Hospice of Santa Cruz County
  • Social Services
  • Santa Cruz, CA, USA
  • 28.00-43.00 per hour
  • Hourly
  • Per Diem

Employer pays 100% of employee premiums for medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability

The Spiritual Care Counselor (SCC) is responsible for providing the spiritual care components of service at Hospice of Santa Cruz County (HSCC) in order to function in a manner consistent with the philosophy and policies of HSCC. The SCC, in collaboration with patient/family, physician and interdisciplinary team, develops and coordinates an individualized Plan of Care (POC) that reflects patient/family goals related to Comfortable Dying, Self-Determined Life Closure, and Effective Bereavement.

The SCC is responsible for support of spiritual needs of Hospice patients and caregivers in assigned cases. Support includes: a) providing spiritual counsel and support to Hospice patients, their families and caregivers; b) communicating with appropriate team members and participating in the Plan of Care process with the interdisciplinary team; c) providing referral to community clergy when appropriate; d) providing closure opportunity after the death of the patient. The SCC demonstrates clinical spiritual care competencies, sensitivity and compassion for the issues involved with serving patients and families facing a terminal illness, death and bereavement; and fiscal responsibility in the planning and delivery of services.

Essential Responsibilities

Specific Functional Responsibilities

Patient and Family Care/Case Management

  • Responsible for directly providing spiritual care to hospice patients and their families and caregivers.
  • Recognizes the patient and family as the "unit of care."
  • Contacts all assigned patients/families within five days of admission, explaining the role of the Spiritual Care Counselor and offering spiritual care; in response to the patient's/family's spiritual values. This contact is not made if and only if there is clear indication from other staff that such contact is unwelcome, and the decline of Spiritual Care services is document by the Spiritual Care Counselor in a clinical note.
  • Demonstrates the ability to work with patients/families under stress and in crisis.
  • Respects patient's right to self-determination and acts as advocate within the context of the values and ethical standards of HSCC.
  • Demonstrates the ability to articulate the parameters of hospice care and services.
  • As appropriate, contacts the patient's family after the time of death offering condolence and closure.
  • Completes Spiritual Assessment of patient and family in a timely manner and develops an individualized written Plan of Care that includes identified problems with specific interventions, goals and outcomes.
  • Provides spiritual care interventions for patient and family as outlined in the Plan of Care and according to the policies and procedures of Hospice of Santa Cruz County; including spiritual counsel, support, readings, prayers and loving presence as appropriate and as requested
  • Networks with appropriate community clergy to ensure that patient/family desires are met around specific religious/spiritual traditions.
  • Documents all interventions reflective of the spiritual care services provided and submits completed paperwork and time sheets within the time frames of HSCC policies and procedures.
  • Documents in a manner that is accurate, organized, legible, clearly stated, and a complete reflection of services provided as well as an interdisciplinary approach to care. Utilizes only approved abbreviations to ensure clarity of documentation.
  • Provides visit frequencies that are within established agency parameters and as outlined the Plan of Care, appropriate to patient/family needs.
  • Regularly assesses the effectiveness of the spiritual component of the Plan of Care, documenting any changes needed.

Provides Spiritual Care Counselor services according to the standards of quality and quantity of the Spiritual Care Department and HSCC agency.

  • Maintains an adequate case load according to the standards of Hospice of Santa Cruz County.
  • Meets expectations of number of visits per week: 18-20 (1.0 FTE); or pro-rated to less number of visits based on FTE status.
  • Is fiscally mindful in the planning and delivery of spiritual care services.
  • Makes requests for overtime and time off appropriately and in advance.
  • Ensures availability during scheduled workdays through pager or other telecommunication device.
  • Demonstrates spiritual care competencies including the ability to reflect theologically, clinical skill development, cultural and religious awareness and sensitivity.
  • Is self aware and spiritually mature.
  • Demonstrates professional demeanor, tact, respect, and appropriate boundaries in dealing with all patients, families, staff and volunteers.


  • Participates as a member of the Hospice Interdisciplinary Group
  • Functions as a member of the Hospice Interdisciplinary Group (IDG) maintaining open and organized communication with hospice staff and volunteers.
  • Actively participates in Hospice IDG to develop common goals to meet the needs of the patient/family in a manner that promotes problem solving and care planning. Collaborates with IDG regarding changes in patient status and POC; making appropriate referrals to team members.
  • Coordinates Plan of Care with IDG, communicating with concise and timely reports to team members.
  • Performs other related job duties as assigned

Quality Improvement

  • Participates in activities that affirm, enhance and develop the highest quality standards for HSCC, including Quality Assessment & Improvement activities as requested.
  • Participates in special projects as requested.
  • Contributes to the excellence of the Spiritual Care Department and sets personal professional goals.

Community Outreach

  • Networks with appropriate community clergy to ensure referral for spiritual support/counseling to HSCC patients/families desires around specific religious/spiritual traditions are met.
  • Serves as a liaison for education, referral and support to community clergy or other organizations related to the spiritual concerns and care of dying patients.
  • Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Outreach
  • Develops relationships with skilled nursing facility staff in support of HSCC patients/families;
  • Offers, develops and officiates at remembrance/memorial services for staff and patients at assigned facilities in consultation with facility staff at appropriate intervals and times.


  • Ensures all HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations, Medicare Conditions of Participation, and all other regulatory/compliance requirements are understood and followed
  • Keeps driver's license current and maintains a good driving record
  • Ensures TB checks are completed in a timely manner; at least annually
  • Completes required trainings/in-services timely (including Relias trainings)



Clergy person or someone with equivalent education, training and experience. Prefer Clinical Pastoral Education background.

Skills Required

  • Critical thinking and ability to function both independently and as a member of the team.
  • Familiarity with electronic charting programs and ability to chart electronically
  • Knowledge of Hospice eligibility requirements

Certifications, Licenses, Registrations

  • Pass OIG/GSA review and all required background checks
  • Current CA Driver's License

Physical Demands

  • Sufficient dexterity to utilize electronic record keeping systems, computers/keyboards and or laptops and other related equipment
  • Ability to travel to patient locations; includes ability to drive, negotiate stairs and walkways including uneven surfaces at private homes or facilities.
  • Vision ability to read manual and electronic documentation, medications, charts, office related equipment, and instructions
  • Hearing ability within normal range to elicit and detect pertinent information while communicating with patients and health team
  • Speech to verbally communicate to assess and impart information concerning patient status; to complete patient/family teaching and to interact with health care team

Work Environment/Environmental Condition

  • Performs services in private homes and care facilities and will experience a variety of settings and situations
  • Office work is performed in typical office setting
Hospice of Santa Cruz County
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