Alert

Clergy Visitors at UNC Hospitals

Clergy Identification

All visiting clergy and authorized pastoral visitors are required to wear a Clergy ID Badge issued by UNC Health Care. You may register for a badge at the Department of Pastoral Care, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

  • Clergy must apply in person for a badge and present proof of ordination/licensure and employment in a congregation.
  • Pastoral visitors must provide personal identification and proof or authorization for their ministry.
  • All visiting clergy and pastoral visitors must pay a one-time fee of $5 to have a Clergy ID badge issued.
  • Clergy ID badges are a privilege provided to visiting clergy that offers free parking.

Please Note: Clergy ID badges are for use in visiting members of your congregation and are not to be used for personal or family visits. Clergy identification badges can be obtained at the UNC Medical Center and UNC Hillsborough Campuses.

Clergy Visitation Guide

Parking

Visiting clergy and pastoral visitors should use the Dogwood Parking Deck. You must show your ID badge to the parking attendant along with your ticket when exiting the deck. The parking office tracks use of clergy IDs for parking, and parking fees are paid by the Department of Pastoral Care.

Finding Patients

Room numbers of patients in your congregation may be provided at the Information Desk in the main lobby. If a patient cannot be located or information cannot be given out for privacy reasons, please contact the Chaplains' Office at 919-966-4021.

You may also use the religious census to help locate patients. (Note that patients may decline to have their name listed in the census.) The religious census is available at guest services desks in the hospital lobbies. You must have a clergy ID badge to view the census.

Confidentiality

As hospital chaplains, we have a responsibility to protect the privacy of those to whom we provide pastoral/spiritual care. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets legal limits on the information that we can provide about patients in order to protect their privacy.

We are happy to follow-up on requests to visit your hospitalized members. Please be mindful, however, that we cannot give you any information about your member's medical condition or related matters.

We encourage you to continue to maintain your parishioners' privacy and confidentiality. Please obtain your parishioner's or member's permission as to what should or should not be shared with others regarding his/her hospitalization.

We suggest you get your member's permission to tell others that he/she is in the hospital. Ask your member what he/she wants you to share with the congregation when honoring prayer requests. It is best not to share details about diagnosis, treatment plans or prognosis.

Procedures

We encourage community clergy and pastoral visitors to visit patients from their own religious congregations. Patients outside of your congregation may be visited at the request of the patient, members of the patient’s immediate family or the patient’s guardian. Under no circumstances is a patient or family to be visited unsolicited. This is a serious violation of one’s personal privacy as well as a disrespect of the religious beliefs they may or may not hold.

Regular visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily.

Visiting clergy and pastoral visitors are not bound by normal visiting hours, especially in times of crisis; however, they must arrange their visits according to the convenience of the patient, and the medical and clinical staff. The Information Desk staff will assist visiting clergy and pastoral visitors in finding their patient, provided they have their UNC Health Care Visiting Clergy ID badge.

Outside of normal visiting hours (in other words, for visits between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. daily), all visiting clergy and pastoral visitors must enter through the Emergency Department. The Emergency Department security officer or Patient and Guest Services supervisor will help you find the patient, provided you have your ID badge. If you forget your badge or don’t have one, you may be issued a temporary visitor's badge.

If Hospital Security or the pastoral visitor has questions, special needs or concerns, the chaplain on-call will be paged to assist.

You may use appropriate religious literature when ministering to your parishioners or others who have requested your services. General distribution of tracts and other religious literature in the hospital is not permitted. Leaving tracts in waiting rooms, lobbies, bathrooms, the hospital chapel and other public areas is not permitted. Devotional and sacred literature is available from the Chaplains' Office.

Request a Chaplain Visit

A chaplain is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you or your loved one would like a pastoral visit to for spiritual counsel, emotional support, prayer, or a nonjudgmental presence while you work through a concern or worry, please contact us.

To request a pastoral visit Monday through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., please call our main office at 984-974-4021.

During evenings and weekends, please call the hospital operator at 984-974-4131, indicate your campus (UNC Medical Center, UNC Hillsborough Campus, or UNC WakeBrook) and request that the on-call chaplain be paged.

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