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Serve: Called to Serve | Our Parish Nurse Ministry

By January 24, 2018May 4th, 2018No Comments

Called to Serve | Our Parish Nurse Ministry

by: Helen Tuffy, RN – Judy Balyeat, RN – Nancie Burke, RN – Joann Andrews, RN

We are called into service at our baptism and we are each provided different gifts from the Holy Spirit to carry out the word of Christ in our church and our community. Our parish provides us with many different ways to serve. There are hundreds of people in our parish who have chosen as their mission to serve others in a multitude of ways. We are blessed to be a part of such a generous group of giving people. St. John XXIII parish has an active Parish Nurse Program as one of its ministries.

The Parish Nurses’ primary role is to serve through healing and compassionate presence. We address the needs of mind, body and spirit and meet people on their health and spiritual journey. Parish Nursing provides us with a mission; something we feel called to do. “The joy we feel” in this ministry, is due to the belief that we are suited to the role as nurses and are driven to help with the needs of others. *(1)

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Our own spirituality develops as we provide service. We feel closer to God as we perform the services as they are needed and where they are needed. “We all know, the person with the greatest sense of serving was Jesus Christ.” *(2)

What do Parish Nurses acutually do?

Health advocacy: We serve through advocacy by visiting parishioners at church, hospital, home, rehab facility or even accompany them to doctor’s offices. The Parish Nurses are skilled at listening to medical personnel and can help you have a greater understanding of your illness, treatments and options.

Provide instruction: We can instruct on medication effects, side effects, and proper administration. Many hospital readmissions are due to patient not understanding why, how or when to take medications.

Do you understand the diet recommended by your doctor?

Perform Assessment: We do take blood pressures once a month in the Narthex and can recommend actions if it is outside acceptable ranges.

Offer Prayer and Support: We can be a prayer partner with those we visit by realizing that prayer is the means to be connected to Christ. We can be an extension of the parish by spending time with those who may be lonely or homebound. We are able to arrange for regular visits to bring the Eucharist and allay the feelings of loneliness with a social visit. We can distribute comfort blankets or prayer shawls made by talented and loving members of our parish as a tangible demonstration that others are thinking of and praying for them. Rosaries are available and, we will say the rosary with you if you like. Care of spirit really is our number one concern.

Meal preparation: We have developed a team of parishioners who will cook meals for those who need nutritional supplements. Their kindness and willingness is one way they show their love and concern for our fellow parishioners.

Referrals: We assist with referrals to community resources for help with food, facility information, physician information, transportation and/or financial assistance referrals.

Special Liturgies: We have sponsored, with parish leadership, special liturgies for those with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease and for their caretakers. The Mass is softer, shorter, and adapted to things that may be familiar to those with memory issues.

We have a Mass for those parents who have lost children so that they may gather to share, the blessings of the Mass and visit with others who have walked down the same difficult road. In the future, other specialty liturgies may be available.

Provide Information: The Veterans Information Officers visited our parish to inform veterans of any benefits they may be entitled to by virtue of their service to our country.

In a future, we would like to provide educational programs that can help all of us live a healthier lifestyle.

Additional Information: If you would like a Parish Nurse visit at home, hospital or facility, or if you would like some more information on what we do, then call the Parish office at (239) 561-2245 and leave your name and phone number. You will be contacted by a nurse within 48 hours. We are blessed to have the opportunity to serve.

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve.” – Mark 10:48

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