Giving you comfort and support, spiritual care practitioners can help address the profound thoughts and feelings that can poignantly arise at times of significant illness or trauma.
What to expect
Spirituality as a dimension of care
Spirituality encompasses how we feel, think and perceive our life as human beings. Spiritual care practitioners consider the whole human experience when someone is experiencing the crisis of illness and related suffering.
For many people, feeling connected to one’s spiritual source at such a time of upheaval and finding meaning and purpose gives them comfort. Each person’s need may take different forms, such as a patient’s anxiety over an upcoming major surgery or someone coming to terms with the news of a life-altering condition. For patients and families in the most challenging circumstances, the crisis may involve anticipatory grief at the prospect of a life-ending illness and facing death itself.
Spiritual care is available to acute care patients, care home residents, families and staff, irrespective of religious or spiritual affiliation. Professional spiritual care practitioners hold a master’s degree that includes extensive academic and clinical education that equips them to work in multi-faith environments. The provincial government recognizes the profession, which has provided an official framework to guide its practice in health authority governed facilities.
Access this service
Spiritual care practitioners visit most hospital units regularly and are available by referral to all units. Hospital staff may refer by telephone. Once the referral is made, the practitioner will follow up directly with the patient for their spiritual needs.
Spiritual care practitioners are available by referral to any Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) location.
Types of spiritual care services
Spiritual care practitioners visit most hospital units regularly and are available by referral to all units. Hospital staff may refer by telephone.
Professional education opportunities
Learn more about spiritual care professional education opportunities.
Philip Murray, MDiv (He, Him)
Administrative Assistant to Doug Longstaffe, Director
Vancouver General Hospital
Office: (604) 875-4151