Saturday, 25 November, 2017

Profile: Lynda Booth, Parish Nurse

As a Parish Nurse, Lynda Booth serves four churches of the Circuit and their communities: Blackwood, Newbridge, Pontllanfraith and Trinant. At a recent United Service she shared a few words about her ministry. Her story is reproduced below:

 

Lynda’s Story

As a registered nurse my Christian faith has always been the basis for my work…..

Having been privileged to hold a variety of nursing posts over the past 38 years in acute care, midwifery, community, palliative care and for a short time at St Anne’s Hospice. My faith has encouraged me to see the value of nursing in an holistic way – physical needs have to be met, but emotional and social requirements play an important role in a person`s well being. Our spiritual health has a strong influence on our emotional and physical well being but in many spheres of nursing practice it is not always possible to address this area. In any professional / personal relationship listening is important and especially when individuals are going through difficult times with illness. I can remember being chastised by a ward sister for talking to patients and politely asked to please go and tidy the linen cupboard…..

Fast forward to some years later….

Having being nurtured in the church and becoming a church member, Sunday school teacher, steward and local preacher it was my work as a local preacher combined with my role as a district nurse that was to lead and provide an opportunity for mission and outreach into the local community through health ministry.

There came a time when my job as a D/N was no longer fulfilling and then an opportunity presented itself for early retirement. Then came an answer to a prayer – a leaflet about parish nursing came through my letterbox. I picked it up, put it down and kept reading it over and over. `This is it! this is what I want to do! Over the next few months the possibility of setting up a project was explored with PNMUK, church and circuit committees as well as shadowing a PN colleague.

Whilst it is still early days I am quite busy using my skills in a number of ways. I visit and support people hospitalised with serious and life threatening illnesses. I make home visits offering support and help. Prayer can be part of that support if appropriate. Support can also be given via a telephone call or a written Christian message. I promote positive health by encouraging healthy eating and lifestyles. I meet with people at coffee mornings, offer health advice and BP checks. I act as a resource person at a `Mums and Toddler Group` as well as making links with the 3rd sector ( voluntary organisations ) through health fairs to raise awareness of `Parish Nursing` I encourage others to develop their gifts and talents by training volunteers to support the project. I work closely with the minister and pastoral teams in each church and will be looking at ways of developing more health related initiatives through the `Faith and Health Committee`.

Together with the initial training from PNMUK and some additional training from the Open Bible College on Ministry and Mission I am beginning to see how the role of the PN alongside my faith can help people in real and urgent need of help and support. If I/ we can make a difference to one life then we have made a difference.

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