Our view: BSA spiritual care team among local heroes on front lines of virus battle – Amarillo.com

AGN Media Editorial Board

This time of social distancing doesnt mean emotional distancing. One of the many impacts of the coronavirus has been the necessity of separation, and this has, for many, amplified feelings of loneliness and isolation.

It has become especially true in hospitals. In the face of COVID-19, health care professionals have observed numerous precautions in their efforts to keep patients safe. A side effect of this has been the separation of loved ones from an ill family member.

Having a loved one hospitalized is already traumatic enough, but being unable to visit that person can heighten feelings of anxiety and stress at a time when people already have little control over the situation.

Among those working to fill the void are members of the spiritual care team at Baptist St. Anthonys Health System. They are providing powerful and meaningful ministry to not only patients and family members, but also to staff members, regardless of religious denomination.

Just being there as someone who can help them kind of sort through the emotions and feelings and find some closure in that decision making and help find their source of strength is really what we do in those times, Tami Carroll, the director of spiritual care at BSA Health System, said in our story.

Their job has been rendered more difficult by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and precautions that emphasize keeping away from others and avoiding physical contact with them. Despite that, members of the spiritual care team provide support through telephone calls and FaceTime, meaning they may not always be physically present, but they are with them nonetheless.

It requires strong communication skills and a relentless commitment to relationship building. Those involved in providing spiritual and emotional care are doing their own type of healing work within the walls of the hospital. They, too, should be counted among the many community heroes making a difference day in and day out.

Through their work, those involved in spiritual care remind patients, family members and staff that regardless of what might be going on in the world or in their lives, God has not forgotten them.

It is impossible to quantify what that means to many.

You have to really find ways to communicate in a meaningful way with that separation physically. I know that patients who are here without family members, sometimes it just takes stopping in for five minutes and asking them how they are doing, Carroll said. They are just so thankful that somebody is coming to see them.

Their efforts are a reminder that what they see as small acts of kindness loom large in the eyes of those dealing with health challenges whether that is a patient or health care provider. By and large, people crave relationships and community with others. When they are deprived, for whatever reason, of the human touch, it takes a toll.

We salute members of the BSA spiritual care team as well as those across the city and area providing pastoral care in the face of the COVID-19 crisis. This work is done with no expectation of recognition, but it is, truly, essential these days. They affirm a comforting truth: no one is ever really alone.

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Our view: BSA spiritual care team among local heroes on front lines of virus battle - Amarillo.com

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