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A day in the life of a Pastoral Coordinator

22 October 2018 Blog
Pastoral services
This week we are celebrating Pastoral Care Week, a globally recognised week that highlights the holistic, person centred care Pastoral Services provide to patients in hospitals, aged care and community settings around the world. We take a look at what a day in the life of a Pastoral Coordinator is like.


What does a typical day look like? 

I begin my day by checking for Pastoral Care referrals on the wards, which might have come in during the night shift and then I attend our 8.20am handover, where we hear about what is happening for patients, who’s coming and going etc.

I’m often listening out for those patients who might have been anxious or upset through the night, or for patients who have complex needs.

It helps the Pastoral Services team to focus our visiting for that day and to pick up any verbal referrals from the multidisciplinary team.

I then use this information to prepare the Pastoral Services list, where we prioritise our visits for the day.

My day is usually made up of a mixture of visiting, as well as attending our case conferences where the multidisciplinary team comes together to discuss the care of our patients.

Attending these allows me to both pick up more referrals and to also update the rest of the team on the work that Pastoral Services are doing in terms of supporting particular patients.

By the end of the day we complete our data-base and ensure that any information or referrals have been documented and handed over, ready to start again the next day. 

What does a Pastoral Coordinator do? 

Our aim is to provide every patient with an introductory visit. I feel this is important as you never actually know what is happening for someone until you ask the question.

It also ensures that all of our patients feel valued and affirmed.

I’ll usually be working with another Pastoral Practitioner who will spend most of their day doing one on one visits with patients and when needed with their family and friends on the wards.

As the Coordinator of the Pastoral Services team I will usually be working on a project of some kind, whether that is an upcoming religious service, reporting to our group manager of Pastoral Services or our Director of Mission Integration, or coming up with action plans to extend or evaluate our service provision here at Frankston.

As a team we provide spiritual and emotional support and importantly this is not limited to a traditional view of religion, although we do provide religious support where requested.

Our work is about affirming what gives meaning and purpose to our patients and gently supporting them as they explore their thoughts, feeling and emotions in regards to their journey towards recovery and help them make sense of this experience as part of their larger life story.

What do you enjoy about your job?

My favourite part of the day is visiting patients, I am always honoured and humbled to have them share their journey with me.

For me my work gives me a real sense of meaning in my life and every day is different. I find our patients so inspiring and I have learnt that everyone has a story to tell.

Lauren Porter - Pastoral Services Coordinator
Lauren Porter is the Pastoral Services Coordinator at St John of God Frankston Rehabilitation Hospital and works as part of the multidisciplinary team to provide emotional and spiritual support to patients and their families. Lauren has studied extensively in the areas of studies of religion, community services, pastoral ministry and counselling. She is particularly interested in the impact of disability, trauma and aging on spiritual growth and awareness. When not working Lauren nurtures her own spirituality by bush walking, singing in a choir and gardening.