Parish NursingWhat is a Parish Nurse?
A parish nurse is a registered nurse committed to the healing mission of his or her church. The parish nurse works directly with the church staff to assist the congregants in their search for wellness and a better quality of life. The practice of parish nursing involves, as the name suggests, a nurse who will provide spiritual and medical counseling and assistance to parishioners who are ill at home, are in the hospital, are in nursing homes, have had surgery, are new mothers, are home bound or in need of community assistance and referral.
A parish nurse has a leading role within her or his church and may be a resource person, a health educator, a coordinator of wellness programs, a personal health counselor, a volunteer and support group coordinator, a community liaison and a role model for the relationship between one's faith and one's health. A parish nurse works with the health care system to get the best possible health care for the members of the congregation and is an advocate or interpreter for individuals confused by their medical situation or unable to ask for help. A parish nurse does not do "hands on" nursing but assists members in finding resources to meet their needs. A parish nurse may serve as a volunteer or in a paid position within a congregation. The specific role of the parish nurse is determined by the unique needs of the congregation being served.
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