Spiritual assessment: a chaplain's perspective.
Every hospital and medical center is a dynamic, shifting terrain; each develops its own culture. Even within a single hospital system that is attempting to integrate a strong mission statement, providers routinely experience differences in culture between departments, floors and campuses! These differences are characterized largely by the quality of the past history of the organization combined with the human beings currently working together as staff. Even though the cultural sands are continually shifting, Chaplain Larry Austin's voice is clear, unburdened and practical. He identifies a problem of lack of collaboration between health care professionals of diverse disciplines, as well as a resultant lack of understanding and specificity of professional functions and concepts. These include the challenge of shared languages. While each of the powerful realities identified below offers readers the opportunity for further reflection and dialogue, his starting points for standards in spirituality in health care are symphonic; they stress the wisdom of collaboration between disciplines. Music to the integrative medicine ear!