Patient Experience newsletter, July 2019: Clinical pastoral education and patient lifts

Monthly updates from the Office of the Patient Experience

Clinical pastoral education trains hospital chaplains and extends reach of pastoral care

Melinda Stonebraker, Robert Petite, and Dirk Stadtlander

Clinical pastoral education originally began in 1925 as a theological educational opportunity that takes place beyond the classroom, in clinical settings.

Clinical pastoral education (CPE) has a strong history at UI Hospitals & Clinics. Embedded within the Department of Spiritual Services, CPE is an interfaith professional education for ministry. It brings theological students and ministers of all faiths into a supervised educational experience.

“We create a space for the patients to express lament and really listen to them,” explains Rev. Robert Petite, D.Min., BCC, LMFT, an ACPE certified educator who supervises the students in the program each summer. “Our students also learn a lot about themselves and get to be an active presence for our patients.”

Included in this learning is spiritual reflection, spiritual formation, and spiritual competence. Essential elements of CPE include actual practice of ministry to persons, detailed reporting and evaluation of that practice, pastoral supervision, a process conception of learning, a theoretical perspective on all elements of the program, a small peer group, and an individualized contract for learning.

UI Hospitals & Clinics is accredited through ACPE to offer Level 1 and Level 2 CPE. Typically, they offer a summer unit (10–12 weeks). ACPE is nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education through the U.S. Department of Education.

The students and their clinical assignments this summer are:

  • Melinda Stonebraker: 6RCE/W
  • Sara Funkhouser: UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Levels 6, 9, and 10
  • Joseph Tiegen: 6JCE/W
  • Dennis Rodenberg: 8JC
  • Dirk Stadtlander: Emergency Department

“Having students assigned to these areas extends the reach of our ministry to more units and allows all of our chaplains to be part of a multi-disciplinary team,” adds Noelle Andrew, director of Spiritual Services.

To learn more, contact Noelle Andrew at 319-356-0470 or

7 Guest Services staff trained in patient lifts

Last month, seven more Guest Services staff members were trained on the proper use of two types of patient lift devices: the Trixie Lift, Opera Lift and the Lift and Transfer. These staff members, who serve as valets and patient escorts, help with many of these transfers at both the Main Entrance and Pomerantz Family Pavilion Entrance. Training was facilitated by Paul Sanders, Guest Services supervisor.

Recent patient comments about listening


  • “Physicians answered questions and listened to all concerns. I could not have asked for better care.”
  • “The pharmacist listened to me about my meds and allowed me to make decision about my meds.”
  • “The cardiology team listened to my ideas about my care and medications before discharge.”
  • “Staff listened to what I requested and answered or found answers.”
  • “She listened to my son and myself, asked my son questions, and was excellent at including him in decision making about his treatment and medication.”
  • “The staff we interacted with were excellent—they listened to us when we gave feedback and they truly enjoyed caring for our child from what we could tell. They are passionate about their job and we appreciate that.”
  • “The first person I felt truly listened to on the treatment team was my social worker. She was excellent and I’m grateful for the breath of fresh air her conversation brought.”
  • “They give you time to talk without interruptions, good listeners, good feed back.”
  • “Very thorough appointment. Best experience I’ve had in many years! I finally feel like someone is listening to me when I say I don’t feel right!”
  • “VERY IMPRESSED! Very clear on instructions and easy to understand. No rush. Listened!!”

  Missed the mark

  • “Would not recommend this doctor to anyone for any reason. Doctor doesn’t listen to PATIENTS AT ALL.”
  • “Nurses did not always listen to concerns.”
  • “Staff didn’t always listen when I needed something.”
  • “When checking in for appointment staff at desk did not listen to questions. I found that varying from their routine I had asked for assistance in… questions was confusing to them.”
  • “Very rude, very rushed, she was in a bad mood, wouldn’t listen to me about med changes and jammed the thermometer in my ear.”
  • “The nurse who drew blood would not listen when my blood was taken and blew out my vein. I knew the spot to stick and she thought she knew better.”
  • “Care provider not able to address the my concerns. I don’t think she listened carefully to everything I had to say. My medication question was also not properly clarified. I am planning to switch to a new provider.”
  • “Just treat your patients with respect and dignity. Please listen when they are asking for help. Don’t make them leave without a proper care plan.”
  • “I wish the doctor would listen to me! And see me as an individual patient, not just a # or a statistic. I think he has tunnel vision.”
  • “The doctors kept passing me off and not listening to anything that I was concerned with.”