The Interdisciplinary Nature of Pastoral Care Practice in Estonia:
Reflections on interdisciplinarity in pastoral care practice and pastoral counsellor’s or chaplain’s co-operation with other professionals in Estonian health care institutions
Paper presented at the 13th Consulttion of ENHCC at Salzburgh 2014
Estonia , pastoral care, Interdisciplinary, cooperation, health care professionals, palliative care. oncology
This paper aims to be at least some help in realizing the need of the interdisciplinary approach in pastoral care practice in our health care institutions, for understanding the interdisciplinary nature of pastoral care practice in Estonia and finally for drawing some conclusions of the current situation thus opening also some perspectives for the future.
At first some reflections on theoretical background will be given to open the subject in the general questions that are relevant also in Estonian pastoral care context. Theoretical background is followed by the reflections on interdisciplinarity in pastoral care practice and pastoral counsellor’s or chaplain’s co-operation with other professionals in Estonian health care institutions. These reflections are based on my personal experience in pastoral care practice (in hematology-oncology clinic of Tartu University Hospital) and as a former social worker in the oncology clinic and in the palliative care of North-Estonian Regional Hospital (PERH). Since I left PERH to continue my studies, palliative care in PERH took undoubtedly long steps forward. Being interested in PERH’s recent developments in psycho-social support in palliative care, I interviewed their current specialists in my study-field – a social worker and a chaplain. In addition to my own practice in hematology-oncology clinic of Tartu University Hospital I interviewed one of their palliative care doctors taking part also in psycho-social support of the patients. She sheds some light also to a medical professionals’ (doctors, nurses) understanding of pastoral care and of co-operation with a pastoral counsellor or a chaplain. As mentioned before, the stress here lies on the intersections of pastoral care and the other professions in a health care institution.
For some delicacy of the matter no comparisons between the two institutions will be made in this paper. The importance lies in such qualitative contents of the received information that both through the eyes of the professionals and on theoretical background could be seen as useful for developing more integrated health care in Estonia.
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