"A Foundation for Parish Nursing," a training event offering 7.9 contact hours, will be presented in Reading (exact location to be announced) on April 24 and May 1, 2004, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both sessions must be completed to receive the contact hour credit. The cost of $35.00 includes the book "The Parish Nurse" by Granger Westberg and a copy of "Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing" from the American Nurses Association.
Subjects to be covered include:
This training is presented by the Parish Nurse Task Force of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod and Lutheran Congregational Services, with the support of St. Joseph's Medical Center in Reading.
- History of Parish Nursing
- Steps to a Program
- Roles of a Parish Nurse
- "Scope and Standards of Parish Nursing"
- The Church as a Healing Place
- Spiritual Assessment
- Mind, Body, Spirit Connections
- Legal Considerations
For a brochure/registration form, contact Diana Marshall at 610-770-9205 or email@example.com.
Parish Nursing: A Primer
[Ed. note: This article is excerpted from one by Nan L. Smith, RN, Parish Nurse at Christ Lutheran Church, Hazleton, that appeared in the January 2001 issue of Partners in the Spirit. It is reprinted here as background information on parish nursing.]
What does a parish nurse do? As a parish nurse at Christ Lutheran Church, Hazleton, Nan Smith assists and empowers individuals, families, and groups to work towards wholeness and to become active partners in the management of their personal health care. Nan is a member of the congregation's pastoral care team and has a health cabinet/social ministry team that supports her and helps in doing programs.
Parish nursing is not a hands-on position as in the hospital setting, but a guide to learning better health prevention. Simply gathering people together to socialize, support, and educate can aid us on our journey of faith and health.
The Parish Nurse: Providing a Minister of Health for Your Congregation by Granger Westberg with Jill Westberg McNamara (Augsburg Fortress, 1987) lists four basic roles of the parish nurse: health educator, health counselor, coordinator of volunteers, and liaison with the community. These roles help the parish nurse to build on and strengthen capacities of congregational members to understand and care for one another in light of their relationship to God, faith traditions, themselves, and the broader society.
The parish nurse leads or brings in others to lead courses, seminars, and workshops on a wide variety of health topics. These topics include health maintenance, disease prevention, early detection through screening, the role of emotions in illness, and, most important, an introduction to the interrelations of the body and the soul.
The parish nurse provides a professional listening ear, does assessments of health problems, recommends and/or provides minor health-care measures, refers the person to a doctor and/or community support service as needed, educates individuals in specific ways to care for themselves better, and models good health concepts.
Coordinator of Volunteers
The parish nurse looks for people in the congregation who are naturally warm, understanding persons willing to listen to people and trains them to do even better what they are doing naturally. These volunteers become additional ears, hands, and eyes for the nurse as they make house calls on the sick, serve as small group leaders, and participate in many other tasks. In large congregations, the nurse alone cannot begin to respond to all the needs, so trained volunteers can add tremendously to the nurse's effectiveness.
Liaison with the Community
The parish nurse helps people use community resources and serves as a bridge between the congregation and the community. This partnership fosters new and creative responses to health concerns.