Linking Service-Learning With Community-Based Participatory Research: An Interprofessional Course for Health Professional Students
Marcus, Marianne T
Taylor, Wendell C
Hormann, Mark D
Nursing outlook 2011 Jan-Feb; 59(1): 47-54
Service-learning is a valued strategy for educating health professionals. Linking service-learning with community-based participatory research (CBPR) engages students with community stakeholders and faculty in a collaborative process to bring about social change and improved health. The purpose of this paper is to describe a strategy for involving interprofessional students in ongoing faculty CBPR in an underserved community. The process includes the design and implementation of a course that combines weekly seminars with field experiences in the targeted community, emphasizing community assessment, and working with community members to find solutions to health problems. Nursing, public health, and medical students were recruited to the initial course, and offered the opportunity to meet objectives of required components of their disciplinary curriculum. Community members became actively involved in educating students while working to solve identified health problems. Important principles of CBPR--trust, collaboration, excellence in science, and ethics--are emphasized throughout the initiative. This course is now a regular offering for interprofessional students, providing valuable learning experiences for students, faculty, and the community. Ongoing faculty CBPR continues a trusting community-academic relationship and gives the community a voice in the solution for health problems.
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