Community health nursing: helping break chains, supporting health
“If you have never considered doing missions work, but you have a burning desire to help the people in your community, you may have a calling,” says Arnold Resto, Professor of Family and Community Care at the Carmen Torres Tiburcio School of Nursing at the Inter American University in Cupey, Puerto Rico. “And your calling may be nursing.”
As a Christian-based university, Inter American University offers students and faculty alike the freedom to bring God and Bible teaching into their curriculum. “I am a Christian, first and foremost,” says Resto. “And though as a professional nurse, I never force my faith on anyone or speak about it with a patient who does not want spiritual guidance, that possibility is always there. And especially when it comes to issues of addictions and substance abuse, only one thing can break those chains: the power of the Holy Spirit, and the blood of Jesus Christ. Over the many years of my career, I’ve found that in all kinds of settings – whether in the hospital or in the community – many patients are amazingly open to speaking about faith. They will often ask for prayer. Because when you are in a place where your face is to the floor – whether it be a drug addiction, a pulmonary infection, a gunshot wound – you turn to what matters.” Resto mentions that nurses today do much more than most people think – and in a whole plethora of settings. “We work everywhere from emergency rooms and long-term care facilities to prisons, churches, homeless shelters, and even door-to-door in the community.”
Resto is leading his class to do a health fair in the Alejandrino Community in San Juan on May 30th. As part of the health fair, addictions counselors and Christian materials will be on hand for those who want them. To hear the inspiring interview, click here.