By Baptist Message staff
NEW ORLEANS (LBM) – The live-saving ministry of nurses through church ministries will be highlighted during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.
Baptist Community Ministries is among the organizations that will recognize the contributions of all nurses, including those in the faith community as part of their congregational wellness division.
Among the events scheduled is BCM’s annual symposium, May 20. All nurses will be invited to attend the free event (though seating is limited) and will receive six continuing nursing professional development credits. Vendors and massage therapists will be on hand at the event.
“We believe and know that the church is the healing place,” BCM Vice President of Congregational Wellness Frances Hawkins told the Baptist Message. “We are focusing in on what we can do to make sure this healing occurs. Our ability to be vessels in the community to focus on spiritual, emotional and physical needs of people in the community helps that healing occur .”
BCM has trained nearly 250 nurses and has 85 active nurse-led church ministries. These nurses not only may work a full-time job, but they volunteer 20 hours of their time each month to ministry in one or more of 138 churches they serve in the parishes of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard and St. Tammany. The nurses set up health fairs, collaborate with community partners to sponsor blood pressure checks, diabetes screenings, exercise classes, food/clothing giveaways, and disseminate hand-outs on mental health information to congregants and community residents.
The efforts have helped save lives, Hawkins said.
“Some people may not have known they have a certain condition and through health fairs and screenings, they discover a medical problem and are referred for further treatment,” Hawkins said. “The pastors of churches have given us positive feedback, without sharing confidential/personal information, about the value of the nurse in providing resources for the persons in need. We appreciate the way this ministry has allowed so many nurses and churches to connect people in the community with credible resources.”
For more information on registering for the symposium call BCM Nurse Manager Sharon Burel at .504.593.2339, email firstname.lastname@example.org. or about BCM, visit bcm.org.