Hospice Chaplaincy During Covid
By Stuart Murdoch
As part of our series of posts highlighting the work of our Baptist Chaplains, we caught up with Stuart Murdoch, Chaplain at Strathcarron Hospice in Denny.
This last year has been difficult for everyone. The impact that COVID has had on us all has changed our behaviour and practices for the considerable future. As Chaplain to Strathcarron Hospice my role has grown and developed throughout ‘Lockdown’. My practices have certainly been impacted and changed. Wearing Medical Scrubs (Uniform) and PPE is now second nature giving an added level of protection and care to everyone. The intensity of the work has increased significantly as COVID has added a layer of complexity to all our lives.
On Christmas Eve there was an outbreak of COVID in the Hospice with many staff and patients affected. It was a really worrying time for everyone involved. There was an increased anxiety/fear about who would contract COVID next or not. Although we have come through this outbreak, we are now as a result regularly tested for COVID; which although is not a pleasant experience, it does bring a huge relief when you receive the results of the test. The support for staff during this time increased as they were feeling vulnerable and weary from the intensity of continuing to work in this environment and workload. Yet faithfully the staff quietly turned up for work and walk straight back into dealing with patients and their families. They are truly a remarkable and inspirational team to work with. Pray for me and the staff that we will be sustained and renewed in our spirit to continue the work that God has called us to here in Strathcarron Hospice.
Another element to my role is supporting the Hospice Community Nurses as they visit their patients at home. It is one thing to work on the ward but a different experience in the community in this current pandemic. Pray for us as we enter the community that we would be kept safe, and keep our patients and families safe, as we support them through these difficult times and through their Palliative Care journey.
As a Hospice, the Specialist Palliative Care we provide is vital. COVID has impacted and challenged us on how we continue to provide that level of care now and develop it into the future. Please pray that we would be open, wise, obedient and faithful to God’s guidance for the way ahead.