facebook page, Hope for the Caregiver on Facebook. And like that page, share it, and you can be a part of the show in any way that you choose to be. Whatever is on your heart and mind, we'd like to hear from you. And we'd like to hear what you're struggling with, what you're going through. That's how caregivers get stronger. We bang these ideas around together and we get stronger. No matter how difficult it may be, it's going to get better if you can have somebody who speaks your language to talk about it with, to engage with, and that's why we do the show.

And I've been a caregiver myself for over 33 years through a medical nightmare, multiple amputations, 80 surgeries, 100 doctors, 12 different hospitals, seven different insurance companies. Now we're getting close to $11 million. I mean, it just keeps getting crazier and crazier. But we're still doing it. And I can't do it alone. And I'm suggesting to you the same thing. And you don't have to. All right.

877-655-6755. It's always better when you're with someone. And speaking of with someone, you know him. He's the Baron of the Board, the Sultan of Sound, the Earl of Engineering, the man who puts the word care into care to take it outside, sir. He's John Butler, the Count of Mighty Disco, everyone. Oh, hey, how you doing, Peter? As always, a fantastic introduction.

And now, yeah, the only reason you need to go out, I mean, we don't want to rude people around. So, yeah, care to take it outside? Well, you know, aren't you amazed and impressed, and you should be, that I keep coming up all these new titles for you? I was going to say, I want to know how many, you know, how many man hours per week you really devote towards this. Quite a few.

Quite a few. Well, listen, John, and that is your name, right? For the purposes of this show, yes, my name is John Butler. All right.

By the way, John, you know, we do a segment periodically called Meet the Neighbors. Yes, because you are in Montana. I am in Southwest Montana, and you are in Nashville.

Ed is producing the show from Dallas. And you're newly in Montana, so meeting the neighbors is... I am, and so Meet the Neighbors. And I met a very special neighbor not too terribly long ago, and I went to the local hospital in Bozeman, Montana. And I was actually taking a family member there, not Gracie, but another family member. And it was just regular stuff, but that's a hub of medical activity over there. And so we went over there to the hospital, and I happened to just stick my head in and introduce myself to the chaplain. Because I've talked to a lot of hospital chaplains. When you've gone through as many surgeries as Gracie and I have gone through, you meet a lot of chaplains. And I have a real tender heart, a place in my heart for chaplains, because I think they do an amazing work in almost impossible conditions. Because you know it's like working at the desk at the lost luggage part of the airport.

You know it's not going to be a good day for the customer that walks into the store. I mean, it could be a little challenging. They only come to you because there is a reason.

Right. And so I think if you're going to be a chaplain in a hospital, it's a calling. It's not something you, you know, you're back there on career day at school and said, hey, here's what I've got. No, it's a calling.

There's something more going on than just applying for a job. You've got to have a special calling and a special disposition for this, because it's a very, very important job. And so I met Dr. Ken Motram, and he asked me if I would come and speak at this event that they're having on Tuesday. And I said, well, you're serving lunch, aren't you? You are nothing if not predictable, sir.

I'll be there at the drop of a chicken leg, you know. Bless his heart. So here's our, we don't have Meet the Neighbor music. Ed, you sure you don't have anything for Meet the Neighbor music? No. Well, that would be a final answer. Yes, I'm not sure.

Would you like to phone a friend and ask first? Well, we don't have a Meet the- John, you could sing something, but we wouldn't let that. No, you don't want me to do that. But Ken, are you with us? Yes, I am.

I'm right on the line here. Well, Ken, thank you for being a part of our silliness and jocularity. But I love what you do.

I truly do. And I stand by the statement that I think that this is a calling to be a chaplain in a hospital. You know that you're going to be dealing with families in distress. You know you're going to be dealing with people in tough situations. And so I want to thank you in advance just for what you do, the lives that you touched, and for letting me be a part of what you're doing on Tuesday. Well, thank you so very much, Peter.

And it was really a joy to meet you as you popped your head in the office a few weeks ago. Well, tell me this. What's the daily life of a hospital chaplain like? Well, I'll tell you.

