This week I moved over the half way point in my unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. It has been an excellent learning opportunity throughout and I am looking forward to the ways that I will continue to learn about myself, others and interpersonal interactions.
Graduation is April 27.
95 days to go.
Today I am introducing what will become a regular part of my blog – Adventures in Ministry. There are all kinds of adventures that take place in ministry and from time to time, I am going to reflect on and share some of the more meaningful, wacky or inspirational adventures that I have had in my life in ministry.
This fall I have had several adventures being the on call chaplain overnight at Saint Luke’s Hospital as a part of my clinical pastoral education program. I am finished with overnight on call for 2008, but have five more in the spring before graduation. Part of this role is carrying a pager and responding if there is ever a trauma in the ER. This has sometimes involved a page while sleeping with the message that a patient will be arriving in three to five minutes, followed by me getting out of bed to the sirens of the ambulance arriving and making my way to the trauma room.
My main responsibility is to be a liason between any family, if present, and the medical team. Sometimes there is family, sometimes not. I am nearly always amazed at the teamwork of the trauma team working to address anything from a car wreck, stabbing, falling down stairs and others.
This has been a valuable part of my learning experience in CPE and helps put calls that I receive at other times and places in perspective.
I am currently taking Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Saint Luke’s Hospital. I have received a lot of questions about it and wanted to take the opportunity to respond here.
What is CPE?
I would first commend a great wikipedia entry on clinical pastoral education to get an idea of the overall program design. Here is my take – CPE is an opportunity to learn more about myself and how I operate in a group through self-reflection and awareness of my own emotions and emotional interactions in a group. This takes place with service as a hospital chaplain being the arena in which experiences are gained.
Why are you taking CPE?
I am taking it for two reasons. First, it is for me to be ordained in the Kansas West Conference (I am a probationary member of Kansas West, serving in Kansas East. If you are interested in more about that, just ask. If you don’t know what I am talking about – no worries.) Second, I believe that CPE offers a great opportunity to address a growing edge in my professional development – being aware of my own emotions, those of others and how that affects ministry.
What are the requirements?
I am a part of the extended unit which has the following requirements, as detailed at the website.
The extended unit is thirty weeks, 14 hours-per-week, from mid-September through mid-April. It is open to seminarians, clergy seeking continuing education, and qualified lay persons. Six hours are fixed for the formal teaching program, eight hours are flexible to fit the student’s individual schedule.
- Provide pastoral and spiritual care to patients as assigned.
- Share emergency call duty with staff and peers.
- Participate in all educational sessions including verbatims seminars, patient care conferences, covenant groups, didactic seminars, role play seminars, and individual supervision.
- Written requirements include: a learning agreement, verbatims, reflection reports, and a final evaluation.
The teaching program is class time on Monday afternoons and the eight hours is clinical time in the hospital visiting on the floor to which I have been assigned.
I have great flexibility at Resurrection to be able to fulfill the requirements for CPE, but have the same responsibilities at Resurrection during this time. It has been a really great experience so far and I am looking forward to continuing to learn about myself and improve my pastoral skills.
Just 190 days to go. But who’s counting? 😉
Yesterday was my first day of Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Luke’s Hospital (which in case you are wondering is affiliated with the Episcopal church). It was filled with safety videos, orientation, ID badges, cafeteria lunch and getting to know others on the spiritual wellness team. It is going to be a great experience and I am looking forward to learning a lot. Take home quote from the first day –
Never do for a patient or family what they can do for themselves — Marc Giedinghagen
Last week I interviewed for a clinical pastoral education position at St. Luke’s Hospital. One of the questions that I try to ask any interview team is this – What advice would you have for me (as a person in his second year of professional ministry)? I received the following responses from the interview team (summarized):
- Have you thought about a spiritual director?
- A CPE residency would have been invaluable before returning to the local church.
- Live a well balanced full life outside of ministry.
Each one of the interview team did not give direct advice to me, but instead reflected on their own experience of life.
In similar situations, do you most naturally give suggestions for other people, tell them what to do or reflect on your own life? Something else entirely?
Last week I interviewed for a clinical pastoral education position at St. Luke’s Hospital.
I felt as if I learned more about self-reflection in less than one hour than I may have learned in the past 1.5 years. I discovered that I have a clear tendency to start with my head, to understand, to comprehend, or to know things. I have a much lower tendency to interface with the way I am feeling about a situation.
Do you find that you react most naturally to situations by thinking or with emotions?
I just finished my interview for Clinical Pastoral Education at St. Luke’s Hospital. I am hoping to be a part of the extended unit that will begin in September and continue through May 2009.
It was a good experience – look for more posts about the interview next week…