Melissa Carnall is a chaplain at Ochsner Medical Center on Jefferson Highway. She's a member of the spiritual care team, but a patient, family member or healthcare provider doesn't have to be religious or member of any certain church or denomination to receive her services.
"When people feel cared for and know that they're seen as a fellow human being, that leads to better outcomes in the long run,'' she said. "That's why I do what I do.''
Carnall said, "We see ourselves as part of holistic care of patients and loved ones."
One ceremony that Carnall participates in is for healthcare providers; she blesses their hands during the course of a normal workday.
During a recent blessing of the hands ceremony, a small group of nurses gathered around Carnall as she recited the blessing: "You've chosen to bless others with your hands and the work that you do, and now I'm honored to bless your hands in recognition of the sacred healing work that you do every day.''
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