February 28, 2018
Everyone Can Contribute to the Profession: Here's How
When PlainViews® was created in 2004, it was the first online opportunity for chaplains to write and share their insights with colleagues within the profession. In its first years, articles were intentionally limited to 800-1000 words in order to encourage those who were new to writing as well as to intentionally make PlainViews® a quick read.
As the years have passed and changes have occurred within the world and the profession, PlainViews® has changed with it. While still a venue for beginning writers to have the opportunity to publish, articles have expanded to include more input from those who have done research, begun programs, share best practices, and ask for input and insight from colleagues. In addition, writers – and readers - have expanded beyond chaplains to include those from other disciplines: physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists (speech, hearing, physical, occupational, pet, and others), researchers, academics, and those who are leaders in their community’s spiritual, religious, and cultural groups. PlainViews® has and continues to be an important contribution to the profession of chaplaincy and the integration of spirituality.
Chaplains need to write; actually we must write. The focus of today’s health care to demonstrate value through evidence based practices and demonstrated outcomes. This has been a challenge for the profession because it has challenged chaplains to look beyond many of the traditional knowledge, roles and skills of the profession to learn about and demonstrate new ones. However unless this new knowledge and skills are written about and published, there is no evidence – and without evidence it is impossible to advocate for either the profession or the inclusion and expansion of spirituality in the care of patients, families, and staff. This is particularly important as health care continues to grow and expand beyond inpatient settings and out into the community. Evidence is required for chaplaincy to remain relevant and to engage with the opportunities and challenges that are within health care.
While the look and content of PlainViews® has changed since it began 13 years ago, its mission remains the same: translating knowledge and skills into effective chaplaincy practice and care for the human spirit. It is a known and trusted journal that has impacted not only chaplains and other spiritual care providers, but also the thought and direction of administrators, policy-makers, and others who have voice about how health care can and should be delivered whether in an acute, inpatient setting, hospice, long term care, assisted living, and other growing community settings.
The call, then, is for writers. When a writer submits an article and it is published, it does more than share insight, research, and practices with colleagues; it becomes a published piece of information that can be shared with decision and policy-makers such as administrators, interdisciplinary clinicians who either need to learn about chaplaincy and spiritual care or how to integrate it into their practice, and those who are creating new programs to provide health care in the community.
In this issue we are highlighting some of the articles from previous issues. This is in part to acknowledge and celebrate the many writers who have made PlainViews® the successful publication it is. It is also with the hope of inspiring readers to write and add to the excellent base of knowledge that is available in the PlainViews® archives.
Read the article submission guidelines to get started. Consult with your colleagues for ideas and feedback. Consider writing with a clinician from another discipline. Contact us as editors for feedback and editing to assist you in your writing. By writing, you are contributing to the essential task moving the profession forward in this new world of health care.
Sue Wintz, MDiv BCC is the managing editor of Plainviews® and Director, Professional and Community Education at HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. She is also the Director of Education for the Spiritual Care Association. Sue has over 35 years of clinical, administrative, writing, educational design, development and teaching experience in the provision of professional chaplaincy and spiritual care in numerous health care, and community settings as well as an expert advisor to interdisciplinary professional organizations. Sue has authored numerous articles on chaplaincy care practice and develops professional education courses for chaplains, chaplaincy students, and other health care disciplines. She is board certified by the Spiritual Care Association. Sue is also a board certified member and past president of the Association of Professional Chaplains who, in 2013 gave her its highest honor - the Anton Boisen Professional Service Award.