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Collaborating Community and Faith-Based Nursing

Patterson, Wehling, and Mason (2008) argue that “faith-based nursing provides autonomy thus improving the level of flexibility and creativity” (p. 39). Parish nurses can collaborate with faith-based communities to promote the best health practices. The approach encourages more people to develop the new mind, interpersonal, body, spirit, and environmental connections. Such connections eventually result in holistic care. This essay describes the major issues associated with healing and health in faith-based communities.

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Heritage of Health and Healing in Faith-Based Societies: Collaborating Faith-Based and Community Nursing

Religious institutions have for centuries offered evidence-based practices for healing. This practice has become relevant since many communities focus on the best aspects that can produce desirable health outcomes. The spiritual dimension in healthcare continues to dictate the practices of many caregivers (Tuck, Wallace, & Pullen, 2001). This notion has led to the establishment of faith-based communities. Parish nursing emerged in the 1970s as a specialty in health practice. The field focuses on four unique concepts. These include “professionalism, shalom as wholeness and health, spiritual formation, and incorporation of cultural diversity” (Patterson et al., 2008, p. 39). The concept of faith-based communities has become a new opportunity for supporting the health needs of many people.

Healthcare practitioners should offer culturally-competent care. This concept borrows a lot from the idea of faith-based nursing. Parish nurses should promote the best practices and establish communities that share similar values. The coordination of community and faith-based nursing is something based on human spirituality. This means that the members of the community should be respected and empowered. They should be treated as sacred persons who require the best care. The process will also transform faith communities into avenues of effective care, health, and healing (Tuck et al., 2001). Faith-based nursing, therefore, seeks to promote wholeness and harmony. These strategies will ensure the community understands the importance of good health.

Benefits of Partnerships between Parish Nurses/Faith-Based Societies and Community Nurses

Communities that form new partnerships with parish nurses have numerous benefits. To begin with, the partnership makes it easier for both community nurses and parish nurses to implement appropriate health practices (Roberts, 2014). The partners implement a powerful health ministry that can address their health problems.

The second benefit is that the collaboration results in flexibility and creativity. This means that the issues affecting the faith-based communities are addressed in a professional manner. The healthcare providers also get new opportunities to promote the best health promotion programs. The third benefit is that the collaboration produces successful communities that share similar values. The “healthcare practitioners, parish nurses, community members, and social workers establish new connections for holistic healthcare” (Roberts, 2014, p. 120). The parish nurses also make it easier for more individuals to establish a desirable body, spirit, mind, and impersonal connections (Bachhuber, 2010). The targeted faith-based communities will eventually address their health challenges.

Role of Parish Nurses

Parish nurses can support the health goals of many individuals in faith-based communities. These nurses support the best health promotion practices and prevent diseases. Parish nurses collaborate with different faith-based leaders to produce powerful health promotion programs. Such programs encourage “the targeted community to acknowledge that health is not always the absence of a disease” (Tuck et al., 2001, p. 447). Such nurses use this concept to empower more members of the community. The targeted individuals eventually “become active participants in their health activities” (Tuck et al., 2001, p. 448).

Parish nurses can complete a wide range of roles in order to promote the best health outcomes. They can work as health advocates, counselors, referral agents, and educators. The nurses can design educational programs. Such programs have the potential to prevent various health problems (Bachhuber, 2010). The faith-based communities also acquire new ideas and resources for continued health promotion. They also coordinate volunteers in order to assist different targeted communities.

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The nurses also support a number of community assessments. Such assessments can sensitize people about the major health risks affecting them. Some of these tests include blood pressure, health screening, fitness, and weight management. They also offer individualized counseling in an attempt to prevent various diseases (Tuck et al., 2001). Such nurses design and arrange seminars to sensitize more people about the health challenges facing them. Parish nurses make referrals to different institutions. These activities are critical towards promoting people’s health outcomes. These health professionals also prevent and treat various health conditions.

Faith-Based Communities and Healthy People 2020 Guidelines

The guidelines outlined by Healthy People 2020 can support the goals of faith-based communities. Together with parish nurses, such communities can examine the major health priorities outlined by Healthy People 2020 in order to design and plan the best healthcare programs (Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020, 2016). The collaborators can also design new activities to increase public awareness. The strategy will encourage more individuals to focus on various disease prevention practices. As well, faith-based societies can use such guidelines to outline new goals and objectives. Such goals will encourage more members to engage in the best health behaviors. Every community will eventually address most of its health problems.

The Healthy People 2020 program attracts different players and actors in order to achieve the best health outcomes. Faith-based communities can therefore engage different stakeholders and policymakers in an attempt to have better healthcare practices (Fielding, Kumanyika, & Manderscheid, 2014). Different players such as social workers, communities, and parish nurses can engage in research work. The findings obtained from such studies can be used to make quality health decisions. Such communities can use the outlined guidelines to implement successful health programs. The ultimate goal is “to promote quality of life” (Fielding et al., 2014, p. 7).

Legal, Ethical, and Financial Issues

Parish nurses should follow the major statutes outlined in the Nurse Practice Act (NPA). They must be aware of specific policies and guidelines whenever supporting their clients. The practitioners are accountable for delegated duties and programs. Such nurses should also be aware of various ethical issues whenever supporting their communities (Bachhuber, 2010). For instance, they should act in a professional manner. They should always embrace the best values such as empathy, affection, and trust. They should maintain the highest level of confidentiality. It is necessary to consider the health needs of different patients and community members. Parish nurses must offer evidence-based and culturally-competent care to the patients.

Many parish nurses encounter a wide range of financial problems. Such issues make it impossible for them to deliver the best support to their faith-based communities. Parish nursing programs are currently focusing on new ways to increase budgetary allocations for their workers (Roberts, 2014). Parish nurses also “purchase various tools such as office supplies, first aid supplies, stethoscopes, and blood pressure cuffs” (Roberts, 2014, p. 121). Parish nursing budgets should therefore support the financial needs of these practitioners.

Reference List

Bachhuber, T. (2010). The Collaboration Between Parish Nurse and Public Health Programs in Connecticut. Digital Commons, 1(1), 1-57.

Fielding, J., Kumanyika, S., & Manderscheid, R. (2014). A Perspective on the Development of the Healthy People 2020 Framework for Improving U.S. Population Health. Public Health Reviews, 35(1), 1-24.

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Leading Health Indicators for Healthy People 2020. (2016). Web.

Patterson, D., Wehling, B., & Mason, G. (2008). Parish nursing: Reclaiming the spiritual dimensions of care. American Nurse Today, 3(10), 38-40.

Roberts, S. (2014). Parish nursing: Providing spiritual, physical, and emotional care in a small community parish. Clinical Nursing Studies, 2(2), 118-122.

Tuck, I., Wallace, D., & Pullen, L. (2001). Spirituality and Spiritual Care Provided by Parish Nurses. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 23(5), 441-453.

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