Doctors Discuss Religion Preferences Upon Scheduling

Augusta, GA (WJBF) – Local Doctors and Chaplains at Doctors Hospitals say this information could be vital the next time you come in for an appointment.

When scheduling your doctors appointment, you may have heard questions like this.. “Can I get your first and last name? And even this.. “and your address please?” But what about this? “What is your religious preference?”

“That pretty much happens at the time of admission they will ask them what their religious preference and which means denomination are you Baptist are you Methodist.. well part of my field is that I am trained to minister all steps of life,” said Dr. Pauline Hughes, Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

Emergency facilities like Doctors Hospital say it a way the communicate appropriately with patients.

“Their maybe certain religious preferences or spiritual desires depending on the age and stage of life, remember we deal with everything from children before they are born and newborn babies all the way to people at the other end of life,” said Dr. Mark Newton, Medical Director at ER Department of Doctors Hospital.

Doctors say it’s all about making sure the patient’s wishes are followed, and that they are getting the best medical care possible.

“And chaplains work really well with us, they’re a great resource for us so that we can respect the patient and the families spiritual preferences or desires or beliefs but at the same time we can kinda know how to talk to them, how to comfort them,” said Dr. Mark Newton, Medical Director at ER Department of Doctors Hospital.

“What I do in ministry care, I provide spiritual and emotional support for each client that comes here my main objective is the each patient at their point of need.. whatever that need maybe,” said Dr. Pauline Hughes, Chaplin at Doctors Hospital.

Chaplains and doctors say it’s always best to let them know your religious preference early in your treatment.

“If we don’t get the communication right and we aren’t able to show compassion to fellow human beings, then we’ve just not done what we should do so I’m really glad we put a lot of emphasis to be able to communicate well to use both chaplains and all the resources that we have so we can communicate what we’re really trying to do scientifically and medically but also humanly,” said Dr. Mark Newton, Medical Director at ER Department of Doctors Hospital.

Again– we want to stress that it is a recommendation not a guideline, because it varies from state to state based on what your hospital is doing.

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