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The benefits of Parish nursing?

Role, Benefits & Examples of Parish Health Ministry
1. Parish nurses are experienced registered nurses (RNs Div 1) who have additional education in parish nursing. They empower others to take responsibility for their own health by providing support to individuals and families - through all stages of life.
2. Parish nurses do not perform invasive procedures such as blood drawing, medical treatments or direct, hands-on care. They network with district nurses, palliative care nurses, public health nurses, and other professionals to make sure an appropriate referral is made for those needing hands-on care.

In Parish Health Ministry, the Parish nurses promote health and wellness through seven key roles:
• Health Educator : Parish nurses offer classes and support groups on a variety of health-related topics.
• Personal Health Counselor: Parish nurses meet with individuals and families - at church, home, hospital or other facilities - to discuss health concerns.
• Referral Agent and Liaison with Congregational and Community Resources: Parish nurses provide referrals to both congregational and community resources.
• Facilitator of Volunteers: Parish nurses coordinate volunteers and other resources within the congregation to serve in various health ministries.
• Health Advocate: Parish nurses listen to and support individuals and families in need of health care resources. When needed, parish nurses connect them with appropriate services and serve as their voice when they are in need of help.
• Developer of Support Group: Parish nurses help to develop support groups for the congregation and the local community when needed. The congregational needs assessment helps to determine if support groups are needed.
• Integrator of the faith/health relationship : Parish nurses help individuals understand how body, mind and spirit are closely related
.
The seven key roles are central to THE WESTBERG MODEL for Parish nursing, as developed by Lutheran Pastor Rev Granger Westberg in Chicago in the early 1980’s

BENEFITS OF THE HEALTH MINISTRY

• A supportive community with strong social networks enhances health and wellbeing , the church offering a health ministry can provide that loving and healing community that cares supports its members ,their friends and neighbours.
• Working with local churches, parish nurses stress health promotion, wellness and disease prevention.
• The health system can often be confusing for people especially migrants the Parish Nurse can help them navigate the system and access services more readily.
• The aging population can be assisted by the health ministry network to maintain independence and a quality of life that will enhance health.
• The parish nurse can develop strategies to assist in reducing social isolation and loneliness two key factors known to adversely affect mental health.
• Many people approach the church in times of crisis and a health ministry team can respond with active compassion offering hope and support.
• Hospitals can refer early discharges to the church for psychosocial support to assist their return to full functioning after surgery etc.
• The intergenerational nature of the community lends itself to helping each other across the ages and stages of life, this action can be facilitated by the Health ministry team.
• Carers within the community often suffer in silence and are prone to burnout, the health ministry team can monitor those at risk and appropriate help where needed.

EXAMPLES OF HEALTH PROMOTION INITIATIVES

Healthy Heart Sunday
Blood Pressure testing is offered after Church services
Info sheets from the heart foundation are distributed to all present Registered Div 1 nurses Heart health and normal BP range
Memory Loss Information Network & Support group Monthly gatherings for Carers
and those living with memory loss Alzheimer’s counselors,
Education for carers
Respite advice
Pamper sessions providing TLC for people struggling with life.
Prayer Shawl ministry comforting grief, loss and illness.


 

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