Why research is important for chaplains.
Research forms the basis for all health care disciplines, including nursing, medicine, and psychology. This research is necessary to document both the benefits and the costs of health care services, and applies equally to the services and interventions that chaplains provide. It is important that chaplains do this research, rather than others without sensitivity to the main issues at stake. Unfortunately, training in how to conduct research is not usually part of the education that chaplains receive. There are specific skills that need to be acquired in order to identify a research question, design a study to answer that question, obtain funding, manage the project, and publish the results. Learning these research skills will at some point become non-optional if chaplaincy is to continue to grow and flourish as a profession and receive the recognition and respect that it deserves.
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