Chaplain App

While I don’t really care that much about technology in general, I quickly fell in love with my iPhone a few years ago. I expected to appreciate the GPS and email on my iPhone, but did not expect to use it so much professionally. I have found it to be invaluable with my travel schedule, and surprisingly useful in the hospital setting. Should anyone need to make the case for iPhones (or iPads) for hospital employees, here’s a recap of how I used mine in hospitals last week:

  • Pulled up Psalm 91 on a Bible app for a family who wanted to hear it read aloud.
  • Let a sibling play Skee-Ball while I spoke with their parent about the other child’s recovery.
  • Played Juliet Simms’ powerful and gritty version of Roxanne for a young woman who said her friends have finally convinced her that she is worth more than just sex and doesn’t have to live that lifestyle anymore.
  • Introduced three patients to the magical goodness of Pentatonix when they said they needed to download some new music for when they come in for treatments. (They already had Phillip Phillips downloaded, or I would have played his rendition of Stand by Me. One of them also noted he was inspired by Phillip’s perseverance during his health problems while on American Idol.)
  • Listed to Chris Mann’s version of Ave Maria in the elevator after being with a family during a stressful procedure.
  • Let a mom play Solitaire while she waited for her child’s MRI results when she said she had already read all the magazines in the room. (She had a personal best score and the MRI results were good, too!)
  • Played hymns for a family as we sat together in the thin space between earthly life and eternal life.
  • Played the RENT soundtrack for a patient who was sad to be missing a trip to NYC to see Broadway plays.
  • Used GPS to give family members directions since they aren’t familiar with Chicago.
  • Viewed Caring Bridge sites of patients who told me how meaningful it is to have such caring communities and friends support them through their illness.
  • Pulled up take-out menus for a family who had only eaten hospital food the last 10 days.
  • Used my sound machine app to drown out the noise of the floors being polished at 4am.

Perhaps the greatest perk is that iPads and iPhones can be used even while wearing those pretty purple hospital gloves and can be disinfected with a quick swipe of a Cavi-Wipe. Obviously (well, hopefully this is obvious) using them in rooms with the likes of C.Diff or MRSA would not be super infection control savvy, but in most cases they are rather helpful and practical. So, should you be a hospital administrator or philanthropist reading this, I highly recommend you purchase a few of the late Steve Jobs’ brilliant trinkets for your favorite hospital employees.

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