Health Ministry/Parish Nurse

Thoughts from the Parish Nurse

There are so many suggested health observances for the month of May! Healthy and Safe Swimming Week and Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month can be tied in together under the topic of sun screens and protection from the sun. Just today I came across an interesting health article about sun screens. (Megan Molteni, Science 05.06.19).
US health regulators want to know more about how all those photoprotective chemicals in sunscreens interact with people’s skin and their absorption into the body. The Journal of the American Medical Association published trial results showing that contrary to what sunscreen manufacturers have been saying, UV-blocking chemicals do seep into circulation. Much more study is needed to prove that they are safe as well as effective. Now, don’t panic and toss your tubes, sprays and lotions. There’s no evidence yet that they’re doing anything harmful inside the body. To date, it is just not known. The FDA has required more tests of the existing sunscreens on the market, as well as newly proposed products. If this has you at all concerned, know that you can safely fall back on the two ingredients which have so far have been ruled safe and effective—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
So, enjoy our pleasant May weather. Wear your hats or visors and sunscreen, avoid prolonged sun exposure and of course, hydrate!!
 
Blessings and Health,
Launa
 

Blood Drive

Your Health Ministers are coordinating a BLOOD DRIVE to be held at MVPC on Sunday, June 2, 2019. Vitalant (previously known as United Blood Services) is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit community blood service providers. They will set up to do the blood draws in our Fellowship Hall that Sunday morning (6/2/19). Stop by the Health Ministry table in the Narthex THIS Sunday to reserve your time spot to donate!

 

 

New team members 

We are excited to introduce three new Health Ministry Team Members! Dian Ward, RN has come on board, and is coordinating the Blood Pressure Screenings. Pat Youmans, who has experience in counseling, and Paula Anderson who has a history of working in the field of dementia and Alzheimer’s, are working on some helpful things for us in those areas. 
 

Confidentiality

All communications and conversations between the Parish Nurse and members will be treated in a confidential manner consistent with standards of nursing and pastoral care. No information will be divulged to staff, family, or other health care professionals without the consent of the parishioner.
 

What is Parish Nursing?

Parish Nursing has been defined by the American Nurses Association as “a unique, specialized practice of professional nursing which focuses on the promotion of health within the context of the values, beliefs and practices of a faith community…its mission and ministry to its members…and the community it serves.”

What are examples of Parish Nursing?

Health Counseling

A member of the congregation is diagnosed with diabetes. She has a number of questions about this condition and especially her new diet. The Parish Nurse could meet with her to review in more detail things that her physician told her about diabetes. The Parish Nurse may believe that a consultation with a dietitian or nutritionist would be valuable to this person, and may arrange a referral through the family doctor.
Pregnant, nursing, or new mothers may have questions or need support. The Parish Nurse is available for them. A youth or teen of the church, or their parents, may have questions regarding sexuality, drugs, alcohol abuse, depression, suicide prevention and more. The Parish Nurse is available to discuss these issues in a private, professional and strictly confidential manner. Referrals may be offered, as necessary.
Men’s and Women’s health issues are discussed privately and confidentially. Advocacy, support, referrals and spiritual support are all offered by the Parish Nurse.
 
Individual meetings may be scheduled with the Parish Nurse to assist a parishioner with sorting through the grieving process, stress, depression, other mental health or addiction issues, understanding their medications, etc. Once the issue is addressed, appropriate referrals may then be made as needed.
 

Blood Pressure Screenings

Blood Pressure Screenings are offered periodically to the congregation by the Health Ministry team and volunteer nurses. Health Education Several members may have voiced questions about a specific health issue. The Parish Nurse might organize a small discussion/support group in response.
 

Health Education

Several members may have voiced questions about a specific health issue. The Parish Nurse might organize a small discussion/support
group in response.
 
Various classes and programs addressing health issues may be offered to MVPC members and the community. An article is written for the monthly Messenger Newsletter.
 

Liaison with Other Church Volunteer Groups

The Parish Nurse works closely with the Pastor, Deacons and staff of the church. Being aware of the many volunteer groups within MVPC available to the congregation, the Parish Nurse can facilitate referrals to the appropriate group leaders within the church to address the parishioner’s needs.
 

Liaison with community programs and health professionals

The Parish Nurse serves as a resource person and an advocate for parishioners and their families.
 

Visitation

The Parish Nurse makes visits to parishioners in the hospital, hospice, rehabilitation or extended care facilities and/or home. Phone visits are also utilized. Parish Nurse’s visits are in addition to the visits done by the MVPC Pastor.
 

What is NOT a function of the Parish Nurse?

The Parish Nurse does not provide services that require a doctor’s order, such as changing dressings, giving medications or intravenous fluids. She does not duplicate existing services such as home health or hospice care. The Parish Nurse Program does not maintain a clinic in the church.