Parish Nursing is an international program that started in 1980 and the Quad Cities has been active in the program since 1989. It is a program with a holistic approach to health care promoting wellness in body, mind, and spirit. All faiths can benefit from having a Parish Nurse in their church.
Melody, that’s me, has been here since 2006 as Salem’s Parish Nurse. Salem is one of the few churches that has had a Parish Nurse almost since the time it was implemented. You have had a Parish Nurse for about 28 years. Look at the survival rate of your members. I can think of 16 members who are in their 90’s and 24 who are in their 80’s. Many of these 80 and 90 years olds are still volunteering to help the church or doing community service because they are so active and healthy.
The Parish Nurse is an individual who has a calling, is a person of faith, and is an experienced registered nurse, (worked 43 years as a visiting nurse). She provides health teaching individually or in groups, does outreach ministry and strengthens and emphasizes the awareness and connection between faith and healing. She works with the congregation and staff, medical facilities, the various community agencies, helps with screenings, clinics, doctors, makes referrals as needed, is an advocate for the parishioner to make sure they get the best care possible, makes visits to homes, nursing homes, hospitals, provides emotional, spiritual support, encourages compliance with the medical treatment and assists families in time of crisis. She makes referrals to different agencies, nursing facilities, nursing care, homemaker care, etc.
To give you an idea of some of the things that I have done over the years. We have had 4 Children Wellness Fairs, exercise classes, balance classes to prevent falls, blood drives, provided speakers related to health and wellness, been advocate for members when in hospital, make referrals as needed, help with wellness committee and Willard school as needed, take members to doctor appointments if transportation is needed or be advocate for patient, prayer shawl and baptismal blanket ministry, flu and foot clinics, grief support and support groups, written grants to help fund programs for health, helped with River Bend Pantry outreach, donated clothing and food to both women and men’s shelters in area, World Relief Assist, Fire and Safety protection, etc. I invite the community to Salem Lutheran Church Parish Nurse programs and activities as I want them to be aware of what the church does and promote wellness.
Some of the other things that I do are help with the Healing Services, attend monthly Parish Nurse meetings and keeps updated on the medical changes, treatments, resources in community treatments, write articles for newsletter monthly and update bulletin board and set out periodicals for members.
The program is funded by the Trinity Unity Point and the church. Our goal is to reclaim the spiritual dimension of nursing care to help heal the person and make them whole.
I work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 1st and 3rd Sundays. Occasionally there is a change in schedule due to vacations, holidays, etc. If you have a question or concern you can call and leave a message and I will get back to you if I am not available at that time. I am here for you to keep you well in body, mind and spirit and be your friend also as well as your Parish Nurse. God Bless You.
Sincerely, Melody Schnell, Parish Nurse
1724 15th Street, Moline, IL
Phone: 309 764-5614
Salem Lutheran Church