Amara Nwosu


Handbook of Patients’ Spiritual and Cultural Values for Health Care Professionals

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Source: eHospice


HealthCare Chaplaincy has announced the publication of the new, expanded edition of the free “Handbook of Patients’ Spiritual and Cultural Values for Health Care Professionals.”

Cultural and spiritual sensitivity contributes to patient-centered care and, in the United States, helps meet Joint Commission requirements.

Cultural and spiritual sensitivity requires knowing what those values, beliefs, practices, and traditions entail.

That is why a number of years ago HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York introduced its first Handbook (or Dictionary) of Patients’ Spiritual and Cultural Values for Health Care Professionals and made it available for no charge on its website.

Sandra Stimson, executive director of the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, said: “The handbook is a guide that should be on the desk of every person who is working with patients – including chaplains, physicians, nurses, activity professionals, volunteer coordinators, recreation therapists, dieticians, dietary managers, social  workers, admissions staff, discharge planners, administrators, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, nursing assistants, etc.”

The handbook, currently 89 pages long, is updated periodically when HealthCare Chaplaincy obtains new or revised information from specialists in a given area. This new edition adds content on three areas not covered before – Africa, Asia, and Hawaii and standardizes the categories.Download it as PDF file.

HealthCare Chaplaincy encourages the use of this free handbook by health care professionals, and requests, when distributing it, credit as follows: “This content is used with the permission of HealthCare Chaplaincy in New York, the leading multifaith organization for the integration of spiritual care within health care and palliative care through research, professional education and clinical practice.” Learn more on the HealthCare Chaplaincy website.

HealthCare Chaplaincy welcomes new contributions for content and feedback on the handbook’s value for one’s organization. Please send those to the Reverend George Handzo.

Credit for the new content on Africa, Asia, and Hawaii goes to:

  • Stefanie Mercado Altman, a senior at Ithaca College majoring in medical and cultural anthropology and minoring in writing
  • Kanoelani Davis, Cultural Health Navigator Manager at the Molokai Community Health Center.

Additional cultural sensitivity resources are available on HealthCare Chaplaincy’s website, including “Cultural & Spiritual Sensitivity – A Learning Module for Health Care Professionals” along with links to materials from the Joint Commission, City of Hope Pain & Palliative Care Resource Centre, and the Association of Professional Chaplains.


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