"Restoring the Soul in Health Care"
Faith Community Nursing, or Parish Nursing, is an idea rooted in and born out of the understanding of the faith communities healing ministry and the need to re-focus health care on the whole person — body, mind and spirit. It emphasizes wellness, disease prevention and health promotion in the community of faith.
Faith Community Nursing is a specialty practice and professional model recognized and endorsed by the American Nurses Association (ANA). The Parish Nurse employs their skills across the age span of the congregation to integrate faith and health to promote wellness. The members of the faith community who share the passion and vision for whole-person health, join together with the Parish Nurse to form a health cabinet or ministry team, which develops meaningful health services for the congregation and community.
Through this collaborative effort, the Parish Nurse seeks to support and assist individuals, families, groups and communities in becoming active partners in the stewardship of personal and communal resources; fostering new and creative responses to health and wellness concerns, directly impacting the current challenges to health care through the faith community.
Rather than dealing primarily with sickness, the Faith Community Nurse serves as a:
• Health EDUCATOR, promoting and establishing a variety of educational activities and programs which explore the relationship between lifestyle, faith and health.
• Personal health COUNSELOR who discusses health issues and problems with individuals; providing screenings and making home and health care facility visits as needed.
• Health REFERRAL AGENT serving as a liaison and communication link for a broad range of community resources.
• TEACHER and FACILITATOR of congregational volunteers to develop and implement a range of support services and health related ministries.
• ORGANIZER and DEVELOPER of various support groups which assist people in the congregation and beyond with particular needs and concerns.
• Health ADVOCATE who works with the client, faith community and primary health services to provide what is in their best interests from a holistic perspective; listening and supporting the client to do what they can do and being their voice when necessary.
Consistent with its holistic approach and compassionate care, this Faith Community Nursing and Health initiative is a service and outreach of Hospice of South Georgia.
Registered Nurses and congregational leaders and members who have a desire for whole-person health care and are interested in establishing health care ministries in their local congregations should contact Jeff May RN, FCN at Hospice of South Georgia at 249-4100 or email jeffrey.may@SGMC.ORG for more information.
By: Jeff May, RN, FCN
Hospice of South Georgia