NUR 1213C and NUR 1260C were both taught with a service learning component during the fall 2011 term.
This was the first semester that NUR 1213C Nursing Process I incorporated service learning according to nursing instructor Jean Stellato. The student project involved four visits to a well elder and included the completion of an extensive assessment of the individual and his/her environment.
The students then formed groups and researched a selected topic. Examples of topics were age-related changes, cognition assessment, oral hygiene, elder abuse, and adverse effects of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The various research groups then presented their findings to the class. All class members related descriptions of how their elder situation compared and/or contrasted to the research findings.
Instructor Stellato indicated that all students rated their service learning experience as good or excellent. It provided them with the opportunity to meet several course objectives such as identifying teaching/learning needs, assessing elder clients, utilizing therapeutic communication techniques, describing strategies effective in working with clients from different cultures, and analyzing societal and economic impact of aging and healthcare.
Nursing students in NUR 1260C Nursing Process II engaged in a service learning project of a somewhat different nature. Nursing Process II covers many diseases like TB, diabetes, coronary artery disease, hypertension, etc. Students must write a paper which discusses the demographics of the area as well as explain how homelessness affects access to healthcare. In the paper they must propose a program that could be started by nurses that addresses a need within that community. Many of the students discussed starting hypertension screening, vaccination programs, and health education classes. The students also prepared a brief presentation at the end of the semester.
The nursing students in instructor Sheila Hajari’s NUR 1260C did not learn theory alone, but applied the nursing principles that were taught in class in a very real setting. The students became involved at Thy Will Be Done, a church in Tampa, feeding the homeless. The students were involved in preparing and serving the food as well as also sorting and distributing donated clothing.
“Overall, I have gotten a very positive response from the students, wrote Sheila Hajari. “ The students have told me that they have been "humbled" by this experience and want to continue serving this community after this semester as well.”
For more information about teaching your class with a service learning component, contact Barb Ritter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by: SouthShore Staff