VITALity Provides Health of Mind, Body and Spirit
PARISH NURSING MINISTRY
The Parish Nurse ministry continues to have a healing presence throughout the Diocese of Camden. With parish Nurse Ministries in more than half of our local parishes throughout the diocese, we have been able to touch over 15,000 lives this past year helping to enhance and promote the health of individuals in our local parishes and throughout the community.
Parish nurses along with other healthcare ministry volunteers continue to answer the call to help heal the mind, body and spirit of those in need. Utilizing their unique healthcare backgrounds, they offer support, education and advocacy to their individual parishes as well as their local communities through monthly health screenings, health fairs and educational and informational presentations.
Utilizing local community members as well as diocesan resources, the parish nurse ministries have sponsored programs such as “Opioid Prevention and Awareness”, “Alzheimer’s Awareness”, “The Dangers of Vaping” and the ever popular “Having the Talk”.
In addition to health education and prevention programs, parish nurses offer select exercise programs. Our most popular exercise program is “A Matter of Balance” which is an educational exercise program aimed at helping elderly better manage their balance and increase their activity level. These programs along with many others help to build individuals’ health awareness enabling them to be more attune to their unique healthcare needs and empower them to take steps towards better control of their own well-being.
VITALity continues to support Parish Nurse Ministries with grant funding to assist the parish in covering expenses related to the ministry. In addition, VITALity offers the Foundations of Faith Community Nursing educational program (the only one offered in the state of New Jersey) to allow nurses to receive advanced credentials in parish nursing. and to attend to the spiritual needs of these dedicated nurses, VITALity hosted its Annual Day of Retreat and Reflection at The Discovery House in Hammonton.
Parish Nurses throughout the Diocese of Camden gather for a day of Retreat and Reflection.
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
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.