Nursing Neighbors

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We hear a lot about the health care crisis in our country. Heres a helping hand offered by an ecumenical ministry. It trains parish nurses so that more people will have a place to turn with their medical concerns. Parish nurses make home visits, give blood pressure screenings at churches, and most importantly, offer friendship.  
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Nursing Neighbors Story:

Deb Schoenfelder: I feel its a real calling from God. In my life, this is where he would like me.

Deb Schoenfelder has a big mission in a small South Dakota town, keeping her community healthy. Shes a parish nurse through The United Methodist Church.

Deb Schoenfelder: It is dealing with the person in a holistic manner, seeing the person as body, mind and spirit all in one.

She makes house calls to neighbors like Iola Miller, a fellow church member.

Deb Schoenfelder: To me its very important that I pick up on certain aspects of their health ahead of time before something tragic happens, like a fall or something like that.

With no family living nearby, the check-ups are paramount to Iola, who has a few health problems.

Iola Miller: I know who to call if I need help.

Parish nurses do not replace doctors but they are an important part of recovery. They provide help through checkups, advocacy, prayers and bonding with their patients in ways traditional medicine does not.

Deb Schoenfelder: You can visit a newborn and 90-year-old all in the same day.

Iola says the parish nurse program is a blessing and so does Deb.

Deb Schoenfelder: I love it. Its the type of nursing I never thought Id have the opportunity to do.

Nursing Neighbors Tag:

Dakota Wesleyan University has already awarded 22 scholarships to R.N.s who want to take the parish nurse prep course. There are an estimated 100 parish nurses working in South Dakota.