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If you think the idea of volunteer "Prayer Warriors" to pray with patients might work at your hospital, take a page out of the book of Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, AR, first and set up some rules that volunteers need to follow in order to participate, says Sandy Rehak, patient satisfaction coordinator at the hospital.
Here’s a sample of the information Baxter Regional gives to volunteers before they can start; there’s a place for the volunteer’s and his or her supervisor’s signatures and the date.
1. Use good judgment in regard to the length of your visit. It is anticipated that these visits will range from 5-15 minutes. Do not stay longer unless the patient requests it, and you get approval from your supervisor.
2. Be respectful of the patient’s privacy and dignity. He or she may not want to discuss the details of his or her illness. Focus on the person, not on how he or she looks or what else may be going on in the room.
3. Consider everything you learn about patients, their family, and their illness to be strictly confidential. Do not divulge a patient’s name or situation to other staff members (unless special intervention is needed) or people outside of the hospital.
4. Follow patients’ lead in regard to how they want to pray, e.g. in silence, reading from the Bible, reciting standard prayers, ad lib prayers, etc. It is not appropriate to impose your preferred prayer style nor discuss your particular religious denomination with the patient.
5. Discuss your desire to be a Prayer Warrior with your supervisor in advance to ensure that you have permission to leave your work area when needed.
Signature of Volunteer/Date
Signature of Supervisor/Date