A spiritual care practitioner stands in portrait.

Introducing… a spiritual care practitioner

Danielle Slump is a spiritual care practitioner at Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) working primarily at Hamilton General Hospital. She has been with HHS for one year.

What do you do?

I provide spiritually integrated psychotherapy to our patients, families and staff. This could mean helping someone through a life-altering illness as they try to find meaning and purpose in life. I can also offer a ritual or prayer at the end of life stage, and sometimes I support staff through moral distress.

Why do you choose to work at HHS?

I have lived in Hamilton since university and have fallen in love with this city. I feel privileged to work in the community I live, supporting individuals and families going through some of the darkest times in their life.

I listen to stories from patients and families about illness, hospitalization and hope.

Who inspires you?

My colleagues inspire me the most. I regularly see staff gently explain to patients and families, in plain language, about what is happening to them.

I often see how they respond to the complex medical needs of patients, while juggling other pressures that arise.

Part of what I do is listen to stories from patients and families about illness, hospitalization and hope. It’s incredible to hear about the ways that we, as a hospital community, not only care for the physical needs of our patients but their emotional, psychological and spiritual needs as well.

I feel honoured to work alongside such compassionate people.

I have lived in Hamilton since university and have fallen in love with this city.

What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about your role?

It may surprise some people that though our department is quite small, we have staff at every HHS site and we provide on-call emergency spiritual support.

As spiritual care practitioners or chaplains, we are not only certified through the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care but are also registered psychotherapists through the College of Registered Psychotherapists in Ontario.