The one consistent factor in my nursing jobs was listening to people and teaching. My first job fresh out of college was to earn enough money to help my sister finish her last year at college. I took the job that would pay me the most and loved it. I was learning to better my nursing skills and teaching entry level staff. I worked my way through Graduate School as a Teaching Assistant in the School of Nursing. I loved it. Those events set a pattern for my working life and I was blessed to continue what I loved to do.

When I became a Parish Nurse, I listened to people and loved learning about their lives. There are people around us who live lives of nobility and grace. They live lives of greatness and humility; of love, loss and grief. They have been blessed with lives filled with family, friends, neighbors, pets and possessions. In time, we say goodbye to most of those blessings even as we welcome new blessings. I found that it helps to have other people who will walk along side and listen as we make those changes.

I spend Wednesday Family Night at church, have dinner and listen and talk to wonderful families; grandparents, parents, children and all the others who love them. I spend time in my neighborhood watching for where I can help. Listening and looking, weeding a flower bed, taking people to appointments, shopping or just for a drive. During the summer, I spend more time outside and love “over the fence” listening. I believe strongly in the need to support one another in life’s transitions…relationship changes, new babies, loss of usual health, growing old, making the end of life as filled with meaning and purpose as in the busiest days of our lives. There is joy in remembering and reminiscing.

While I love my self-appointed jobs as a Parish Nurse, I need time to renew and study. Nursing practices change and it is important to read, study, and attend classes and to spend time praying for others and myself, (love Wednesday Evening Prayer). Daily Bible study and wise words from our Pastors and others help me keep a healthy focus. Area Parish Nurses meet regularly to support and share good ideas with one another.

I would like to live out the reason I am here at this time and this place. Parish Nursing helps me to find my way.

Helen Bache, Parish Nurse