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Jul 9, 2021

In the second episode of our hospice chaplain series, we’re talking about the Initial Spiritual Assessment, why it’s necessary, and what it includes. Mandated by Medicare, the Initial Spiritual Assessment is completed within 5 days of a patient’s admission to hospice.  There’s a lot of information to collect, including details about belief systems, faith, and whether the patient wants to include any clergy person from the community.  If the patient doesn’t subscribe to an organized religion, there’s still a lot for the chaplain, or spiritual counselor, to talk about.  Because the chaplain is also there to support the caregiver, there should be discussion of any spiritual needs the caregiver might have, especially if those needs are different from the needs of the patient.  It takes to complete the Initial Spiritual Assessment but it’s only done on admission.  The follow up visits from the chaplain require much less time. Every piece of information the patient and caregiver shares enables the spiritual counselor to offer better individualized care.  If you need more information about end of life care, you can find support at  You’ll find more podcasts where we discuss advance care planning, hospice philosophy, and how an end of life care team works on The Heart of Hospice “Listen” page.  We never forget - your journey matters.  No matter who you are, or where you are in your hospice journey, you are The Heart of Hospice.