Nursing students at Carson-Newman University recently volunteered their time with the Help for the Sole (Souls) program.
The program, which targets the homeless population, is offered at the Volunteer Ministries Center in Knoxville in collaboration with Cherokee Health Systems.
C-N nursing students have volunteered with Help for the Sole (Souls) since 2006.
“This is a ministry that was started to teach preventive foot care, a physical need, to the homeless in the city of Knoxville,” C-N assistant professor of nursing Dr. Cynthia Lynn said. “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 psychiatric/mental health nursing course are able to participate in the program once a semester as part of their required clinical experiences.
The students work together as a team to provide the proper care for each of their clients at the clinic.
Each assessment begins with clients soaking their feet while students examine particular needs, such as assessing circulation, examining foot care habits and providing 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.”
C-N junior Angelle Hayes said the experience 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,” Hayes said. “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.”
To learn more about the Help for the Sole (Souls) ministry, contact Carson-Newman’s Nursing Department at (865) 471-3425.