Friday, May 13, 2011

You're A WHAT?!?

Sit down, everybody, and try not to react out loud.     Any outbursts and I'll have to clear the room. 

I got a job.     A part-time job.    And I know it's not the kind of job you expected, because it most definitely is not the kind of job that I expected.

I was hired to be a Hospice Chaplain.


I know. It scares me, too. One of the worst things about the job (aside from the computer system) is the title. I will be working with people of different faiths, and some who are not “churched” at all. I asked them if I could be called something like Truth Seeker, or Fellow Travelor, but no dice. Insurance codes, you know. Turns out that I am a “chaplain” because of my degree. Without it, I would be a “spiritual advisor.” Those seem to be the two options that are available – what do you think? If you are not Christian, which is less offensive? If you ARE, which would you prefer?

Anyone who knows all about the history of my relationship with religion[s] and spirituality would realize -- oh, wait, there isn't anyone who knows all about that.     But the thing is, I have the credentials (M.A. pastoral ministry), I used to love this kind of work (which I cannot say about the law), and it was offered to me after I planted my intention with the Universe (by whatever name you know it) to do something useful so it seemed like it would be ungrateful to turn it down.

After my first week I can tell you this:  The one patient I have been assigned so far is a joy and an inspiration.    But the medical charting system, the details of the paperwork, and the calendar full of programs and training sessions that fall within my department are daunting.   I am exhausted.   Seriously.

Welcome back to the world of work.    Wish me well.    Advice is welcome.


Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Congrats on the new job. Regardless of the title they have given you, the position you have accepted is an important one. Not just anyone would be able to do that job. Best wishes for you in your admirable new endeavor.

Snowbird said...

Hey, welcome to the world of the employed. Sounds like you will be very busy.

The Farmer Files said...

Congratulations. Ok I wasn't too shocked about you getting a job, but Hospice Chaplain...wooo wee. That is a JOB. I have so much respect for those who do hospice care, and love it. My SIL was blessed by the most amazing staff.

I don't associate chaplain with Christianity, per se. It is one of those terms that has evolved. I am a Christian and totally not offended. This makes me smile. I imagine it is something like teaching was for me. I learned just as much from my students and parents as much as they learned from me. I cannot wait to hear all about your journey, because you are a Fellow Travelor and Truth Seeker. ;)

Niky Sayers said...

Massive Congratulations on the job, I'm not a christian and don't think either titles are offensive in any way, tho spiritual advisor seems more approachable and is alot clearer than chaplain.
Shame you could not choose I think the job title Fellow Travelor is a much better one!

sue in mexico mo said...


Shellbelle said...

I have a friend who is professor at a local college, she teaches Ethics and World Religions. She worked as a Hospice Chaplain for over a year and loved it. She has always told me that she doesn't consider herself to be particularly religious, but to be very spiritual.

Enjoy that aspect of your new job and the rest will follow.