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Summative Service Learning Reflection

Anna Read Barth

Noticing and Interpreting

There were a variety of expectations that I had of the service-learning projects at

the college. A few examples of my expectations included interacting with people that

were less fortunate in the community, developing a nonjudgmental mindset, and

continuing to utilize patience in all settings. These expectations were met in each of the

servant learning opportunities I participated in. Interacting with people that are less

formulate is a common objective during volunteer opportunities. During my time in the

nursing program, I have helped people that are less formulate financially and in need of

special medical assistance. Each of these groups are vulnerable populations that require

extra attention in order to increase their opportunity for success. A nonjudgmental

attitude is also an important trait during servant leadership experiences. Before nursing

school, I attempted to keep my opinions and conclusions at a minimum. However, I

wasnt always successful. As I have continued to go through the nursing program, this

attitude and ability has definitely become more consistent though. I continue to obtain a

better understanding of how a judgmental attitude can decrease trust and negatively

influence the relationships we have with patients. Patience is also a key in servant

leadership roles. As I previously stated, the populations typically assisted during these

experiences are those that are less fortunate. Therefore, we must continue to remain calm

and relaxed in order to ensure that we display a therapeutic presence during our

interactions. Strengths and problems have also occasionally been noticed during the

servant leadership opportunities I have experienced. A strength I noticed is the ability to


work as a team. This is very important so that the maximum potential for a given

population can be reached. This also allows for optimal outcomes to be met for

organizations. Meeting these goals ensures that mission statements are being fulfilled.

Another strength I noticed was the abundant knowledge that many employees have, who

work for the different servant leadership organizations I have assisted. This is important

because employees and volunteers must be able to help others and understand the proper

way for the needy individuals to receive and flourish from any help that is provided. A

problem that is occasionally noticed during servant leadership experiences is language

barriers. This can be very difficult to overcome for volunteers that do not have previous

experience working with this type of cliental. Fortunately, this problem can be resolved

or reduced by providing translators or translation information sheets. This ensures that

the proper information is communicated back and fourth. Another problem I noticed is

limited funds. This can be detrimental to organizations that provide servant leadership

assistance because they are not able to reach their maximum potential. Even if someone

has abundant knowledge about a topic, without the necessary resources, problems among

needy community members cannot be resolved. I truly enjoy providing servant

leadership whenever I have time. I find it important to meet the needs of these

individuals and families so that the overall community can improve its status. I grew up

in a family that attended church on a weekly basis and was active in the mission work

available to church members. Mission work is similar to the groups we worked with

during the servant leadership experiences, as they often times are of lower socioeconomic

status. Therefore, I understand the benefits that are met when individuals get together to

resolve a problem. Also, I have always enjoyed children of all ages. During nursing
school I have been able to participate in different servant leadership opportunities that

allow me to volunteer with these populations. I take pride in helping these young

individuals because they are so vulnerable and truly benefit from any assistance that is

provided. In the past, I have had children open up to my about traumatic experiences

because they see me as a trusting presence. This is very special to me because I want to

help them heal as much as I can. As a result, I enjoy eliminating any issues these

children may face so they feel safe and secure.

Responding

I have learned that the needs of the surrounding community are very different

depending on the age group and situation. For example, a young child may require more

emotional needs such as intentional therapeutic touch or a feeling of love. On the other

hand, a adult may benefit more from someone that takes the time to listen to Amy

concerns they are having. I learned that financial assistance seems to be needed in many

areas, particularly those in the city of Richmond. Often times, individuals of lower

socioeconomic status reside here because of convenient access to multiple places such as

the grocery story or their job. I have also noticed that language barriers continue to be an

issue in all of the surrounding communities of Richmond. There is also limited access to

certified translators to assist with communication issues. Until this need is met,

individuals that speak different languages may continue to avoid seeking public services

due to their inability to comprehend or communicate their own needs. The service

learning activities I have participated in have all been relevant to the community and

learning experiences discussed in the nursing program. We have been given the

opportunity to work with multiple cultures during these experiences. This is important
because we will all care for patients of multiple cultures and ethnicities during our

nursing career. Increasing exposure will improve comfortably with these populations, as

this is important to make us successful nurses. Also, service learning has allowed me

have a better understanding of the different organizations that offer servant leadership

roles around the community. For example, before this semester I had never worked with

the Salvation Army or worked behind the scenes with one of Richmonds most popular

programs, Angel Tree. I am glad I have gained additional knowledge so that I can

potentially provide information about these resources to patients I may care for during

my nursing career.

