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Service Learning Project

Stephaine Ryan
Ferris State University

As I put together my service learning project, I thought for a long time on what kind of impact I
could have on my community. I work in an obstetrics unit and see many young, new mothers
that need education on the labor process and caring for a new infant. My project is to put
together a support group that these young mothers can attend to gain knowledge and support
from their peers to become better mothers. Also, I plan on helping educate potential patients to
my unit in a class that offered educating them on the labor stages and different coping

Service Learning in the Community
According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse website service learning is a
teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and
reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen
communities (para. 1). Teaching the community to help themselves improve the health of
themselves and their family is the responsibility of all people in the health profession. By
performing a service learning project the student nurse will not only educate people in the
community but learn a lot about the community they serve.
My Project
For my project I would like to use my twenty hours to help educate new mothers on the
care of themselves and their newborn. The education starts before the infant is born. This is in
the form of the classes being held to educate the new mothers and their significant other on the
labor process. In this class, the mother is educated on the different stages of labor. They are able
to then ask questions they may have on different techniques and medication that help them cope
with labor. Also, in this class information is given about breastfeeding. I hope to help educate
these patients in this class.
After the patient has given birth to their newborn, their lives have changed forever. Many
feel alone and very scared, especially young mothers whose friends have no children yet. The
goal of this group I am hoping to form is to educate these mothers and give them support as they
embark on their new journey into motherhood. Also in this group, they will be able to form
bonds with mothers in their same age range so they can give different coping strategies. My hope
is that they also form bonds where they can support each other and be role models for each other.
I am hoping to find a conference room in the Carson Health Hospital because it is in a
location that many people know and many of the people in the community use this hospital for
treatment. Carson Health is a seventy-seven bed hospital that is located in Carson City,
Michigan (Carson Health, n.d.). The hospital was founded in 1936 by Dr. Emmett Binkert, D.O.
after graduating from Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine. (Carson Health, n.d.). Since
then the hospital went from being located in a home to the building it is in now. Services offered
by the hospital range from behavior health, da Vinci Surgery, pediatrics, and womens services.
(Carson Health, n.d.).
My Role
My role for this group would be to lead the education of the new soon-to-be mothers that
come to the hospital for education on the labor process and I would lead the new mothers group
as well. I would educate the mothers on feeding the infant, proper diet, and proper care of the
newborn. I also plan on using some of the time for the mothers to voice concerns and questions
they have with their newborn and have the other mothers give advice as to what has worked for
them or have them give ideas on what may work. I want this time and group to be a place where
these mothers can feel comfortable enough to share about the struggles they are having being a
new mother and how that fits into their lives. I want the new mothers to hopefully find role
models to emulate in their own lives.
I am also planning on giving the parents the opportunity to give some ideas on areas they
would like to cover and learn more about. That way they will stay interested in the group and
keep attending.
BSN Objectives
The Bachelors of Science-Nursing (BSN) objectives for Ferris State University are
collaborative leadership, theoretical base for practice, generalist nursing practice, scholarship for
practice, health care environment and professionalism (Ferris State University, 2011). I plan on
accomplishing these objectives in many different ways. I will use evidence based practice to help
educate these new soon-to-be mothers and new mothers with the most up to date information. I
am educating these parents on their special dietary needs, mental health changes that may happen
and all the other aspects that change during pregnancy and during the post-partum period.
During these classes and groups it is very important to remain professional at all times
because not only am I representing nurses, I am representing Ferris State University and Carson
Health. Being professional will help the parents feel safe to share their ideas and concerns as
well as trust the instructors on the information they are trying to educate them with.
First and foremost I am a Registered Nurse. If they have any concerns I will advocate for
each and every one of them. If they need different services, I will try my best to get them those
services such as a contact for WIC services, pediatricians and mental health help if needed. I
want each patient to feel comfortable to come to me for help in any aspect of their lives.
As I have stated previously in this paper I will help in the labor classes where ever they
need help. If they need help getting sources of information to help educate pregnant parents and
help answer any questions the students may have. In the group I hope to put together, I plan to
educate on a topic in the first part of the group and the second part of the group give the
attendants a chance to share.
I will benefit by learning what our community needs to help these patients become better
parents. This can help me be a better nurse to the new family as I take care of them during their
stay at the hospital. This will also give me information to give to the doctors as possible areas
where their patients need extra support during their prenatal care and different services in the
community that need to be more available for patients.
The evaluation I will use to evaluate the effectiveness of the class and group are if the
parents are more educated on the topics discussed in both the class and group as well as use the
information provided to improve their lives with their newborn. I will hopefully see their stress
levels decrease and being more comfortable in their new role as a mother. I will also be able to
evaluate their knowledge by asking questions so that I know that they understand the information
being presented.
Agency name: Carson Health
Agency contact: Shelly Betancourt RN
Agency phone number: 989-584-3131 ext 155
Agency address: 406 E. Elm St., Carson City, MI 48811

Carson Health (n.d.). About Carson Health. Retrieved from
Ferris State University (2011). BSN program outcomes. Retrieved from
National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. (2013). What is service learning?. Retrieved from