We provide emotional and spiritual support regardless of personal and cultural beliefs, religious background, or spiritual practices. Chaplains are available 24 hours a day.
A Healing Presence
We serve as a source of encouragement by praying and blessing you with the assurance of God’s healing presence. Often we explore questions of meaning and purpose with patients, families and staff as well as, provide any other sacramental ministry.
When facing matters of life or death
We give comfort and assistance in discerning important decisions regarding your treatment plan, future life-style change or discuss Advance Directives with you. During times of overwhelming change Chaplains also respond to needs for networking/referrals, education/support groups, bereavement and consultations.
The Our Lady of Providence Chapel is located on the first floor, near the main lobby. It is available for quiet reflection, meditation and prayer. Catholic Mass is celebrated daily at 11:30 a.m. and a Daybreak Mass is celebrated every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 6:15 a.m.
Providence Chaplains and staff provide services for patients’ spiritual, emotional and social needs including the use of prayer, counseling, crisis ministry, sacramental ministry and worship experiences. Chaplains also respond to needs for referrals, education/support groups and consultations.
Clinical Pastoral Education
Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) is practical, hands-on theological education for ministers or seminarians. CPE combines ministry with a curriculum designed to help CPE students meet the spiritual needs of those in their care.
No One Dies Alone (NODA)
NODA Service Vision
Dedicated to providing caring, bedside companionship for dying patients who are alone at the end of life.
Origin & History
NODA (No One Dies Alone) was founded in November 2002 by Sandra Clark, CCRN, at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene, Oregon. The NODA program has won several awards and has inspired hospitals around the U.S. and beyond to create similar programs.
Our Providence NODA program is modeled after that at Sacred Heart, becoming a totally volunteer-driven program. At PAMC in 2005 NODA was started within our new Palliative Care team. Today this service is managed by the Volunteer Services department and the volunteer team, consisting of both Providence employees and members of our community.
Scope of Service
Patients in need are identified by their health care team when death is expected within a few days and typically when no family or friends are nearby. A NODA vigil is then activated to provide a reassuring presence at the bedside of the dying patient for as long as needed.
The NODA Vigil Coordinator receives the initial call from the health care team of the patient which begins the NODA activation. The NODA Vigil Coordinator then activates volunteers on their list of NODA Compassionate Companions who come to the hospital to sit at bedside and give a reassuring presence at the end of life. A volunteer NODA Compassionate Companion will assist in comfort-care measures as requested by the patient and encouraged by the clinical staff, such as:
- Holding the patient’s hand
- Playing soothing music
- Reading to the patient
- Fluffing pillows
- Adjusting bed covers
- Being comfortable with silence
Child Life Program
A Child Life Specialist (CLS) is specially trained and certified to assist children of all ages and their families understand and cope with illness, injury, treatment, hospitalization and the overall health care experience free of charge. Child Life specialists work to provide a safe environment for children to ask questions and express their emotions. The services are designed to help children and their families become familiar with the hospital environment and reduce fears associated with a hospital stay or visit. Child Life uses play as a primary tool to reduce anxiety, teach, and promote development and coping.
The following are interventions offered by Child Life staff:
Children are often afraid of the unknown. Child life staff can provide age appropriate information and education that impacts the child while in the hospital. From what the rooms look like to how something sounds or feels. A new diagnosis can be frightening and confusing for parents and children. Child life assists the entire family in helping know what this means and how to deal with it.
If you see bubbles floating out of a patient room don’t be alarmed. A Child Life Specialist may be using distraction as a way to reduce the anxiety involved with an IV start or other medical procedure. Children of all ages often experience anxiety when faced with a medical procedure. Distraction and relaxation interventions can facilitate children coping with their hospital experience. Child Life staff meet the child and the family, and assess their understanding and previous experiences to figure out a plan to help reduce that anxiety.
Arriving at the hospital can be a scary experience for children. Seeing a play area or having a favorite toy brought into the room is a great way to reduce anxiety and increase comfort for a child. A Child Life Specialist provides developmentally appropriate play opportunities to children and their families. They also provide medical play; designed to provide a non-threatening environment for children to use medical equipment, desensitize to the normal tools used in the hospital and gain control back. Child Life uses therapeutic play as a way to help children work through their emotions around being in the hospital. Child Life also provides play opportunities in the activity room as a way to stimulate normal development and plain old fun!
