Heritage of health and healing in faith based communities Essay
Identify the heritage of health and healing in faith based communities. Use multiple resources to collaborate community nursing with faith based nursing. Be sure to discuss at least three benefits of community nurses forming partnerships with parish nurses and faith based communities; to discuss a nurse’s role as parish nurse in faith communities for health promotion and disease prevention; to analyze how communities of faith may include Healthy People 2020 guidelines in program planning; and to consider legal, ethical, or financial issues related to parish nursing.
Please use at least 3 sources.
The relationship between religion and medicine is controversial.1,2 Two studies in this issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggest that faith communities and programs within faith communities can influence health care practices and health care planning, especially in high-risk populations. Studying a sample of 2,196 low-income African Americans, Felix Aaron et al. found that persons attending church at least monthly (regular attenders) were 20% to 80% more likely than less frequent attenders to have recently obtained a mammogram, had their blood pressure measured, or obtained a dental visit.3 For those with several chronic illnesses, regular attendance also increased by 70% the likelihood of having no delays in seeking care in the past year. Among uninsured women and women with several chronic illnesses, regular attenders were twice as likely to have a recent Pap smear.
The second study tested an educational program in faith communities designed to increase the percentage of persons with a living will
or health care power of attorney. Despite major efforts to get patients to sign advanced directives (ADs), only 15% to 20% have done so, and educational programs directed at healthy outpatients increase the likelihood of ADs by only about 10%. Medvene et al. tested an educational program that involved parish nurses working with 361 members of 17 faith communities to increase the percentage of those with ADs.4 Of the 248 who completed the program, 36% either revised a previous AD or signed one for the first time (the figures were 45% for Hispanics and 50% for African Americans).
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With the over-65 population projected to expand from 35 million to 80 to 90 million by 20405 and Medicare spending expected to increase from $260 billion/year in 2002 to $450 billion/year by 20116 (before the aging surge), health education and disease prevention have received increasing attention in recent years.7 Such efforts having been directed especially at growing ethnic minorities and low-income groups, which experience the worst health. These populations, however, are often the hardest to reach in terms of disease screening and health promotion due to a lack of health education and poor access to services. Given that two thirds of Americans are members of religious congregations (the figure is closer to 80% for minorities) and 60% attend religious services at least monthly,8 there is no single place in society where persons of all ages regularly congregate as the church. This has caught the attention of public health experts, who are now turning to the faith community for help to improve disease screening, access to services, and health care planning.9,10
Community health center formularies are more restrictive.
B. Community health centers have higher reimbursement rates.
Developing such connections, however, is not new. The near total separation of religion, medicine, and health care seen today is a relatively recent phenomenon of only the past two generations.11 A quick tour of history reveals that the Christian church built and staffed the first hospitals during the Middle Ages, the entire nursing profession emerged from religious orders, and most physicians during early American colonial times were also ministers. In the mid-20th century, church-related hospitals in the United States cared for more than a quarter of all hospitalized patients, and Catholic hospitals alone saw nearly 16 million patients per year.12 Arealliance between the religious community and the health care system would build on a long, long history.