Practising Theology in Health

Practising Theology in Health

Spiritual care among health care workers and patients is a growing area of research. In this paper, Gabi Macaulay takes a practical approach to diagnosing and responding to spiritual distress is presented, as a step toward genuine holistic care.


This presentation will provide an overview of the relevance of bringing one’s Christian faith to the contemporary work environment with particular emphasis on the health care sector.  Spirituality is becoming an increasingly recognised part of the health and healing pathway and therefore must be addressed by health care workers in its fullest form to provide best practice and holistic care to both patients and staff.

Several models of spiritual care – it’s assessment, diagnosis evaluation and documentation are beginning to merge into the Australian medical and nursing curricula and the expression of practical theology in the workplace is slowly becoming a safer space to address its impact and now positive measurable outcomes.

This paper will draw together empirical data from many parts of the world to substantiate the need to seek to actively bridge the gap between the present lack of spiritual care, assessment skills and the often hidden impact this lack has on both patients and colleagues.

The high rates of completed suicide (often triggered by relentless vicarious trauma) amongst young female doctors, nurses and midwives will also be addressed.

The well-known DRSABC (resuscitation) will be used with a new perspective as a quick and easy tool to provide practical theological structure and principles in order for health care workers to recognise signs of spiritual distress and subsequently facilitate person centered care well in the work environment.

Full title : Practical theology in the health care sector


Gabrielle has had around 30 years’ experience working as a registered nurse in critical areas within the healthcare field. She has more recently loved working with medical ships in rural and remote areas in Papua New Guinea as well as within medical teams assisting in International Disaster relief. She has completed her Masters in Ministry and enjoys teaching nurses both locally and overseas about the importance of spiritual care in the health care context. Gabi values caring for the whole person in their recovery journey and the unique opportunities she has found to facilitate people’s faith growth in difficult circumstances. Faith at Work has become an integral part of her work, life and ministry. She is the President of the Nurses Christian Fellowship Australia.

To see the presentation slides, click below.

To listen to the audio, click below.

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