The presenters will describe the findings of a mixed-methods research study designed to explore students’ perspectives of skills and knowledge gained through engaging with older adults with physical and/or cognitive limitations living in a continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Participants in the study included students enrolled as juniors and seniors in a baccalaureate nursing program. Community partnerships with several CCRCs provided the opportunities for students to interact with elders. During the service-learning course, students developed and implemented evidence-based health promotion activities directed towards enhancing the elders’ cognitive, physical, and psychosocial functioning. Additionally, students were paired, one-to-one, with an elder-partner in order to develop an in-depth relationship and incorporate person-centered interventions to promote health and functional ability. Data were collected through structured surveys administered at the end of the 14 week course. Concepts explored in the data collection tool included students’ understanding of the older adult population, self-awareness, critical thinking, and professional development. The data provided a means of assessing the students’ perceived learning and attitudes regarding older adults. Moreover, the survey instrument filled a gap in the tools that are currently available to measure the effect of service learning with older adults.
- Service learning,
- gerontological nursing
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/karen_brown/1/