VITALity Offers Well Being . . .
PARISH NURSING MINISTRY
Parish Nursing is supported through VITALity which subsidizes educational opportunities along with grants to each parish to support the local work of the ministry. Parish nurses and the healthcare ministry volunteers have made a difference in various settings. This ministry has been at the forefront of health education with free health screenings, and informative talks and classes on various relevant topics. Joined often by nursing students from area colleges, parish nurse sponsored programs have included: “Being Positive about Mental Health Issues”, “Pain Management without Narcotics”, and “The Need for Caregivers Support”. The most popular offering remains “Having The Talk” where participants can speak with local medical and legal professionals regarding end of life issues and how to initiate that discussion with their loved ones.
In addition, VITALity has been collaborating with various state agencies to provide Deterra drug disposal bags for unused and out of date drugs around the home and disposal site information to parishes throughout the diocese in an effort to be part of the opioid epidemic solution.
This year VITALity continued in offering the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing educational program. (The only one offered in the state of New Jersey!) And, to attend to the spiritual needs of these dedicated nurses, VITALity hosted a Day of Retreat, Reflection and Recognition at the Discovery House in Hammonton.
There are now 38 parishes with parish nurse programs with 134 parish nurses and 141 health ministry volunteers serving within the Diocese of Camden.
Deacon Jerry Jablonowski, Executive Director of VITALity Catholic Healthcare Services, speaks to the parish nurses of the diocese at their retreat at the Discovery House in Hammonton.
To date Parish Nurse Grants have provided for:
40 Artificial External Defibrillators (AED)
275 Volunteers trained to provide CPR / AED use
New Blood Pressure cuffs and first-aid kits in various parishes
Educational materials and books for classes and workshops
38 Parishes with Parish Nurse Ministries
134 Parish Nurses
141 Health Ministry Volunteers serving within the Diocese of Camden
The Catholic Parish Nurse answers the call to share their talents as health educators and advocates with those in the community, addressing the threefold aspect of each person; body, mind and soul. The parish nurse provides support for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of all who seek their services. Humans are made in the image of the Triune God and it is necessary to honor the Trinitarian identity of each individual.
Diocesan Parish Nursing
As Catholics we are called to promote the dignity of every human life, especially the most vulnerable. The Parish Nurses of the Diocese of Camden reach out to the elderly and disabled in Southern New Jersey, compassionately serving all individuals in our parish and community, seeing each individual as part of the Body of Christ.
The various roles of a Catholic Parish Nurse:
- They are educators on various topic and skills such as; CPR, Catholic Advanced Directives, Dealing with depression, Diabetes and so much more.
- They are facilitators in organizing volunteers and resources in the community.
- They are advocates for those who need help in finding local, state or federal services, or who may be need assistance in getting medical supplies, adaptive equipment, or finding help for those isolated by circumstances.
- They are navigators in the healthcare arena, translating what is being said and how that effects the larger picture in a person’s life.
- They are integrators of faith and health in an environment which is often distant and impersonal.
- They are above all a Spiritual Presence in the lives of the faithful, holding their cares and concerns in prayer and providing companionship through life’s journey.
There are things which parish nurses do not do, such as hands-on care. They do not perform any treatments, dressing changes or administer medications.
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