Offering care and support

0938 SJOG 067A stay in hospital can sometimes be fraught with anxiety and stress, loneliness and fear of the unknown.
Murdoch Hospital’s Pastoral Services team is available to help allay these fears and help give strength to patients in their time of need and vulnerability.
Pastoral Services Manager Jenni Ashton says her team is always quietly there for patients and their families who find themselves in need of some support at a difficult time.

“Our team consists of professionally trained Pastoral Practitioners who come from a variety of backgrounds, including nursing, teaching, counselling, and administration. These Practitioners spend time listening and reflecting with patients in a way that helps them find a clearer pathway through their present experience. They also support patients with specific religious or cultural needs.”

“We believe in honouring each person’s spirituality, by offering them care and compassion that doesn’t make demands, or hold great expectations, or come with conditions.”

Pastoral Practitioners offer support in the midst of a patient’s journey in life – whether that be recovery from illness, celebrating new life, adjusting to disability or saying goodbye.

If you would like to speak to one of the Pastoral Services team, please phone 9366 1196 or talk to one of your caregivers.

Mrs Jones is scared and anxious. She is waiting for test results that she already knows are not going to be good. Her husband died a year ago and her children live interstate. Although Mrs Jones has many friends, she feels all alone at this moment.

Her Pastoral Practitioner, Lorraine, wanders quietly into her room and asks how she is. Sensing all is not well, Lorraine pulls up a chair and listens. As she allows Mrs Jones story of confusion and despair to unfold, Lorraine gently holds her hand. Lorraine does not offer advice or easy platitudes, but a depth of understanding and respect that conveys the kind of soulful hospitality Mrs Jones needs now.

As Mrs Jones is supported and nurtured, she finds herself sitting up a bit straighter in the bed. Mrs Jones begins to feel a seed of hope, maybe even courage, that perhaps it might not be so bad after all.

Mr Smith’s family has kept vigil by his bedside for the past four weeks. Plagued by ill health and disability, the past 10 years have been traumatic for Mr Smith and his family. His family is tired, confused, and desperate for Mr Smith to be at peace, yet reluctant to let go.

Peter, their Pastoral Practitioner, has been visiting them for weeks now. They trust him and look to him for support and understanding. They are amazed at how often he just drops by when they most need to talk to someone. Sometimes they talk about the footy. Sometimes they talk about Dad and his stubborn ways. Sometimes they talk about their fear and uncertainty.

They feel comfortable with Peter’s unobtrusive presence. He has never forced himself into their family; rather he is just there, so that now they can’t imagine Peter not being with them. Sometimes, just knowing Peter is around is the difference between strength and weakness, hope and despair, coping or not.

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