Merrick Lopez, Pediatric Critical Care Fellow, LLU
Residency candidates might be concerned about what it will be like to work here when they hear that we don’t offer meat or caffeine in the cafeteria and things shut down on Saturday. But although it is a Seventh-day Adventist institution, many various other faiths are represented, and people here are careful not to discriminate against any religious group. It is a world class hospital that is open to staff and patients expressing and practicing their own spirituality.
Some of my faculty have given me pointers about how to approach patients to provide spiritual care. I don't pray with everyone, but if you see a Bible in a patient's room or hear someone mention about their church or spiritual support group and ask, “Would it help if I prayed with you," most people will readily accept. In the Pediatric ICU, we've prayed with people who have had seemingly miraculous recoveries. We've also prayed at the bedside of a dying child surrounded by their family and church members while someone is softly playing beautiful music. I have also seen surgeons pray with patients before difficult and even routine surgeries. Ours is a unique environment where this can happen.
If anyone wants to find a place to to do these kinds of things, this is a great place to be!