Job Title: Spiritual Care Counselor
Location: San Antonio, TX
Salary/Benefits: $50,700/year plus mileage at $0.56/mile, on call at $2/hour and if I get called out to a visit on call, it is 1.25 pay.
Employer Type: Non-profit
Employer Size: Roughly 100 employees
How Long in Current Position: 1 year
Highest Level of Education: Master of Divinity
Path to This Job: I felt a connection with religious work at a very young age. I earned a B.A. in Theology and went on to a Master of Divinity in order to be a church pastor. During my second year internship, I found that my favorite part of the job was visiting our sick and dying members. After graduation, I applied to pastor positions, but it can be very difficult to find a congregation willing to hire a woman. I remembered how much I enjoyed visiting the sick and dying, so I decided to make a full-time career out of it.
A typical day at work:
6:00am: Wake up and play around until 7:30 am.
7:30am: Switch on my work phone. I am not expected to be in the office at 8 am when I technically begin work, but I am expected to be available if someone needs me right at 8. Therefore, the work phone must be on.
8:00am: Begin paperwork and planning my day. Eventually leave to visit my first patient.
9:00am: This is typically the very earliest I would see a patient. I see patients in their own homes or in a nursing facility, so they are very much on their own schedule. Most patients do not wake up until around 10 am. Between 9 am and 4 pm, I will be driving around our service area of 100 miles seeing patients. I typically drive around 50 miles a day. Every so often we will have a staff meeting in the office, but when there is no meeting, there is generally no reason to go to the office. I spend the entire day either in my car or with a patient. When I am with a patient or family member, I provide the typical religious services such as communion, anointing, and prayer. I also can provide grief counseling and coping strategies. A lesser known part of my job is connecting the patient with a clergy member of their own faith tradition. My least favorite part of my job is when my boss needs someone to help with a new patient signing the admission paperwork and I get voluntold.
5:00pm: Turn my work phone off. The only exception is if I am on call, which can be either Monday-Thursday, or Friday-Sunday, once a month. On call is 24-hour availability with the commitment to visit a patient or family member if the nurse in charge deems fit.
READERS, SUBMIT YOUR DAY: The Career Files Submission Form