A Case Study on Clinical Pastoral Education

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CLINICAL PASTORAL EDUCATION
A CASE STUDY OF “AMBER BILL”
A PATIENT AT ST. PAUL’S HOSPITAL IN SASKATOON
BY PATRICK AMPANI

CASE STUDY ROAD MAP

A. INTRODUCTION AND THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY

B. PATIENT’S BACKGROUND INFORMATION

C. FIRST ENCOUNTER (VERBATIM)

D. PRELIMINARY REFLECTION
a. my initial reaction
b. main issues
c. my plan of action
d. psychological theory at work
e. spiritual assessment
f. theological reflection

E. SECOND ENCOUNTER (followed by preliminary reflection including session a-f)

F. THIRD ENCOUNTER (followed by preliminary reflection including session a-f)

G. CONCLUSION

A. INTRODUCTION AND THEOLOGY OF MINISTRY:

St. Paul’s Hospital is an acute health care facility offering a comprehensive range of services to residents of Saskatoon and its environs. Inspired by the example of the Grey Nuns, who, in their shared faith in God, revealed the goodness and love of God, the creator of all people by way of honoring the mystery of life, respecting the dignity, worth, and uniqueness of all people, the hospital continues to provide health care with understanding and compassion, valuing the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of patients and families, and responding creatively to the urgent needs of the community.

In Collaboration with the health care institution, I exercise my duties as a chaplain, observing the norms and values adhered in the hospital. Operating in the context of my ministry as a spiritual care-giver, I see myself as a servant care giver who listens to and supports the sick, the elderly, the disabled, and their families.

The act of care giving is ‘time giving’. We are created in time to live in mutual dependence with a sense of solidarity to one another. Since we all share the same human frailty we all need the support and encouragement of one another. My role therefore is to make myself available with passion as a companion to listen and support, not because I have the answers to the anguish or questions, but my presence offers the patients the opportunity to outpour their anguish and concerns, thereby gaining some spiritual and emotional relief in their individual and collective pilgrimage in the world.

B. PATIENT’S BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

The patient in question for this case study is named Amber. She was 81 years old and was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The cancer disease had taken the better part of her internal organs that she only had a few days to live. This sad news was a hard pill to swallow for the patient and her family. There was the usual initial denial, and they had been struggling for weeks to accept the bitter reality, hence that seemed elusive to them. There were desperations and anxieties in this very difficult and helpless situation. However, both the patient and the family were open to any support system from all fields of life.

Amber, at the time of my visit, was lying on her sick bed with her two daughters, each sitting on either side of her bed. She was being dripped and a wet towel was placed on her forehead. There were some get-well cards from both family and friends, pinned on the wall along side the family pictures with some decorative flowers, pasted strategically, so that Amber could see. She had a beautiful rosary on her neck and a crucifix in her hands, the one given her at the funeral of her husband. She held it so close to her heart as she looked at the family pictures intently. Both Amber and her children were looking at each other in absolute silence.

The 81 year old lady originally came from Ontario. Her parents migrated from Poland to Canada shortly after their marriage and made Canada a home. Amber had four siblings who preceded her. She was brought up as a Roman Catholic and got married to a Roman Catholic, thereby raised their family in the Catholic faith in Ontario. In their marriage, God blessed them with three children: a boy, Jim, and two girls Kate and...
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