230360 A case study of service learning opportunities and challenges

Tuesday, November 9, 2010 : 2:30 PM - 2:45 PM

Sonda Oppewal, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Background and Issues: The purpose of this presentation is to share a case study of recent challenges facing nursing faculty to support the work of a student led organization whose mission is to provide free health services to local underserved community members. Despite the successes the clinic has made towards improving access to health care, issues and challenges include assuring adequate malpractice coverage for nursing students, complying with Board of Nursing rules and regulations, dealing with barriers to service such as tuition cost, enhancing the interdisciplinary experience of the student volunteers, and actively partnering with student leaders while providing guidance.

Description: The student led free clinic has a long, proud, and successful history of serving local community members by collaborating with community partners to create an interdisciplinary service learning opportunity for health affairs students. Developed in the late 1960s, clinic services have expanded over time to serve more complex patients and beyond clinic walls to provide supportive services to older adults in their homes, health screenings, health promotion activities, and build local homes with Habitat for Humanity. Student leaders clearly understand the importance of social justice and the social determinants of health when planning and implementing their programs.

Lessons Learned: Nursing faculty members created an elective course in collaboration with student leaders to assure compliance with Board of Nursing rules and regulations for unlicensed nursing personnel and to help extend the school's umbrella malpractice insurance coverage to the nursing student volunteers. Significant time was needed to explore issues and develop the course in partnership with student leaders, and deal with the barriers the course created such as additional tuition costs.

Recommendations: Faculty support of student led projects that improve access to health care is vital and rewarding despite the time, frequent communication, trust, and persistence needed to overcome issues and challenges with assuring safe patient care and a safe learning environment for students.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Describe two challenges and related strategies associated with providing faculty support of a student led clinic to improve access to care for underserved community members.

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Service Learning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I developed the elective course for students participating in this program and worked with various campus partners to support this program.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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