With regard to the MOC Foundations Patient Support and Visitation activities we have shared this Visitation Program for any who may feel the need to use it.
All Companies, Churches or Organizations will have incidents whereby their members are struck by injury, illness, disability, disease or death. Over the years there are always stories of times when someone had worked for a Company, or attended a Church for years and nobody came to visit when they needed it most. These are situations that should never happen. It is obvious that their Management or Pastor may not be able get around to everyone for any of a number of reasons, but a well-trained group of visitors can.
The OFT Group, utilizing the MOC Foundations Team of volunteers started looking at how we can enrich the lives of our members through the implementation of a Christian based Visitation Program. The purpose of our program is to organise our volunteers and associated professionals to be available and to communicate with all involved regarding the patient's progress, as well as assisting their family and loved ones when they need it most.
Whether visiting with people in their homes or in hospital, the simple act of connecting with others is filled with powerful possibilities. The act of love and friendship is an inroad to hearts and lives that creates trust, value, and incredible potential for ministry. Visitation lets people know we care. Therefore, it is our hope that by outlining a simple method to set up a Christian Corporate Visitation Program, your organization may be equipped to meet all the potential needs for an effective visitation Program.
Perhaps not everyone will want, or think they need a visit, but the people who do need and want a visit should be loved and cared for in a special way. Visitors also have the potential to meet other family members who have not yet connected with Christ and the commitment shown to loved ones by visitors will also be a great witness. Incorporating this method of doing visitation at your Organization may require some form of modification to suit your particular situation. It should be noted, that our Program is always evolving and the organization and refinement thereof will be an ongoing work for some time to come. In the final analysis, if we do not visit before the method is perfected, we would never visit.
The MOC Foundation Vision and Motivation
There has to be vision, some reason why this is something worth doing, and what it will look like some time down the road, all of which stems from a felt need and a desire to meet that need. In Scripture, we find various passages that are fundamental to the vision behind the MOC Foundations Visitation Support Services.
There are special needs and special situations that arise in any Organization, and we must always be on the lookout for these kinds of circumstances and when we recognize “need” among our Members, we have to “work” to meet these needs. James 1:27 does not give us a definition of religion. Instead, it presents a tangible way of insisting that “genuine” religion is a “life-changing force”. It springs from an inner spiritual reality that expresses itself in ‘action and tenderness towards others.
When people are down, we are challenged to get alongside of them and provide a caring, loving, and embracing atmosphere that will lift the spirits of individuals that are going through difficult times. We believe that we are to seek the Lord’s leadership in our daily lives, so that when a need arises we see it. For the Christian, service to human need, is ‘service to Jesus.
What we work towards, is assisting our Group Members to develop a formal Visitation Program for their staff by interacting with their Management and staff alike. Using the best practices that emerge from each Organization we are able to assist with continual improvement and innovation actions with regard to Staff Communications, Patient Condition Updates and co-ordinate financial support, where required.
It is essential that any Companies Leadership and Management Team give their approval for a Christian Corporate Visitation Program. Once this is in place the organizing can begin. The oversight and direction, depending, on each Company can come from various bodies within the Company. We generally chose to host our Program within the Management Excoms and Human Resources Departments of a Company. At the MOC Foundation we assist with access to a Steering Committee and an associate Pastor, which are available for guidance during set-up. Initially, this Committee is in charge of the selection and training of the relevant Companies Volunteer Visitor Teams, as well as arranging feedback and communication between all the related parties. They also develop training material, assist with policy, compile records and produce reports as necessary.
Generally, we suggest teams of visitors, (2) persons each. These persons, and how they conduct actual visits will be dealt with in the Guidelines Section below. The plan for the Visitation Program must address several key questions. These will include, but not be limited to; who we will visit?, where will we visit?, who will actually do the visiting?, at what frequency will visits be carried out, and over what time frame?.
