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Based on the community with clients drawn from an interdenominational background, Faith Community Nursing (FCN) provides a service to many and varied health care situations. Let me introduce to some of our scopes of practice.
COVID issues with the fears of pain, illness, death, isolation in the Community opens up the door for the FCN to provide support with practical help such as food, home help and reassurance and hope to encourage the elderly in particular. This reassurance comes in the form of regular phone calls and prayer support conveys information and the knowledge that the client is not alone.
Many who have had surgery delayed need proactive care checking on clients who need ongoing healthcare outside of COVID to detect deterioration of their condition to lighten the load of overloaded General Practitioners.
Valma, a registered Nurse with wide experience in Public Health Nursing has been an active FCN for many years. With expertise in Community Nursing, as a Practice Nurse and now a rural based Faith Community Nurse, Valma has used her teaching skills with nursing students who helped her in clinical situations as due to the 2021 lockdown, the District Nurses were overloaded and asked if she would care for a client who required dressings to a discharging cyst to the back; this continued for two months until healed.
With Long COVID rearing its head following the pandemic, the FCN has a useful role to work with local medical practitioners to assist in following up clients in the community and monitor their progress. There is great scope to become the doctors hands and feet and are able to professionally provide care and liaise with medical and pastoral teams in the community.
In the climate where nursing staff are limited and with burn out so common, the Faith Community Nurse can step in and support the needs of many who may be forgotten.
Registered Nurse and Midwife
NZFCNA Board Member/