Parish nursing programs teach you the basics of patient care in combination with an emphasis on spiritual care. You will be trained to perform clinical assessments on patients, recognize basic treatment requirements, when to seek a doctor's assistance, and how to keep a patient's medical history confidential. In addition to this basic medical training, you will also learn how to educate patients on health issues, become a personal health counselor, train volunteers, develop support groups, and to help the patient see the role that faith plays in their overall physical and spiritual health.
Once you have complete a parish nursing program you may find yourself working in conjunction with a number of different religious organizations, or within a healthcare clinic. Many parish nurses find themselves working in providing care to those who otherwise might not receive it. The role requires strong personal skills to effectively communicate one's faith, and to gain the trust of the patient, whose life circumstances might otherwise make it difficult to earn such trust.