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Education of Chaplains in Psycho-Oncology 

Education of Chaplains in Psycho-Oncology
Education of Chaplains in Psycho-Oncology
Psycho-Oncology (3 ed.)

Stephen D. W. King

, George Fitchett

, and Anne Vandenhoeck


Education of chaplains in psycho-oncology is intensive, extensive, and progressive. In the United States, clinically and academically trained chaplains began in the 1920s. Since then, certification standards, a code of ethics, and standards of practice have been developed as part of the professionalization of healthcare chaplains. As spiritual care specialists within multidisciplinary teams, chaplains’ primary work is with cancer patients and families, addressing broader spiritual, religious, emotional, and existential concerns. Further, chaplains provide care to staff and contribute to the ethos of care within the organization. Chaplaincy care in oncology, hospice, and palliative care is similar to general healthcare chaplaincy but may include more long-term relationships, attention to age-specific issues, and outpatient contexts. In the United States and Europe, chaplaincy has begun focusing more attention on evidence-based care and on understanding and conducting research. Chaplaincy care needs to be further integrated into psycho-oncology services in patient-centered care.

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