Offering twice daily prayers over the hospitals' overhead paging system has long been a part of the daily routine for the approximately dozen chaplains who serve at Ascension VIa Christi's Wichita hospitals.
They offer a moment of love and hope to the patients and families receiving care as well as those providing that care.
Sensing a need for additional support, the chaplains at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis have for the past several months gone to the COVID-19 units twice a day to pray with associates and provide a caring presence.
"We're just looking at various ways we can acknowledge and be sensitive to the needs of associates' minds, bodies and spirits," says Chaplain Cecil Lilliston, who has served in the Spiritual Care department for almost 28 years.
Jennifer Rogers, nurse manager for the COVID-19 medical-surgical unit, says the pause for prayer during the daily staff huddles provides a much-needed lift.
"It's a reprieve for the team, who are all going above and beyond to care for patients," says Rogers. "They really appreciate having the spiritual support."
Jenifer Phelps, nurse manager for the COVID-19 ICU, says it is time well spent.
"It helps us center ourselves before we go into the unit," says Phelps. "That's important."
Chaplain Ron Stewart, who serves as director of Spiritual Care for Ascension Via Christi's Kansas hospitals, agrees.
"The nurses empty their own cups as they care for others," says Stewart. "It's important that we spend the time helping them refill their spiritual cup by listening to their stories and joining them in prayer."