Karen Harding, R.N., Parish Nurse

Why did I become a Parish Nurse?

I feel that the simplest answer to that is to help people. That’s why I became a Registered Nurse; but as I lived my busy life I had to deal with many challenges and needed my faith to support me. Duff’s church had been considering having a Parish Nurse and after a presentation by ICHM staff, the Session decided to give it a try not only for the congregation, but also as an outreach initiative. ICHM not only provided the educational program, but also continues to support the church and me.

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Duff’s Presbyterian Church, Puslinch, Ontario.

Our health is made up of body, mind and spirit and today’s healthcare providers have little time to help people with all three realms.

Parish Nurses have made a decision to assist people in all areas to the best of their ability and support, guide and walk along with people on their journey. Every congregation has different needs and the role of a Parish Nurse is tailored to meet the needs and wants of the congregation.

In my role, I provide ten hours per week and have a minimum of two events per month. Our program has evolved over the last five years to have twenty fitness activities, a movie program and a lunch every month. The lunch [Editor’s note: a.k.a, Lunch & Learn] involves a home cooked meal with guest speakers who provide education and entertainment as well as a time to socialize which is essential in a rural community. I visit people at home, hospital, long term care facilities and at hospice.

It is an honour and pleasure to provide assistance to people in need who are not sure how to ask for help or where to go to get that help.

Karen Harding R.N., Parish Nurse


Author: Karen Harding

Editor: Luba Rascheff, ICHM Staff