You really hit it on the head when you said you don't know what's going to come through the door. And that's exactly what it's like. We come in and we're kind of red flagging a few people. And of course we do have individuals that come into the hospital and they ask for a spiritual care visit. And so we have three or four of those every day. But a lot of it is just what presents during the day. And I'll tell you it's a very exciting ministry. You just never know how God is going to be using you.

And it is pretty challenging at times. When you do this, first off, tell us a little bit about your background. Because this is a Meet the Neighbors segment here.

Yes. Well, I'm a Montanan. I went out of state to go to school. But graduated thinking I was going to be a music director, teach high school band. And somehow, you know, I had a little bit of a come to Jesus meeting. And decided that, no, if I really wanted to affect lives, I should, you know, go for the gusto and get into the Lord's work. So I went to seminary and then pastored a couple of churches. And in the midst of that, kind of saw what people went through in the hospital.

And, you know, one thing I learned is not every minister is comfortable in a hospital. But I was very comfortable. And so it was kind of natural. I had a real interest in other religions.

I had an interest in people and make friends pretty easily. And so I trained for hospital work eventually. And went to a hospital in Spokane for clinical pastoral education.

And became a board certified chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains. And now I've been doing this work a little bit in Kalispell, Montana. And now here in Bozeman for over 25 years. Now how long have you been, you're at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital. How long have you been there? I've been here, I'm in my 17th year.

Starting my 17th year. Wow. Yeah. Let me ask you a question. You went into the ministry, Ken. And you served as a pastor of a church. And then you went and got special training to be in the hospital.

Yes. What are some of the specific things that you learned in that training that would be different? That you didn't get in seminary. That you didn't get in a local church pastoring. That kind of stuff. Is there something that pops into your mind that said, oh, I didn't know this.

That kind of thing. You know, a lot of it, believe it or not, is self-awareness training. A lot of it has to do, of course you're in a clinical setting. You're being with crisis in the emergency department almost every day. You're working in an ICU where people are critical. But in the midst of all that, a lot of the training has to do with self-awareness so that you understand your own personal maybe hot buttons or places where you might bring in your own stuff, your own feelings into a situation and not be there for the patient or the family. And so you have yourself doing all of this critical work with patients and families that are facing the worst.

And you want to be them in an authentic way where you are present with them and not preaching or doing things that would be more along the lines of satisfying your own need. So that's a big part of it. Of course you're learning a lot of the clinical work that needs to be done and the terminology and how to be a part of an interdisciplinary team and what it is to define spirituality in a way that is inclusive. It was a lot to kind of pick up in a short amount of time.

Well, it sounds like it. I've had the privilege of engaging with a lot of chaplains over the years. And I have found by and large, I mean just across the board, it is a very sincere group of individuals. I have yet to find one there that was just kind of phoning it in.

Yeah. And that says something because I've been in a lot of hospitals and I've been with a lot of surgeries and so forth with my wife. And I found great, there's one particular one, a good friend of mine back in Nashville who was a military chaplain and then he retired from the military and became a hospital chaplain.

Unbelievable singer, just a great voice. And he would come in and sing to patients. And do you sing to patients, Ken? You know, I play guitar and I did a little bit of that, but I haven't done that much of it lately. When you were going to be a band director, what instrument do you play besides guitar? Trumpet. Well, you could bring your trumpet in. I know, well, and you know, now I used to play in the Glacier Symphony Orchestra, second trumpet.

But I haven't played now in 17 years. So I actually this morning I was doing a chapel service at our senior living and I brought my shofar out. I had been to Israel and I purchased the shofar and so I tried to play that this morning and I'll tell you, it was a total disaster. Well, you know what, you keep practicing. Shofar is so good.

At least you have a joke to shofar it, you know. Yeah, that's exactly right. Oh my goodness. That was too easy. But Ken, talk a little bit about things you wish people would know about the chaplain in a hospital. People that are going to surgery or dealing with crisis. What are some things that you would like for those people who have never seen a chaplain in a hospital to know? Well, you know, there is kind of a, I guess, popular notion that the chaplain is only called when you're dying.

And I don't know how many times we get that and you have to sort of overcome that feeling. And certainly we are not called only for the dying. We are called to be with people who are going through some life changes.

