Case Study

Pullman Regional Hospital's Volunteer Chaplains provides patients, family members, and hospital staff with positive spiritual care

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Volunteer Chaplains

Location: Pullman, Wash.

Quadruple Aim: Consideration of staff satisfaction

Total number of volunteers: 200

Number of beds: 25

Goal: The Volunteer Chaplaincy Program at Pullman Regional Hospital provides patients, family members, and hospital staff with positive spiritual care as an integral part of the health care team.

Summary of program: Seven days a week and 24 hours per day we have a chaplain on-call to come in at a moment’s notice when a patient or staff member is in need. Though the primary role of our chaplains is to make daily rounds visiting every patient on the medical/surgical & ICU floor, they also provide support to staff throughout the hospital. These volunteers are a listening ear, spiritual support and a calming presence.

Roles of the volunteers: Volunteer Chaplains rotate taking a week of on-call duty to provide support to patients and staff as needed.

Roles of staff: Our health care staff will offer the services of a chaplain when they see a need and will call the chaplain directly when requested or in emergency situations that they feel they could be of assistance.

Primary collaborators: Our chaplaincy team is staffed 100% by volunteers. We do not have a CPE trained chaplain on board, but look to community partners for support and education such as our local hospice chaplains and a larger local hospital, Providence Sacred Heart's chaplains.

Outcomes and benefits: This program benefits both patients and staff. In end of life situations our chaplains will sit with families giving our nursing staff time to stand back and reflect/regroup. We are in a small community so the likelihood of staff knowing the patients they are caring for is high. The staff has expressed that they are at peace knowing their patients are talking with the chaplains and are well taken care of while they take a much needed break. Our staff also benefit from talking with the chaplains while they are in-between visits. They have been described as refreshing and rejuvenating. Our patients and families greatly appreciate the extra care they receive with the chaplain visit and look forward to them visiting the following day. Each month our chaplain team provides approximately 40 hours of support to our patients and staff.

Future plans: Continue to recruit spiritual individuals that can provide comfort and support to patients and staff in a non-ecumenical manner.


Nikki Nolt

Volunteer Coordinator

(509) 336-7391