Date of Conferral





Health Services


Lee Bewley


Healthcare providers may impede the delivery of spiritual and emotional support to

patients and their families by healthcare professional chaplains if they misunderstand how to effectively use chaplains, who often prefer to be engaged sooner than they are. This issue prevents highly trained, board-certified professional chaplains from providing services, thereby impacting the quality of patient care. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to examine, through the lived experiences of professional chaplains, the extent to which chaplains feel that others perceive them as valued members of an interdisciplinary team (IDT), as well as to determine how team inclusion may impact chaplains' physical and emotional well-being. An adaptation of the antecedents and outcomes of inclusion theoretical framework was used. Research questions were developed to elicit to what extent professional chaplains perceived that they were valued members of IDTs and what impact inclusion had on their well-being A semistructured interview protocol with open-ended questions was used with 9 board-certified professional chaplains in the northeastern region of the United States.. Data were analyzed through coding and comparison of significant responses into units of meaning to reflect the phenomenon of participants' experiences. Key findings revealed that inclusion did have an impact on the well-being of chaplains, and its impact was perceived as positive. This study may contribute to positive social change by helping to initiate training and education programs for healthcare organizations that work with and employ professional chaplains to effectively integrate chaplains into IDTs, ensuring more timely evaluation and care planning for patients and their families to achieve greater wholeness and healing.