C-N nursing students minister to Knoxville homeless

 

Carson-Newman nursing major, Angelle Hayes, is one of several C-N nursing students who have helped minister to Knoxville area homeless through the Help for the Sole (Souls) clinic.

Carson-Newman nursing major, Angelle Hayes, is one of several C-N nursing students who have helped minister to Knoxville area homeless through the Help for the Sole (Souls) clinic.

Nursing students at Carson-Newman University are learning firsthand how to work together to provide the best care for clients, while also ministering to their needs.

Since 2006, C-N nursing students have volunteered with Help for the Sole (Souls). The program is offered at the Volunteer Ministries Center, which is also in collaboration with Knoxville’s Cherokee Health Systems, and targets the homeless population.

“This is a ministry that was started to teach preventive foot care, a physical need, to the homeless in the city of Knoxville,” said Dr. Cynthia Lynn, C-N assistant professor of nursing. “But the other aspect of the ministry is what we call help for the soul, which is actually connecting with someone that needs the service, but who also needs your attention as well.”

Students from Lynn’s psych mental health course are able to take part in the outreach opportunity once a semester as part of their clinical experiences. The students work together as a team, providing the proper care for each of their clients who attend the clinic.

Angelle Hayes, a junior, said the experience was one that quickly had a profound impact on her. “As I was sitting there listening to my first client and looking at his feet, I instantly called to mind the image of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. I then realized that this is what we were doing. We were being Jesus to these people by just sitting there providing them with care that was going to help them throughout their day.”

Each assessment begins with clients soaking their feet as students examine particular needs, ranging from assessing circulation to examining foot care habits. Students also provide education on foot health. At the assessment’s end, students supply clients with nail care along with a clean pair of socks, shoes, foot powder and lotion.

“In psych and even sometimes in life, you have to get comfortable at being uncomfortable,” said Lynn, a member of Corryton Church, “because if you don’t, you can miss out on a lot of blessings.”

To learn more information about the Help for the Sole (Souls) ministry, contact Carson-Newman’s Nursing Department at (865) 471-3425.