Faith Based Nursing
Faith and the health are inseparable. Right from time in memorial, the two have coexisted, and the union has indeed been fruitful, as both aspects have complemented each other in every aspect. History tells us that missionaries who have taken religion to foreign lands have always dragged along health initiatives with them as a means to sell their religion to the peoples they wanted to conquer. Religion or the faith provides an excellent platform for the health sector stakeholders to reach out to the public(King, 2011). Using the religion as an avenue for health promotion programs has borne fruit in the past.
This paper is going to delve into the topic of faith and health describing aspects such as the heritage of health and healing. The paper will further analyze the collaboration between the two largest entities of society(Connor & Donohue, 2010). The paper will further highlight benefits of the collaboration between faith-based nursing and the faith community and the roles of the parish nurses.
Faith community nursing is synonymously referred to as parish nursing or congressional nursing as other scholars may put it. The term faith-based nursing is one among the many specialties of nursing; this one, however, focuses on the health promotion of the whole person and disease prevention. What sets this specific apart from the other nursing specialties is that both the health promotion and the disease prevention as approached from a faith perspective. In faith-based nursing, the medical and nursing knowledge is combined with spiritual care to improve the health statuses of individuals(King, 2011). There are some differences that set the discipline of faith based nursing apart from the rest. It is important to note that faith based nursing does not conform to the medical model of giving health care. Parish nurses do not undertake invasive procedures such as drawing blood from patients, giving medical or administering medication.
The link between faith and health has been the foundation of the numerous nursing schools around the country. Parish nursing has grown as a specialty and is now recognized by the American nursing association. The collaboration has been taken in by multiple different Christian denominations, and there are registered nurses who serve in similar positions in other faiths(King, 2011). There is even a philosophy to back the collaboration between the two entities. The collaboration emphasizes the concepts of health and healing within a community. Parish nursing, for instance, is founded on four major pillars, professionalism, shalom wholeness and health.
Seeing the critical role that faith based nursing could play the collaboration has been used as a tool to reach the 20202 health promotion goals of the country. Parish nurses in the country serve as health educators is clearly in line with the health promotions aim to seek to promote quality of life, healthy development, and healthy behaviors across all stages of life. Achieving such an objective will need the contribution of the parish nurses whose major role is to be educators of health matters(Connor & Donohue, 2010). The parish nurses working as health educators can give health talks to the faith community to reduce the unhealthy habits like excessive drinking and smoking of cigarettes. Such health talks would come in handy especially since the some of the habits they would be giving health talks against are discouraged in the faith as well. Health and Faith thus develop a synergy as they supplement one another.
In a bid to achieve the 2020 health promotion goals, the parish nurse acts as a link for the community. The parish nurses support the faith community health resources and health services. They do this to provide a much-needed liaison between the church and its members. In doing this, the parish nurse helps create a social environment and physical environment that is friendly and favors the betterment of the health of the different groups in the faith. Strong believers in the faith get to perceive good health as part of their faith. The parish nurses have linked up faith and health in them(King, 2011). They thus help create an environment that is socially and physically welcoming for the hardline believers.
Another key role of the parish nurses is to act as teachers of the faith community. They teach the faith community healthy habits. When the faith community is taught by one of their own, they can then attain high quality of life that is free of the diseases that are preventable. They faith community when well taught can avoid disability and injury which are some of the key goals of the health promotion goals of 2020 vision for the country. The other role of the parish nurses is to be referral agent(Anaebere&DeLilly, 2012).
Being referral agents, they are able to refer members of the faith community to seek rapid medical care before any complications can arise. The faith community will subsequently enable the attainment of the 2020 health promotion goals. Faith-based nursing is also tasked with the role of creating support groups. These support groups are created to a source of financial, spiritual and social nourishment for members of the faith community in the country. The support group initiative ensures people who cannot foot the medical bills are aided by the groups(Anaebere&DeLilly, 2012). The groups also aid in rehabilitation for the drug abusers, homeless families, and children. The support groups, therefore, create a socially and physically friendly environment for the faith community.
Such support groups take the country several steps closer to achieving the 2020 health promotion objectives of the country.
Multiple benefits arise from the collaboration between community nurses. First, the community nurses can get an avenue to get funds and finances from the faith based organizations that come in handy in running health promotion initiatives for their communities. Secondly, the parish nurses act as a much-needed boost to the human resource. The parish nurses plus the community nurses make a larger workforce that can only mean better health care outcomes for the people. The collaboration between parish nurses and community nurses has enabled improved health access for the individual members of the community(King, 2011). The community nurses act as a liaison between the health and faith and the community people. Finally, the collaboration between parish nurses and community nurse fosters provision of quality care for the patients. The parish nurses serve to provide the much-needed spiritual aspect of attention patients in the community need(Anaebere&DeLilly, 2012). It is no secret that health care that is considered quality caters for all aspects of need the patient has, including the spiritual dimension.
In conclusion, this paper has described in detail the collaboration between the faith and health. Both entities of society have supplemented one another for the betterment of health subsequently making light of the goals of the 2020 health promotion goals. The collaboration between the two has borne disciplines like those that parish nursing that has numerous roles, which similarly aid in achieving the country’s health promotion goals. The merger between parish nursing and community nursing has been mostly beneficial for the health sector as discussed above.
Anaebere, A. &DeLilly, C. (2012).Faith Community Nursing: Supporting Mental Health during Life Transitions. Issues In Mental Health Nursing, 33(5), 337-339. http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/01612840.2011.631164
Connor, A. & Donohue, M. (2010).Integrating Faith and Health in the Care of Persons Experiencing Homelessness Using the Parish Nursing Faculty Practice Model. Family & Community Health, 33(2), 123-132. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/fch.0b013e3181d594a0
King, M. (2011). Parish Nursing. Holistic Nursing Practice, 25(6), 309-315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/hnp.0b013e318232c5e0