Brian Conley, Spiritual Care Services
Since 2010, the Spiritual Care Services department — formerly known as Chaplaincy — has hosted hundreds of “Tea for the Soul” events, in which chaplains serve tea, cookies, fresh fruit, and other treats to staff members as a way of showing gratitude for exceptional service or relieving stress following a difficult time.
Serving the tea, rather than staff making their own, is an important element of the program. “There is a sense of luxury that comes with the tradition of High Tea,” said chaplain Monique Cerundolo.
Mary Pennington, MS, RN, nursing director for 10CD and 12B, worked with Spiritual Care Services to offer the program to her staff. “It was a really meaningful experience,” she said.
During Tea for the Soul, chaplains may provide supportive resources such as inspirational readings or resource materials. They may invite staff members to discuss memories of a patient who has passed away or engage them in a quiet social conversation.
Chaplains and staff work together to plan an event that addresses the specific needs of staff. This collaborative decision-making is an important element in making the time reflective.
“Care for the emotional and spiritual well-being of the staff is part of our mission in the hospital,” said Kathy Gallivan, SNDdeN, PhD, director of Spiritual Care Services. “We created the program to provide a brief break during which staff can relax and feel cared for after a particularly stressful time or to show our gratitude for their good work.”
Added Pennington: “The program helped us not only relieve stress but improve our practice. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not yet participated.”
Contact Spiritual Care Services at 2-7480 or speak to the chaplain assigned to your patient care area to arrange a Tea for the Soul for you and your colleagues.