Christian Science nursing is a practical, spiritual ministry that actively supports the patient’s decision to rely on Christian Science for healing. It is grounded in the Bible-based theology of Christian Science, which includes Christ Jesus’ commandment to love one another. (see John 15:12) This ministry is carried out with prayer, wisdom, compassion and skill.
The founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, established the authority and standard for the Christian Science nurse in 1908 in The Manual of The Mother Church. (Page 49, Article VIII, Section 31):
Christian Science Nurse. SECT. 31. A member of The Mother Church who represents himself or herself as a Christian Science nurse shall be one who has a demonstrable knowledge of Christian Science practice, who thoroughly understands the practical wisdom necessary in a sick room, and who can take proper care of the sick.
The cards of such persons may be inserted in The Christian Science Journal under rules established by the publishers.
Individuals advertising in The Christian Science Journal have presented satisfactory evidence that they fulfill the requirements in this By-Law.
This Scope of Services is intended to clarify for patients and other interested persons what they may expect when engaging the services of a Christian Science nurse. It touches briefly on the main aspects of those services.
Christian Science nursing care includes:
- Accepting a case with the expectancy of complete and immediate healing;
- Giving care that is consistent with the theology and ethics of Christian Science;
- Loving reassurance of God’s tender care, ever-presence, and omnipotence; faithfully and consistently acknowledging man’s spiritual perfection;
- Christian encouragement of an individual’s expression of normal activity and natural vitality;
- Reading to or with an individual from the Bible, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and other writings by Mary Baker Eddy; also, additional literature published by The Christian Science Publishing Society;
- Communication: maintaining an ethical, moral, and loving manner in all communications with the patient, family, friends, Christian Science practitioner, and others; observing ethical and legal requirements with regard to private information about the patient;
- Surroundings: maintaining an atmosphere that is conducive to spiritual healing and supportive of harmonious care;
- Personal care and bathing: assisting with all necessary care to meet the needs of cleanliness and comfort;
- Mobility: assisting with mobility including assisting with standing, walking, moving and settling with or without mobility aids or comfort items;
- Nourishment: preparing and modifying food; assisting with feeding; giving appropriate encouragement to eat;
- Cleansing/bandaging: cleansing, covering and bandaging, to provide for cleanliness, protection, support, and comfort;
- Instructing the patient or others in providing care for meeting individual needs;
- Being obedient to the laws of the land.
Christian Science nursing care does not include:
- Making a medical diagnosis or prognosis;
- Assuming responsibility for making health care decisions for the patient;
- Administering medication, drugs or using medicated, herbal, or vitamin-based products and remedies;
- Using and administering medically oriented techniques or technology;
- Manipulation, massage, physical therapy;
- Intravenous or force-feeding;
- Assuming responsibility for a patient’s financial or household business transactions;
- Intruding on the private relationship between the patient and the Christian Science practitioner, or between the patient and his or her family;
- Giving personal advice and counsel.
Fundamental to the ministry of a Christian Science nurse is an active, prayerful confirmation of man’s innate spirituality and responsiveness to God’s harmonious government. This spiritual witnessing undergirds each aspect of the care a Christian Science nurse renders.
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