People with different cultural backgrounds, of course. And mostly what we do is we're just there to be a human being next to someone who is traveling a course through life that maybe they never thought they'd ever have to travel. And so one of the greatest gifts that a chaplain can give is to just listen. So we are trained listeners, we want to understand what that patient is going through, what that family member is going through as a caregiver, and we want to be able to help them think through their own resources, some spiritual resources, some emotional resources, to help them just get through some of the difficulties that they're facing.

What are we going to do on Tuesday? On Tuesday, every fall the hospital hosts a spiritual caregiver's luncheon. And so we invite regional ministers and spiritual leaders from all different walks of life, all different religions even, to come to the hospital. We feed them a nice hot lunch and then we give them some education on hospital visitation and then try to do something that would be educational for them. And so when I heard of your program and your background, I thought, oh, this would be perfect.

Peter would be a great speaker for our spiritual caregiver's luncheon, give a little bit of encouragement to people who are constantly caregiving for others. Well, I got to ask you, what are we having for lunch? Chicken. More specific, kid, more specific. What kind of yard bird are we serving here, kid?

Something with, I thought it was something Italian. But I honestly did not spend a whole lot of time looking at the menu. This is where you had to park, kid, because I will spend a lot of time looking at the menu. Yes, we got some sort of apple crisp or pumpkin crisp or something for dessert, so I know that.

Some kind of crisp, John, some kind of crisp. Well, I'm really looking forward to this. This is a passion I have of meeting with folks who are doing this on any kind of walk of life because I've been there and Gracie and I are still there, and so I know how important this is. And I really hate to see families go through the trauma they go through without having a steady hand on their shoulder, just a friendly face, somebody just to sit with them through that journey. I hate to see that for families because it's such a terrifying place sometimes for so many in the hospital.

And so that's why I just really applaud what you all do. John, what were you going to say? No, just that like anything else, we talk about, well, I don't, whenever my teeth need cleaning or they're rotten out of my head, I call a dentist, I call a professional. You're in a hospital and you're experiencing some spiritual issues, you call a professional.

And here we've got one. Somebody who does this every day. Yeah, I think that's the thing that a lot of people don't realize is this is something that you wake up and do every day. It's a part of who you are. And the chaplaincy, like I said, it's a calling.

It is not something you just kind of, hey, I'll try this for a while and see how this fits. You don't do that with the chaplaincy. I have a lot of friends of mine who are in the military chaplain. My dad was a military chaplain. And they've got this thing that they do in the military. It's called a ministry of presence.

And you said something a minute ago, Ken, that really resonated. They go out to where the soldiers are, where the servicemen and women are. They don't sit back in the rear echelon. They are actually in the guard tower. They are embedded out bivouac'ing with everyone in the units and so forth. And that was a departure that started, I think, back in the 80s, where they started doing that more and more with chaplains.

And it's such an amazing program. And I think this is kind of where I see what you guys do, too, is that you go to where people are hurting, man. You don't wait for them just to come. You're out there walking down the hallways. You're in the rooms. And you're walking into, like you said, every time you knock on a door, you never know what's behind that door. Yes, and people are facing things that, you know, are very upsetting and may change their life forever. And so we really just in our department count that as sacred ground and a lot of compassion and a lot of just holding hands and sometimes being silent. We don't have to say a whole lot sometimes.

And just walking them through it. I remember a friend of mine back in Nashville was a chaplain at a large hospital where Gracie spent a good bit of time. And he got a call one day.

He was a Catholic priest. And the Monsignor called and said, There's a family. A wife has called in. Their son with leukemia is dying. And they wanted you to come up.

They wanted to visit. So he went up there, and he's got this suit on, the black collar, the whole, I mean the white collar. And he knocks on the door. And the father of this young boy opens the door.

And the father sees the collar, the cross, the whole thing. And he just becomes enraged. And he grabs my friend Ed. And he literally pushes him out of the doorway and across the hall and up against the wall on the other side of the hall. And he was screaming at him, Don't you come in here and tell me about God.

