This summer has been very busy for St Mary’s-Greyfriars Parish Nurse. Thanks to the help and support of a team of very capable volunteers, and the Go For It Funding, we have managed to attend 3 agricultural shows, namely the Royal Highland Show at Edinburgh, the Dumfries Show and the Moffat Show running our Parish Nursing health promotion tent. At these, we discussed with people their various health concerns, offered advice, handed out health information leaflets, offered Christian leaflets/books, highlighted Parish Nursing and of course checked people’s blood pressures.
Over the course the three shows we checked the blood pressures of over 120 folk, highlighting at least 5 potentially serious cases of undiagnosed hypertension as well as several cases of undiagnosed moderate hypertension.
We gave people, where appropriate, referral letters to give to their GP Practices informing them of our readings and discussed with them measures that they could take themselves to help control their own BPs. Throughout the season we have also been on duty doing our health promotion road show at the regular monthly church coffee morning.
What’s all the fuss about?
Hypertension is also known as ‘the silent killer’, left untreated can lead not only to a potentially devastating Cerebral Vascular Accident (Stroke), but can also cause damage to the major organs. So… take your blood pressure seriously and if your doctor prescribes you tablets, keep taking them!
The Royal Highland Show
This proved to be one of the highlights of my year. I had a very busy day indeed, which turned out to be focused mainly on explaining to people what Parish Nursing is all about and trying to sell the concept to other churches rather than deal with any actual health related queries. Much to my delight, several churches have been back in touch with me and at least one appears to be taking Parish Nursing on board. The highlight of my day though, had to be meeting the Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. Rev Dr Derek Browning not only showed a keen interest in what I had to say about Parish Nursing but also very generously allowed me to have my photo taken with him and posted it on his web site.
Arts and Craft Group
We have also started up an Arts and Crafts group in the church hall which runs every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, 2pm – 4pm, the timing is flexible and everyone is welcome to come and go as they wish. The group is aimed at alleviating isolation and developing community. It is as much a social get together as anything else and there is no need to be particularly arty; indeed, there are also colouring-in books available to anyone who wants them. We are also blessed with one 91-year-old who is very skilled at knitting and crocheting and who has been very patiently teaching some of us greenhorns the basics. Tea and coffee and a listening ear are always available.
Finally, the heart and soul of Parish Nursing for me must be my visits to people in their own homes. This is a great privilege, sharing with people a little of their story, and where appropriate, if requested, being able to pray for them and share with them and their families, God’s love and compassion in their place of greatest need.
Parish Nurse Catriona Logan
RMN, RGN, Dip LSN
Catriona Logan is a Parish Nurse based at St Mary’s-Greyfriars Parish Church. The project is using a Go For It Pilot Grant to meet local people, offer prayer, practical health care and signposting people to further support.
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