Starting a volunteer parish health ministry

Posted
by Jeniele Jeniele, ADN, RN Member Nurse

Has 3 years experience.

My congregation does not have a parish health ministry and I believe we might have a need for one. Has anyone started a new ministry at their church as a volunteer? What would be the best way to determine if there is a need and what services to offer? Where would I learn what services I can provide under my scope of practice?

We do have a congregational care committee that coordinates cards, meals, prayer shawls ect. so I was thinking that this could be an extension of that and provide BP checks, diabetic and medication education during our senior lunches, etc.

CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 831 Posts

I would love to do this in my church community. I’ve had exactly these same questions, so I hope there is more discussion/replies.

Caprica6

Has 10 years experience. 72 Posts

I'm also interested in learning more.

AlleeBooRN

AlleeBooRN

Specializes in OB, ER. 67 Posts

are you still working on this. I was asked to start a program and do not know where to start

CommunityRNBSN

CommunityRNBSN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Community health. Has 4 years experience. 831 Posts

25 minutes ago, AlleeBooRN said:

are you still working on this. I was asked to start a program and do not know where to start

Same!

topaz1100

topaz1100, BSN, MSN

Specializes in Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant. Has 8 years experience. 36 Posts

I was asked to be the leader for our health ministry. It’s been in place for many years but no new programs or activities over the past few years. To my knowledge the previous parish nurse made many connections in the community & partnered with businesses & non-profits to offer services to our member.

initially we put out a call to all members to get involved/volunteer & there were a handful that showed up. We set day/time each month to meet & discuss planning, budget & any other issues.

since I’ve joined the Health ministry we’ve asked members to complete a survey asking what topics they’re interested in, how they like to receive Health info & a ton of other question that we thought would help guide us in planning. We had a relatively small number of people to complete the surveys.

my city has a health assessment that pretty details what health issues are common & what populations those issues effect. I used this a guide for offering Programming since surveys didn’t work well.

I’ve reached out to other people that have been involved with the ministry to ask what they’ve done in the past....why reinvent the wheel?

There has been a ton of things we accomplished over the past couple years. I don’t have a lot of experience with this but I’m happy to answer questions.

efthimia519

efthimia519, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Psych & Community Public Health Nsg and Education. Has 23 years experience. 51 Posts

The first step in conducting a needs assessment to see the needs and interests of your parish members. There is a Faith Community Nursing course that provides tons of info, some are online some are in person. I also recommend these books

Hickman, J. (2011). Fast facts for the faith community nurse implementing fcn/parish nursing in a nutshell. Springer

Patterson, D. (2003). The essentail parish nurse abcs for congregational health ministry. The Pilgrim Press.

There are others as well Fast Facts has sample needs assessments as well as frameworks...

Sondra Weinzierl, BSN

Specializes in RN, Faith Community Nurse. Has 49 years experience. 2 Posts

Parish Nursing or Faith Community Nursing (the newer name for it) is a wonderful option for RNs who want to be able to offer a "whole-person approach" to their practice.  Many FCNs are semi-retired and work as either unpaid staff or paid staff in a faith community.  The Faith Community Nurse Network of the greater Twin Cities has a 

Sondra Weinzierl, BSN

Specializes in RN, Faith Community Nurse. Has 49 years experience. 2 Posts

oops--the Faith Community Nurse Network of the Greater Twin Cities has a Foundations of Faith Community Nursing course offered twice a year to prepare RNs for this role.  I coordinate that course and would love to hear from you if you're interested in learning more about Parish/Faith Community Nursing and starting a ministry/program in your faith community. You can go to the website to learn more: fcnntc.org