Many families and children are curious about the surgery process. If your child is scheduled for surgery you can call the Child Life Department to learn more about the surgery process. The Child Life Specialist will show you around the surgery areas and explain expectations for the day of surgery from a child’s perspective. Children are given the opportunity to ask questions and explore materials/supplies that will be part of their surgery experience. This “show and tell” often reduces the anxiety around what will happen at the hospital. Please call 907-212-2817 to speak with our surgery specialist. Tours are only currently offered by appointment.
Building friendship bracelets with beads, creating picture frames, experimenting with blow pens, and coloring are just a few of the therapeutic activities provided by Child Life. Medical equipment is also used for art to help desensitize children to the things that are used in the hospital setting. The Child Life staff maintain an activity room for inpatients and families to utilize during their stay at The Children’s Hospital. Child Life Specialists can provide bedside activities for children during their stay. Art and craft activities are provided as a therapeutic tools for dealing with anxiety, emotional expression, and fun.
Children’s Hospital volunteers are an integral part of Child Life service delivery. Our volunteers visit from room to room providing a playmate for a child or sibling. You may find our volunteers reading stories, taking a walk with a patient, rocking a baby, cleaning toys and play areas, and helping out with special events. Child Life is happy to help families connect with a volunteer to help make their hospital stay smoother. To volunteer on pediatrics you must be 18 years of age and be able to commit to 4 hours per week for one year or 200 hours. If you are interested in volunteering on the Pediatrics please contact Volunteer Services at 907-212-3818.
Children’s Hospital welcomes donations of new items. Due to HIPAA regulations and for the safety of our patients and visitors our hospital does not allow donors to visit with patients or families. Please call 907-212-8228 to set up a time for a drop off with one of our staff or you may drop them off at the welcome desk anytime.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Sibling Assessment and Preparation
Please contact the NICU Child Life Specialist at 907-212-8216 to arrange a time for your child(ren) to visit your new baby in the NICU. Siblings will be provided opportunities to see, touch and learn on a doll about what they will see on your baby and how to interact with the new baby while at the hospital. Please leave a message with your baby’s last name and a number to reach you if we do not answer and we will return your call.
School at the Hospital
Children’s Hospital has it’s own teacher! Child Life works closely with our hospital based school teacher. School is so important to maintaining normalcy while in the hospital and as children go back home. To contact the teacher regarding school concerns, developmental referrals or if your child is going to be in the hospital more than 5 days, please contact her directly at 907-212-2503.
Pet Assisted Wellness Services (PAWS)
The Pet Assisted Wellness Services (PAWS) program, in alignment with the healing mission of Providence Health & Services, is to share the unique benefits of the human-animal bond with patients, visitors and staff.
“The human-animal bond is a unique, mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals; it has a major impact on the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals and the environment.” – American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee, 1998
In 1998, under the direction of PAWS founder Mary Troll, PAMC launched an animal assisted wellness pilot program offering “therapy dog” visits in The Children’s Hospital at Providence.
With the support of the hospital, Mary created the foundation for an enduring, standards-based animal assisted wellness program of great quality. After seven years of exploring compassionate canine connections “one heart, one paw print at a time,” PAMC established PAWS as an official program in 2006 with Mary serving as the program’s first full time coordinator.
Over the years, PAWS has grown from three pilot teams in one area of service to twenty-eight registered therapy dog teams regularly serving patients, visitors and staff throughout PAMC.
Why do we bring therapy dogs into a health care facility?
“Since the dawn of civilization, humans and animals have shared a powerful bond. Through the ages, this bond has been a source of solace and relief for those who suffer from physical or emotional pain.” – American Humane Association, 2014
Animals can create a sense of calmness in a complex environment, such as a hospital setting. Patients, visitors and family members often welcome the distraction away from anxious waiting or anticipated medical procedures. Animal assisted therapy engages dog/handler teams in goal directed therapy sessions supervised by expert clinicians. Often, blood pressure decreases and an individual’s sense of well-being increases when touching, talking to and hugging a dog during a simple social visit or activity.