Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Sliding and Nipping

I'm stuck today between indignation and being glad to not have to do extra work.

One of my elderly patients died yesterday. She was a resident of this sad little nursing home with an Activities Director who tells anyone who will listen how awful it is that our hospice has a woman chaplain. She says, "It's not in the Bible and it's wrong!" I'm usually just happy to ignore the ranting of such people. There's nothing that I can say or do to change her mind and I'm certainly not going to stop doing what I'm doing because of anything she says.

Well, this afternoon one of my fellow chaplains, a guy, comes into my office and asks, "Was Mrs. H. your patient? Because the Activities Director at sad little nursing home just called and asked me to do her memorial service at the nursing home next week. Just thought I'd let you know. "

Huh.

My colleague never visited this woman or her family and I only did a couple of times since I've been with hospice. I talked with a family member of the deceased an hour or so later and she mentioned that they had asked the facility to coordinate with us in doing a service. I didn't get the vibe that they didn't want me involved, but that they were grief-stricken and wanted someone else to take care of arrangements.

I don't feel any special attachment to this woman, though I'm sure she was a fine person. I'm not chomping at the bit to do this service, but I wonder if I'd be doing the right thing to just let it slide. First of all, I can't let this Activities Director think that she can get in the way of my doing my job at this facility. I am the only chaplain who sees our hospice's patients at this facility. Second, I wonder if I need to say something to my colleague. Something just doesn't sit right with me about him agreeing to do a service for one of my patients.

Please tell me: am I feeling weird about this for no good reason? I don't want to be territorial, but I also don't want to let this slide when (to mix my metaphors) this is something that should be nipped in the bud.

To let slide, or to nip?......that is the question.

14 comments:

Linda said...

You're not being territorial. Your colleague should know better. I wouldn't let it rest. It's common decency on a multi-chaplain staff to honor your colleague's relationship with the patient and her/his family!

more cows than people said...

yikes. you're not being territorial- i agree. i think a conversation with the colleague is in order and maybe even co-officiating with him. could that be arranged for the sake of precedent setting with the narrow minded activities director you'll no doubt have to deal with in the future?

sheesh. grr. ick.

Songbird said...

I agree with Linda and more cows. Clarify this with your supervisor (or whoever is the right person) and make sure it doesn't happen again. Your colleague needs to refer the Activities Director to you when it's a patient there.

Singing Owl said...

Nope, do not let it slide. I'm with everyone else here. An activities director at a nursing should be professional enough (ahem) to shut up about her personal opinions. Who asked?

Talk with supervisor, yes indeed. Nicely. :-) And, belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Alex said...

Ah, crap. I've (unfortunately) been in this exact situation. No advice because you know what to do. Sucks though...

Serena said...

Geez! So sorry!

I so agree. Nip it. Talk to supervisor and colleague. And, I think co-officiating is a very good idea.

Mrs. M said...

Good grief. You've already gotten good advice, so I'll just give you my sympathy.

revhipchick said...

what a crappy ass day!

you have some great advice here. many hugs to you!

Towanda said...

good advice here...peace to you as you follow up...

Rev Kim said...

You're not being territorial. I echo what everyone has already said. Praying for you as you do what needs to be done.

So sorry...

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

since "slapping" wasn't included in the options... i'd say "nip" definitely!

Patti said...

Nip. I'm not a pastor, but I do know professionals NEED to follow protocol.

Iris said...

Thanks you all! I have made arrangements for us to co-officiated the service and I am giving what my colleague calls the "message." I hope the act. director's head doesn't explode!

Also, I nicely stated that he needs to refer persons to me when it concerns one of my patients. In the CPE, we'd call this self-defining, no?

revhipchick said...

way to go iris! hooray! good job!