Reflecting on Service - Learning

My service learning experiences have definitely influenced my perception of my

call to serve those that are less fortunate. I enjoy seeing the smiles on peoples faces

when I provide assistance or simply act as listener to their concerns. These experiences

have also taught me how to act as a professional servant leader should I take on this role

in my future nursing career. I have a better understanding of how communication is

successfully completed with supporting staff members. My concept of servant leadership

has changed since the beginning of my nursing program too. One of the most important

things I have learned is one must identify the things he/she takes pride in so they can be

effective servant leaders. An example would be my love for the pediatric population. I

enjoy working with these groups because of their drive to learn and sense of innocence. I

also love watching children emerge into their personalities, as they become unique

individuals. Through multiple servant leadership experiences, I have learned that my

assistance is the most therapeutic when I am interacting with the populations I have the
most interest in. Before I understood this concept, I used to perceive servant leadership

as a chore. However, that is not the case anymore. I understand that this preference does

not make me a heartless person. Nurses and servant leaders must identify where their

interests lie so that they can be beneficial in the professional roles they hold. During my

time at Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, I have received multiple opportunities

to participate in servant leadership roles. The first time I completed a servant leadership

opportunity through the college was during NUR 1100. For this class, I volunteered at

my church as we were holding Caritas. I helped the other church members prepare the

dinner meal and the lunches for the day next. This was really enjoyable as I got the meet

other people with similar interests as me and we displayed a sense of teamwork.

Teamwork is key during servant leadership experiences so that goals are met and positive

outcomes are created. In NUR 3113 I attended St. Josephs Villa and worked with

children that were attending the afterschool program. I had driven by this location for

many years but never knew how it operated. Looking back, Im so fortunate I was given

this opportunity. The class allowed me to create a craft idea to present to the kids too.

We made small kites for the children to play with outside on the playground. They

definitely enjoyed this activity. This activity also prepared me for servant leadership as I

was communicating with children of multiple financial backgrounds. This often is a

common theme during servant leadership experiences. In NUR 3114, I visited Little

Sisters of the Poor. We made this visit around thanksgiving and created an activity for

the members to do that was relevant to that holiday. Therefore, we had each person write

down a few things they are thankful for in their life. Each idea was written on a precut,

strip of paper. The strips of paper were interloped and stapled in circular shapes. Then,
we created a thankful chain. This was very popular by everyone, as it gave people an

opportunity to reminisce about their life in the past, as many of them said they were

thankful for family and the way they were raised. This activity encouraged me to be

patient because the cliental we were working with was older and suffered with dementia.

Patience is very important in servant leadership because it helps develop a sense of trust

and caring. Lastly, during NUR 4144, I attended the Angel Tree registration. This was

definitely my favorite servant leadership experience. I had previous knowledge of how

this program was run but I had never volunteered for the Salvation Army. This service

learning experience encouraged me to display empathy as everyone was coming from a

struggling background. The benefits received from this program would allow parents to

give their children a Christmas to remember.

Reflecting on Civic Engagement

Civic engagement is the ability of people to come together to discuss or resolve an

area of public concern. This type of meeting is often held in city settings and allows for

multiple ideas to be heard in hopes to make a difference. In order for civic engagement

to be handled properly, individuals must be knowledgeable, respectful and motivated.

Patience and teamwork are also important in civic engagement, just as they are in servant

leadership. The inability to incorporate all of these traits in a particular situation may

cause turmoil or unmanageable outcomes. After I graduate I plan to stay in engaged with

the local community through my church and other servant leadership opportunities that

my employer may have. I enjoy volunteering with Caritas at my church and will

continue to do so. Also, I am interested in possibly becoming a community health nurse.


This role will allow me to see trends in a particular setting and implement the needs to

resolve issues in a therapeutic and professional manner.