Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) programs are designed to allow ministers, seminarians and other religiously-oriented persons to develop counseling skills, familiarity with a particular pastoral setting (a hospital, in this case) and self-awareness as pastoral care-givers.
In the CPE program at Frederick Memorial Hospital, students provide direct pastoral care and use their experiences for reflection and learning.
But don’t take my word for it.
Kaity Krompasick just completed her CPE internship with FMH:
“The CPE internship has been an equally challenging and rewarding experience. I felt supported and affirmed throughout the entire process, as my peers and I questioned, experienced and grew. Every patient connection is seen as a potential for growth and teaching. I have come out of my first CPE unit feeling accomplished and hungry for more.
“This experience has been life-changing for me both professionally and personally. As I learned the methods of pastoral conversations, my personal relationships were strengthened. I’m continuing to learn how to truly be present with a person while listening beyond their words and into their heart. I have seen the CPE lessons transcend outside the walls of the hospital and into every area of life. I highly recommend this program.”
Babett Horn is also a recent program graduate:
“I am a 47 year old wife and mom. My career background was in education as a Pre-K teacher.
“Last year my life came to a semi-halt when my teen daughter gave birth 2 months early to my first granddaughter. Violette Marie was born 4.5 lbs with some medical challenges. She spent three weeks in the FMH NICU. I’m sure I don’t have to detail the amount of stress this experience brought to my 17-year-old daughter and our whole family.
“During her stay in the NICU we had the opportunity to meet Chaplain Julie. She made rounds one morning and the way she spoke so genuinely and respectfully to my daughter while asking caring questions about Violette left an impression on me.
“Once Vi was released from NICU I searched the chaplain program at FMH and filled out the application for the Clinical Pastoral Education program. In April of 2012, after a three person interview, I began a whole new journey. I had been assigned to Hospice of Frederick County.
“CPE was nothing like I thought it would be. Having some lay training in a Christian organization I was prepared for more classroom study. However CPE is hands-on right from the start! It involved the new chaplains from day one. By the first week I was visiting Hospice patients and having to introduce myself to complete strangers. Yes, this was unnerving, and a bit scary. I wished for it to be made easier. Yet, this allowed me to own the title of Chaplain and to enter into the journey with the patient. after all, they became a patient suddenly, so why shouldn’t I experience that as well?
“The class days were extremely beneficial. I recieved input from my peers (other chaplain interns) and from supervisors also. Writing verbatims let me see in retrospect the conversations between me and the patient, and to redirect a conversation to allow the patient to express the story they want to tell. Being a Hospice chaplain I realized I was going in and saying goodbye, so their story was very important!
“The instruction I received pertaining to allowing the patient to open up and communicate with me has over flowed into all my relationships. I believe that because of CPE I now am a better listener. I hear the story in the life of those I speak with. I have learned to even greater value people and where they have been in their lives. I know that this Fifteen week experience has changed my life for ever. The patients have added depth to my soul. I saw areas in my own life that needed adjusting and it gave me a richer life for it.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I change lives. I reach people. That is a wonderful sense of purpose at the end of a demanding day.”
If you’re interested in learning more about the FMH Clinical Pastoral Education Program, please call 240-566-3607.