Yes, yeah. And so Ed went down to his office. He's kind of shaking. Everybody just kind of was very, as you could imagine, it was a very, very intense moment. And Ed was a pretty good-sized fellow. And Ed went down to his office. He called Monsignor, and he said, I don't think these people want to see me. And Monsignor almost yelled through the phone. He said, That man's boy is dying. I don't care if he hits you with both fists. You get back up there and be with that family.

Wow. And so Ed kind of gulped, and he walked back up there. And he knocked on the door. And all the nurses, when he walked back on the floor, everybody just stopped and looked at him.

And he was just scarlet red. But he knocked on the door, and the father opened the door and was just incredulous that this man had came back. And he just looked at Ed and let him in. Didn't say a word.

Wow. And Ed didn't say a word to him. He just walked in, and he sat there with the family. He stayed with them. The boy passed away. Ed helped them with the entire service. And the father and he could hardly speak any words to each other, but they looked at each other, both just held each other's gaze, and they both just wept.

Wow. What a powerful story. That's what the hospital chaplains, that to me, that is such a beautiful story of what you do, Ken. And I just want to just take a moment on the show today just to talk about that and say that's important for people to know that there are resources in your hospital. Take advantage of them. And it may not be the same denomination or anything like that with you.

Don't get all worked up about at this point. Just look for a friendly face to sit with you that is around the hospital a lot more than you are and is willing to talk with you about it. Well, and that's really what we want to be, is we float pretty freely throughout the day, and we just want people to know that we're a friendly face and we're not someone who is always associated with the worst of news.

That's for sure. Well, Ken, you are just awesome. You're over there at Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital in Bozeman, Montana. I'm looking forward to hanging with you guys a little bit on Tuesday, and it was just a fun way to just meet the neighbors today and just have a good time with you. And I look forward to many more times with you, and I appreciate you calling the show.

And you know what? You're always welcome to call in if you've got something that's going on that you feel like, you know what, this is something that Peter's show would like to hear. Please don't hesitate, okay? Wow, that's great. Well, thank you for the opportunity to share a little bit. Thank you for the caregivers that we'll never be able to touch necessarily through this show that you can touch every day, and thank you for that because I've been that caregiver that was just standing in that corner of a hospital room as lonely and couldn't even see straight, just feeling like the weight of the world was on my shoulder, and I've seen the friendly face of a chaplain come into the room, and I thank you for that because that's so important what you do.

So thank you for doing that. This is Hope for the Caregiver. By the way, if you want to know more about what we're doing,,, and the book is called Hope for the Caregiver. The podcast, we'll put this out on the podcast a little bit later, and it's free. Feel free to subscribe and share it with a friend. It's a free podcast. You can click on it right there on our page at Hope for the Caregiver. The book is Hope for the Caregiver, and then my new book is Seven Caregiver Landmines. We've got a lot of different things out there that are available to you. We hope you take advantage of it.

We're trying to put out as many things as possible for you to equip you as a caregiver. This is a unique show. There's no other show like what we do. Isn't that right, John? I mean, you can say that again. Well, I had to hold back. I had to hold back from all of the band jokes that I know, all of the many band jokes that I know as soon as he said, oh, he's going to be a music director. I'm like, oh, this is... Well, you played trumpet too, don't you?

I did. I played trumpet for six years in high school. I played trumpet.

Really? Poorly. Well, I mean, you know. You know, that's why I play piano.

Exactly. I was going to say, I didn't know you played trumpet. Well, and our son Parker is a very good trumpet player. Very good. There you go. That makes sense. You know how kids spot a trombone player on the playground?

They don't know how to use a slide and they can't swing. This is Hope for the Caregiver. We've got more that's coming your way.

You know, healthy caregivers make better caregivers. And the point of this is to let you know you're not alone. There is a path to safety. What we want to do is just get you to that place of safety where you can catch your breath, take a knee, and know that, you know what? We're going to work through this together. We can't take it away from you, but we can help equip you to be stronger along the journey. Don't go away. We'll be right back. Hi, this is Jeff Foxworthy. 65 million Americans serve as a caregiver for a sick or disabled loved one. If you're one of them, then listen to my friend Peter Rosenberger's show. He's got redneck tendencies, but he's really good at what he does.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-22 22:04:55 / 2024-01-22 22:15:30 / 11

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