Impact of a Child-Based Health Promotion Service-Learning Project on the Growth of Occupational Therapy Students

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Abstract

This phenomenological study revealed the lived experiences of occupational therapy students as they embarked on a semester-long volunteer health promotion service-learning project during their entry-level master’s program. Data analysis extrapolated themes from student journals, transcriptions of pre- and postinterviews, and field notes. Student roles were exemplified by what students wanted to learn, what they actually learned, and the unexpected benefits they experienced. In particular, issues with teaming, interprofessional development, and time management were discovered. The findings add to the growing literature about the benefits of service learning as a teaching strategy and how it facilitates mindfulness of community service, communication, and clinical reasoning of future therapists. Implications for learning and practice are discussed.

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