Parish Nursing: Stories of Service and Care

Verna B. Carson, Harold G. Koenig / Templeton Foundation Press, 2002

Before there were word processors, computers, typewriters, or other implements to write with, there were stories. The collective wisdom of generations has been passed down through story telling. Stories spark the imagination; they inspire and motivate; they teach and encourage; they correct and challenge. Stories are indeed powerful. And so we have chosen to present the stories of parish nurses – to allow you to hear them describe their journeys in their own voices. Hopefully you will learn from them, be inspired and motivated by them, and allow your imagination free reign to envision parish nursing operating in your church and your healthcare system. We believe that parish nursing offers hope to a beleaguered and increasingly inadequate healthcare system where the demands for care, especially long term care, are outstripping the available resources. People want to be cared for in a wholistic manner – to be heard, to share in decision making about their lives, to be loved even when they are unlovable, to be accepted as they are in their brokenness, to be encouraged to delineate their own values, goals, and personal views, and to be recognized as more than a diseased gall bladder or a serious case of depression. Patients want health care providers to see beyond presenting symptoms to the impact of these symptoms on their lives, their work, their capacity to experience joy, their ability to engage in family life and their experience of spirituality. Parish nurses recognize this and respond to it. This is a book about their stories – their callings, their struggles, and their joys.

Special Recognition:
Parish Nursing: Stories of Services and Care (Carson & Koenig) received the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award for 2002 in the category “Nursing Education & Continuing Education.”