Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Places for Chaplains to Read - and to Comment!

Last week I posted from the APC Annual Conference in Schaumburg about “The Case of for Standards of Practice: Do Professional Chaplains Practice What They Preach?” a plenary presentation by George Handzo and Paul Derrickson.  In that presenatation, George Handzo mentioned two blogsites by name.  He considers them important sites for chaplains to read and, more important, to comment.  He sees that as an important way for chaplains to participate in conversations to which we would bring an important (and on these sites welcome) perspective.  He even stopped me later, knowing about my own blogging avocation, and said, "Go there.  Start commenting."

Well, I'll see his two sites and raise two - sort of.  The two sites he mentioned I already knew, and had already read.  The first is "GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Blog."  Geripal's contributors describe it as "a forum for discourse, recent news and research, and freethinking commentary."  Further, they are explicit that "We aim to be inclusive. We welcome the perspectives of generalists, specialists, gerontologists, palliative care clinicians, and anyone else interested in care of the elderly or palliative care."  Certainly, they welcome the contributions of chaplains.

The second is "Pallimed: a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog."  The contributors to Pallimed are also inclusive: "Our target audience is the professionals (MD, DO, RN, LPN, LVN, Home Health Aide, ARNP, SW, Chaplain, Administrators, PT, OT, Speech, Pharmacy, etc.) working in hospice & palliative medicine, but we welcome all readers to this blog, including patients, families and other medical professionals outside of this field."  Since they want to include us specifically, it's only good grace for us to make our contributions.

Having cited those two sites, let me suggest two others.  These will take a bit more work.  They're blog carnivals, collections of blog and web articles around a general theme (and sometimes a specific sub-theme) that are gathered periodically and hosted on various sites.  Each issue of the blog carnival has links to articles on various blogs and sites, often with an introductory comment.  The reader can then go to each article, read, and usually comment.  Since a blog carnival is hosted by a different site each week, it can take a bit to find them, but it's worth the effort.  The easiest way?  Toward the end of each issue the host notes who will host the next issue.  Just keep linking through until you catch up.

The first of these is "Grand Rounds."  It rotates weekly, and each host has the opportunity to take all comers, or to narrow the focus to a more specific theme.  If you've been a reader here for a while, you'll have seen already that now and again  submit something from this blog. I think "Grand Rounds" is always worth checking out.  Fortunately, one "Grand Rounds" participant has made the effort to keep track and so make it easier for the rest of us to find.  This week, it's at The Sterile Eye.

The second blog carnival I'd point to is "Palliative Care Grand Rounds."  It's posted the first Tuesday of each month, and is currently here.  Folks involved iin both Geripal and Pallimed are also involved in "Palliative Care Grand Rounds," so we can trust it will also provide some interesting links for us.  Now, as far as I know, no one is keeping track in one place where to find it each month.  However, next month "Palliative Care Grand Rounds" will be hosted here.

I certainly agree with George that this is a way to share the voices of chaplains among a much wider group of professional colleagues.  Oh, and for my APC colleagues: note the title and the time it takes to read.  These articles can be considered professional reading in our Continuing Education records.  So, take some time to do some reading on line, and commenting at these various sites (or at sites that are included in a blog carnival).

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