Monday, April 16, 2007

The bed side is the classroom

That is how I heard a colleague on Friday describe what the "clinical" part of Clinical Pastoral Education is all about (specifically, he was referring to a student of his who didn't get it, and, instead, thought she should be taught everything about pastoral care in a classroom before ever working with patients).

Anyway, it's such a wonderful phrase that I can't imagine my colleague was the first to say it, but I just think it's such a wonderfully simple and direct way to describe what clinical learning is about that I wanted to take note of it. . . . He went on to describe classroom learning in CPE (specifically, the lectures we usually call them didactics) as necessary, but, nonetheless, essentially as "fluff."

I really couldn't agree more. When I think of the people who have taught me so much about pastoral care it is almost never from their lectures. It's from watching them work with patients (and other CPE students) or from receiving feedback from them about my own work (at the bed side!!).


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