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October 4, 2015 | 21st Tishrei 5776

Congregational Nurse Program: FAQs

Answers basic questions regarding the program such as roles, functions and desired qualities.

Q: What is a congregational Nurse Program?

A: Congregations have been promoting health and wholeness for centuries through worship, music, sharing, and caring. A new dimension is the addition of a registered nurse to the ministry team. The nurse promotes the relationship between faith and health, and serves as a liaison between the healthcare system and the congregation.

Q:What are the roles of a congregational nurses?

A: The Congregational Nurse has several functions in the community. They include, but are not limited to being:
  • teacher--teaching health and wellness programs, and facilitating support groups
  • health counselor-- community referrals
  • community resource-- coordinate services, collaborate with physicians, teachers, and other health care professionals
  • health promoter-- blood pressure screening, flu shots, health fairs
  • advocate-- assists congregants to foster effective communication between home, hospital, and nursing home
  • spiritual comforter-- in consultation with Rabbi, provide healing services, offer prayer during times of crisis and celebration

Q: What are the qualities of a congregational nurse?

A: A congregational nurse has many roles in the community and therefore must possess certain qualities to meet the challenge(s) of the position.

  • He/She must be a registered nurse with at least five years experience
  • Possess an abiding awareness of his/her own spiritual and faith commitment
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal and caring skills
  • Ability to comprehend and communicate the importance of health and wellness of the body, mind and spirit
  • An understanding and firm commitment to the vital mission of fostering wellness in today's society

Q: What does a congregational nurse do?

A: Congregational nurses have many responsibilities. They:

  • Listen
  • Assess health needs for your community
  • Provide screening clinics(blood pressure, glucose, etc.)
  • Make home, hospital, and nursing home visits as appropriate
  • Offer support groups for grief, divorce, aging, youth related concerns, etc.
  • Refer congregants to specific health/social service agencies
  • Coordinate volunteers for supportive ministries
  • Attend meetings to network with other health care professionals and congregational nurses

Q: What does a congregational nurse NOT do?

A: Congregational nurses do NOT practice direct or hands-on healthcare in the synagogue community. He/She does not dispense or administer medications, do wound care, draw blood, or any nursing function that would be paid by a third party payer such as Medicare, Medicaid or an Insurance company. The congregational nurse does not take the place of, or compete with, existing community or congregational resources.

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