Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi provides pastoral care for the religious, spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families in the face of a new diagnosis, dealing with the unknown and anticipation of death, grief and loss. At times, the hospital staff chaplains serve as facilitators of communication among patient, family, hospital staff and physicians. Chaplains are available provide compassionate care, comfort, and support through listening, prayer and scripture reading and to explore bioethical issues.
Baptist North Mississippi chaplains provide spiritual care, comfort and support for patients and families. They serve as resources in the crisis of hospitalization by helping families and patients find the strength to deal with natural fears, worries, doubts and questions which may arise in the face of illness.
Baptist North Mississippi full-time staff chaplains are required to have the following credentials:
- An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution.
- A Master of Divinity (91 hours) or equivalent from an accredited institution.
- 4 Units/1600 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education from an accredited institution.
- Be licensed and ordained Southern Baptist ministers.
- Practical church ministry experience (3+ years).
- Be eligible for denominational endorsement.
Pastoral Care for Patients and Families
The hospital staff chaplains are available to respond to requests for pastoral care from patients, family members, staff and/or physicians. We make daily visits to newly admitted patients, follow up promptly to referrals from the nursing staff for pastoral care consults and respond to all “Code Blue events” and deaths. We are committed to being consistent, available, and accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to respond promptly and efficiently with compassionate care, especially in times of crisis and at the time of death.
Chaplain-Provided Pastoral Care Services
- Compassionate care and comfort
- Prayer, Lord’s Supper, baptism
- Pastoral Care consults and assisting with tough decisions when patient/families are uncertain
- Follow up on nursing and physician referrals
- Crisis ministry (all “Code Blue” events)
- Grief facilitation, funeral and memorial services
- Devotional materials
- Contact local clergy (priest/rabbi) and family
- Resource person to facilitate ethical consultation
- Serve as patient advocate
- Assist in completing advance directives (living wills)
As a courtesy service, Baptist North Mississippi Pastoral Care and Education Departments offer information and consultation regarding advance directives (such as Living Wills, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPHC), and Health Care Directive). Our staff will explain the use of these documents, how they differ, and answer questions. Anyone may request this service—you need not be a patient or family member. Advance directive forms are free of charge to the public. Upon request by an individual, Baptist North Mississippi will keep a copy of advance directives in the patient record of anyone who has a medical record at this hospital.
Contacting the Pastoral Care Staff
Patients and their families may reach Baptist North Mississippi pastoral care services by dialing 662-232-8100 and the Hospital Operator/Security (Front Desk) will contact the Chaplain on-call for you.
Nursing House Supervisors, PBX Operators and Security have access to the monthly Chaplain on-call schedule with all appropriate phone numbers for reference. The pastoral care staff chaplains will respond 24/7 to your request for pastoral care services.
Volunteer Chaplains and On-call Coverage
Baptist North Mississippi patients and families are served around the clock by a full-time staff chaplain and at least 21 volunteer chaplains on-call after hours and on weekends. Volunteer chaplains, led by the staff chaplains, meet every month a meal, continuing education and training. Local clergy, who may wish to know more about the volunteer program, should contact the director Pastoral Care at 662-232-8177. Clergy need to be close enough to be able to reach the hospital within 20 minutes from leaving home.
Chapel Services and Special Worship Observances
Baptist North Mississippi provides weekly chapel services on Wednesday at 9:00 a.m. for patients, families and staff. The staff chaplains conduct these weekly prayer services, which usually last approximately 15-20 minutes.
Special Holiday/Worship Observances are coordinated by the Pastoral Care Staff Chaplains for the following:
- National Day of Prayer
- Patriot Day
The chapel is located across from the gift shop, on the first floor, and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for pray for prayer and meditation. All are welcome.
Baptist North Mississippi staff chaplains are available to hospital employees for emotional support, crisis intervention, and spiritual and religious consultation on a confidential basis. We lead staff devotionals and prayer times for departments as requested. The Director of Pastoral Care leads the senior leadership, department directors and managers in devotionals and prayers at their scheduled meetings.
Employee Emergency Assistance Program
The Director of Pastoral Care facilitates the Employee Emergency Assistance Program. This is an emergency assistance program funded by employees through the Baptist Foundation.
Employees who have been employed with Baptist North Mississippi at least 90 days or more are eligible to apply. Financial assistance is awarded in any amount up to the maximum of $500.00 for any individual employee who qualifies rolling 12 months . Applications may be obtained by contacting the Director of Pastoral Care. All applications are reviewed in prompt and timely manner on a case-by-case basis by a team of hospital representatives.
Funerals, Memorial Services and Wedding Ceremonies
The hospital staff chaplains are available, upon request, to conduct funeral services and wedding ceremonies.
Baptist North Mississippi has an Ethics Committee and Joint Commission Key Function Team on Patient Rights and Responsibilities. These committees seek to accomplish the following primary objectives:
- Educate itself, the hospital staff and physicians, and the community regarding the discipline of ethics as an essential tool for the practice of medical care in the complexities of today's healthcare.
- Be a consultant in development of hospital policies and procedures related to patient rights and ethics.
- Provide a multi-disciplinary forum for ethical case review.
Members of the Ethics Committee and Key Function Team on Ethics include physicians, nurses, social workers, patient representatives and administrative representatives. The Director of Pastoral Care serves as facilitator for each of these committees.
Family members, patients, hospital staff and physicians may request an ethics review. To institute an ethics review, please call the Ethics Hotline at 662-513-1000.
Baptist North Mississippi staff chaplains work closely with physicians as they work with patients and families. Staff Chaplains are also available for case consultation and spiritual care for physicians. Physicians interested in this opportunity may contact us.
Community Involvement and Ministry
Baptist North Mississippi staff chaplains serve as a resource for the community. We provide pulpit supply for local clergy as requested. We are available to provide intentional training to lay people, deacons and church staff members in pastoral care and hospital visitation. We relate to the Lafayette County Baptist Association and Oxford Ministerial Alliance. We can provide education and information to support groups on a variety of topics such as:
- Grief and loss
- Stress management
Continuing Education for Clergy
Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi, in affiliation with Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis and other Baptist regional hospitals' departments of pastoral care, sponsors educational opportunities Volunteer Chaplains and clergy. These seminars are intended to increase the pastoral competence at the intersection of ministry, spirituality and health.
Previous workshops include:
- "Applying Families Systems Theory in Ministry with Families in Crisis,"
- "Application of Family Systems Theory for Pastoral Leadership," and
- "Hope in Pastoral Care.”
Additionally, chaplains are available to clergy for consultation regarding specific issues in pastoral care. To make an appointment for a consultation please contact us at 662-232-8177.