Visitation can take place on the phone, in homes, in hospitals, in nursing homes, at the local coffee shop, in Church, or anywhere convenient.
One major advantage of assigning visitors to specific Staff Members is that it allows our Management and Pastor to readily see who is responsible for which patient and receive relevant feedback. If a crisis should arise and an immediate, or more frequent visit/s be necessary, it is a simple task for the applicable Manager to alert the appropriate visitors. The Program is all about, and cannot survive without “Commitment”, both to Christ and to one another.
Herewith some basic Guidelines:
- Visitors should have knowledge of the purpose of their visit
- An appointment should be arranged for the visit.
- Each Visitor prays to ask the Lord for guidance, discernment and sensitivity to needs during the visit.
- Visitors should briefly discuss the roles that each will perform during the actual visit, and who will provide updates to Management and Staff Members.
- We advocate setting up a WhatsApp Group communication, which allows family, friends and staff to stay in touch and interact with the patients.
Conducting the Visit:
- Visitors should introduce themselves and explain the reason for their visit.
- Visitors need to express genuine empathy and love for the person.
- The content of visits is to be confidential, with the exception of the Management, in the case of needs to be met.
- Visitors need to mentally gather information about the person’s current state (i.e., their face, tone of voice, body language, attitude, surroundings, etc.) for feedback assessment.
- Trust in the leading of the Holy Spirit and minister to the person’s needs, if possible.
- At no time are visitors to be counsellors. If the situation should arise where counselling is needed, then it is passed on to the Pastor or other suitably qualified Members.
- Visitors ask if they can pray with the person. If yes, then lead in prayer.
- Visitors should determine if the person needs follow-up action, how urgently and advise their Management Team
- Update the applicable WhatsApp platforms to keep friends and family in the loop
- As the Holy Spirit prompts, pray for the person visited
- Visitors must keep information about the visit confidential
- Call first to determine patient availability for a visit
- Knock before entering a room, and depend on the Lord to direct your visit
- Observe signs, notices, and precautions on patient’s door
- If possible, sit where you can maintain comfortable eye contact with the patient
- Be cheerful, make pleasant conversation
- Shape the tone and substance of your conversation from cues offered by the patient
- Listen attentively by giving the patient your undivided attention
- >Let the patient know he/she can talk about sensitive subjects
- Excuse yourself when the doctor enters the room, unless requested to stay
- Ask for permission before you pray or read applicable Scriptures
- Be a good listener; spend most of your time listening
- Respect the person’s time, their personal space, and their property
- Extend the gift of touch, if you feel led (e.g., a hug, a hand on the shoulder)
- Ask for permission to submit a prayer request and if you can include their name
- Share the hope and love of Christ
- Don’t visit when sick or in a position to infect the patient
- Don’t prepare a specific “script” before you arrive
- Don’t pray or read Scripture without asking for permission first
- Don’t talk about inappropriate subjects (e.g., your personal problems)
- Don’t push your ideas or opinions on them
- Don’t make promises about follow-up actions that you cannot keep
- Don’t gossip or share confidential information with others
- Don’t be insulted by a patient’s words and attitudes
- Don’t register shock at a patient’s appearance
- Don’t offer false optimism about a patient’s recovery, or participate in criticism about the doctor, hospital, or treatment
- Don’t touch equipment even if requested by the patient, or sit on the patient’s bed
- Don’t whisper when talking to relatives or medical staff in the patient’s room
- Don’t break hospital rules, or violate confidentiality issues
- Don’t awaken a sleeping patient unless the nurse approves
- Don’t help patients get out of bed, or give food or drink without the nurse’s approval
- Don’t assume a comatose patient cannot hear
Suggested Key Contacts for successful Program Implementation:
Here you will at least need to list:
- The Companies CEO and Management Excom
- The Companies appointed Pastor
- The Visitation Program Chairperson
- The Human Resources Department Visitation Secretary
Please contact Petro Jacobs for more information about our activities.