Under even the best of circumstances, it’s incredibly difficult having a loved one hospitalized. In this time of restricted visiting and stay-at-home orders, it’s even more devastating not to be able to connect with a loved one who is in the hospital. This is where chaplains come in—serving as a conduit to facilitate the connecting of patients and loved ones.

As a hospital chaplain, I’ve had the privilege of using technology (including cell phones, FaceTime, etc.) to connect those who cannot be physically present with each other. This, in fact, is part of our call to hospitality as chaplains and caregivers. I’ve been able to help a wife speak to her husband while he battled serious illness; To connect a longtime friend and pastor so that he could pray for a patient; To equip staff with the tools needed so that communication between patient and family member could be consistent and ongoing.

Each hospital and chaplain is uniquely equipped with the options that can be offered, but one thing that is universal is that we encourage and facilitate this contact.

If you or a loved one is in the hospital, request to speak with a chaplain. We can tell you what resources are available from the hospital and how we can help you to connect. The medical team supports this connection between patients and family, because these are vital to the wellbeing of the whole person. Whether it is a phone call, video chat, or the delivering of necessities like clothes or a phone charger, the hospital chaplain is there to help.

In addition to supporting hospitalized patients, chaplains also support families. This support does not end just because they can’t be there in person. Your hospital chaplain is available to talk with you, be it by phone, video chat, or email, to uplift you as you seek to support and care for your loved ones from a distance.

It is more important than ever to recognize the reality that the entire family system is impacted by one of its members facing illness. And, in a time when physical presence is restricted, all of us need to be proactive and maintain the life-giving connections that contribute to the wellbeing of every patient.

More: About Our Chaplains