One of the ongoing discoveries for me as I actually start working the floors and be the chaplain (albeit the chaplain intern) is figuring out “what’s my style?” Clearly, depending on how ill the patient is, or what the need is, I modify that to some degree, but when I was shadowing, I kept watching the staff chaplains and thinking, “I could use that,” or “Ewww, that sure won’t work for me.” I am reminded of how, in my medical clinical training years, I emulated the bits and pieces of what worked when observing my attending docs see the patient. Often it was the attendings I liked that I emulated, but I have to admit that on occasion I emulated the good parts of the attendings that I didn’t like, as well. To this very day, my style of dictating surgical pathology reports is a hodgepodge of two of my pathology attendings–one who was clearly my mentor, and one I couldn’t freakin’ stand! Yet in the case of the one I couldn’t stand, the fact that he was a terse, blunt person also meant that he was concise and direct in what he said in a report, and I saw that had value.
I have thought about it in terms of a mosaic. Continue reading