CollaboratingCommunity Nursing and Faith-Based Nursing
Faith-basednursing is centered on a strict belief. This belief is based on theteachings of the Bible. The main principle of these nurses is thetreatment of all individuals as sacred and deserving of medicaltreatment. Every person is therefore given utter respect and dignityby these nurses. The nurses of this order are servants to thecommunity and they provide secure and holy places for caring andhealing that is dealt with a lot of compassion. They work togetherwith the clergy and members of the church to transform thefaith-based community into a fountain of health and treatment(Dehavan et al., 2004).
TheHeritage of Faith-Based Nursing
Faith-basednursing, also known as parish nursing, was initialized by Rev. Dr.Granger E. Westberg. At that time, he was working as a chaplain atChicago Hospital. He had assisted in the creation of an organizationknown as Wholistic Health Centers. He had the idea that combiningmedical practitioners in this organization would be very progressive.Rev. Westberg pictured a nurse of the parish working in a faith-basedcommunity and was focused towards guaranteeing the well-being of thehealth of the community that are the same goals as the ones set bythe hospital. This would widen the nurse’s chances of interactingwith members of the society from all ages and different levels ofsickness and discomfort. The faith-based nurse would have theopportunity to confer spiritual guidance while providing all theconcepts of health care. This parish nurse would also promoteprevention of diseases and early treatment (Zahner & Corvado,2004).
Theaim behind collaborating community nursing with faith-based nursingis to attain full access on health and have no cases of situationsthat arise from selective or treatment based on segregation. Thesteps taken towards achieving this goal involve the following.
Increasedavailability of early and preventive care
Severalfactors hinder this availability of health care. This may includelack of the providers of these health care services. The geographicallocation of the patients to the location where these services may beobtained could be another factor that works against health careaccessibility for all. The working hours during which thesefacilities are available could also affect people who have limitedtime between work and family time. A clear understanding of thelanguage and culture of the people who may need these services alsoworks against these goals. Parish nurses are therefore well trainedto handle all these negative aspects, and thus they work towardsachieving their goal.
Improvingthe supply and standards of healthcare
Eventhough the faith-based nursing organization works towardsavailability of health care for all, the services should also beimproved as well as improve its quality. The steps taken to guaranteethese improvements are several. This is such as the development of acultural understanding delivery system that is specific to eachculture. The inclusion of spirituality is also another way ofensuring the improvement of the quality of these services. Furtherenhancement of health education focused on preventive strategies isanother key feature of this organization.
Improvedisease control by every individual patient
Thereare some of the diseases that are caused by habits and lifestyles.Such diseases include diabetes, hypertension and heart disease. Suchdiseases can be controlled and even avoided through a drastic changeof lifestyle practices. The faith-based nursing system achieves thisthrough the support of healthier lifestyles based on religious andmoral principles that confirm these changes are in conformity withspiritual and cultural beliefs. The organization further helps byinitiating programs that sustain and improve these lifestyle changes.
Benefitsof this Collaboration
Thefirst benefit is towards the individuals who receive these servicesfrom faith-based nurses. They benefit from education on preventivemeasures and early treatment of diseases that is based on principlesunderstood by their culture. Trust between the parish nurses andthese individuals is also established, and regular health carefollow-ups are made regular. Lifestyle changes are promoted, andspiritual beliefs associated with health and healing are enhanced.The people also benefit from convenience as these services areavailable close to them.
Thesecond benefit is towards these health centers. This is because thefaith-based organization gets to achieve its goal that is to providehealth care access for all. These centers also get access to morefacilities and funding from different organizations inclusive ofgovernment funded programs.
Thethird benefit is towards the community as a whole. The community getsimproved physical health. This leads to healthier individuals whosupply the working force for the community. More health-related jobsare created, and the community benefits economically as more familiesin the community achieve financial stability (Dehavan et al., 2004).
Roleof parish nurse in faith-based communities
Theparish nurse is the combiner of beliefs and health. The nurse alsobecomes an educator to the community on matters of health as well asact as the counselor for the community. This faith-based nurse mayalso be the champion of health as well as the health referralconsultant. This nurse can also be the initiator of support groupsand the coordinator of volunteers for various community schemes. Theparish nurses also work with aspects with aspects such as long-termcare, the running of hospices, dealing with daycare, organization ofsoup kitchens, school operation and coordination of any othercommunity programs.
Thefaith-based nursing organization is campaigning for a program thatstructures itself on the steps seen in the Healthy People of 2020goals. Every project and scheme that they set up is all aimed atcreating a better, healthier society that would guarantee futuregenerations would no longer have the current health issues that arecharacteristic of the current generation.
Considerationof Legal, Ethical and Financial Issues
Parishnursing has ensured that the government is involved in itsoperations. This is through government-funded programs and charters.This ensures that the operation of this organization is well withintheir legal mandate. All the steps that are taken by the faith-basedorganization are therefore viewed as legal within the laws.
Someethical issues involving nurses who have joined such organizationsthat are run by religions that are different from the nurses’ ownhave also arisen. This issue revolves around the notion that one mayhave to let go of their religion to work for such an organization.This is not the case since different faith-based organization have anopen policy whereby any nurse from whichever religion may join themwithout the need for religion change. Only the principles andguidelines that the organization is run by that is required to befollowed.
Thecollaboration of the faith-based nursing with the community nursingis also seen as an act that may lead to more financial expenditure.This is not the case since this partnership creates availability ofmore funds and resources. This venture works in a way that ensuresnone of the two different systems is exploited (Weis et al., 1997).
Theabove discussion shows that collaboration between the communitynursing and the faith-based nursing system is very beneficial to thecommunity. Accessibility to health care is provided for all withoutany favoritisms to any culture or religion, and it is done so at animproved quality of service provision. The partnership of the twosystems of nursing is, therefore, a very transformational steptowards improved health of the society.
Dehavan,M. J., Hunter, I. B., Wilder, L., Walton, J. W., & Berry, J.(2004). Health Programs in Faith-Based Organizations: Are theyEffective? American Journal of Public Health.
Weis,D., Matheus, R., & Schank, M. J. (1997). Health Care Delivery inFaith Communities: The Parish Nurse Model. Public Health Nursing.
Zahner,S. J., & Corvado, S. M. (2004). Local Health DepartmentPartnerships with Faith-Based Organizations. Journal of Public HealthManagement and Practice.