Minister of Health Dr. the Hon. Duane Sands said over the years, Pastoral CareGivers are not limited to experience training in only the local hospitals, namely Princess Margaret Hospital and Sandilands Rehabilitation Centre, the Simpson Penn Centre for Boys, the Willamae Pratt Centre for Girls and the All Saints Camp, but clinical sites also include Her Majesty’s Prison Services and even some public schools. “For this accomplishment of persistent progress over the years, I thank you Pastoral Care Givers and challenge you to stay the course,” the Health Minister said during the during the Clinical Pastoral Education 7th Commencement Exercise at Government House, Tuesday, January 16, 2018.
He told the graduates that they have been bestowed with a tremendous responsibility. “You will be looked upon as persons occupying a position of reverence and responsibility. “Indeed, it is expected that you will bring about change in the lives of everyone you happen to come in contact with. Your rigorous training, which would have included copious hours sharing written case studies, verbatim reports, and ward rounds in partnership with our healthcare professionals, has qualified you to be of many services to those in need.” “However, in my experience, the real success of your interactions with others will lie in the quality of the experience you give to those you come into contact with.”
Dr. Sands noted that while the role of Pastoral CareGivers is often not considered when discussing health professions, it is important to recognize that they, in fact, represent a vital “pillar of strength” trained to keep all of the patients, staff and the public, balanced. “You are our first responders in the face of emotional and spiritual crisis. You are advocates for the religious freedoms, and human rights of marginalized; the voiceless and the poor even in the regimented and high-pressure institutional environments of our public hospitals. Yours is an important role that improves the care patients receive, and this means that we are all Partners Together in the Delivery of Healthcare.”
He added, “As you assume your role as Pastoral Care Givers within the Public Hospitals Authority at its various institutions, it is expected that you are compassionate, sympathetic and sensitive to the internal cry of our patients and staff. Honour your assignments to the various institutions you are attached to; step-up to the plate to meet the demands that await you. Graduates, you must always be ready and willing to serve.”