Since 1995, Trident Health has been a provider of support for volunteer programs in health ministry/faith community nurse. The program is designed to offer guidance to nurses and congregational health promoters in area churches who, with their pastors and church wellness committees, wish to participate in the program.
Health ministers, faith community nurses and wellness teams, together with church officials, other healthcare professionals, agencies and hospitals, help the congregation to enhance the relationship between body, mind and spirit which is necessary for wellness and healing. They have special training and are committed to serving the church by offering appropriate visitation, health education, screenings, support groups and other programs within the church, as well as church outreach.
Everyone involved in health ministry performs within the scope of their training, offering their unique gifts and expertise. R.N.s must follow the Scope and Standards of Faith Community Nursing as defined by the ANA/Health Ministry Association and licensure laws. Such programs are an established and proven means of promoting whole person health among many denominations throughout the country and internationally.
Health ministers and faith community nurses may be:
- Health educators who focus their efforts on preventative care. They seek to raise the awareness of the church community and foster an understanding of the relationship between lifestyle, personal habits, attitudes, faith and well-being.
- Personal health promoters who listen to and encourage people. They are available to discuss physical, emotional and spiritual concerns. They help individuals recognize symptoms that need treatment that may have been ignored in the past.
- Resource and referral guides who connect parishioners to a variety of appropriate health and community resources.
- Facilitators and promoters for wellness programs in the congregation that might address stress, grief, diet, weight control, exercise and family relationships.
- Advocates for individuals and groups on health issues identified by the congregation.
As an educational partner with the International Parish Nurse Resource Center, Trident offers opportunities throughout the year for continuing education, consultation, resource sharing, and networking with others who have found this special vocation. Both newcomers and those who are experienced in Health Ministry advocacy are welcome to attend. Also, come and learn how the Carolinas Health Ministry Association, SC Faith Community Nurses Network, DHEC, CDC, and other community agencies encourage clergy, faith community nurses, and health ministry teams to strive toward health of body, mind, and spirit.
While each event provides free educational material integrating faith and health, additional resources are recommended from Parish Nurses.
The Trident Health Network offers:
- Information to help you get started.
- Support with developing programs.
- Reference materials and resources.
- On-campus classes and speakers.
- A connection with other individuals, organizations and sources of community support.
- Guidance for dealing with special health needs of members.
- Continuing education in broad aspects of health ministry/faith community nursing.
The program does not cover invasive procedures or medical diagnosis and treatment at congregational sites.
For more information, please call Melissa Altman, RN, BS, FCN, Health Ministry/Faith Community Nursing Coordinator at (843) 847-4989.