Parish Nurses: Bridging the Gap Between the Church and the Medical World2 min read

On September 20, Deaconess Christie Hansard, RN, BSN, received a group of seven nursing students from EMU who came to the District Office to learn about faith community nursing. She presented on parish nursing with the LCMS theological understanding of the whole person in a Christological perspective.

She gave the students examples of parish nursing, community health and wellness, and explained how parish nurses follow scope and standards of practices for faith community nursing. She talked about blood pressure ministry and bathroom ministry (placing resources and helpline numbers in bathroom stalls so people can pick them up without being noticed). She also talked about a ministry of presence, resources for homebound members, whole person health, and how to assess people in the congregation for physical and spiritual health, among many other topics.

Parish nurses don’t just give shots, set up flu clinics, or take blood pressures; they also serve as health educators and counselors, referral advisors, integrators of faith and healing, visitors, and volunteer coordinators. They also serve as a bridge between the church and the medical world by helping patients navigate information and correcting misinformation when needed.

Hansard says being a deaconess and a nurse is a perfect combination of vocations.

This was not the first time Hansard introduced parish nursing to nursing students. She has done this at least four times for Concordia University Ann Arbor students, once or twice for University of Michigan students, once for Michigan State University (at a conference), and four times for Eastern Michigan University students.

The Michigan District is very blessed to have Hansard, who also serves as our Mental Health Case Manager. Currently the chair of the LCMS Parish Nurse Ministry, she was asked to join the Church Worker Wellness Synodical Committee and is very excited to contribute on a national level.

For more information on parish nurse ministry, click here.

Photo by Elisa Schulz/Michigan District, LCMS

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About the Author

Elisa is a staff writer, copy editor, and photographer for the Michigan District, LCMS.

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