Exploring home visits in a faith community as a service-learning opportunity
Du Plessis, Emmerentia
Koen, Magdalene P.
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Background: Within South Africa the Psychiatric Nursing Science curriculum in undergraduate Baccalaureate nursing education utilizes home visits as a service-learning opportunity. In this context faith communities are currently unexplored with regards to service-learning opportunities. With limited literature available on this topic, the question was raised as to what are these students' and family members' experience of home visits within a faith community. Purpose: To explore and describe nursing students' and family members' experiences of home visits within a faith community. Design: A qualitative approach was used that was phenomenological, explorative and descriptive and contextual in nature. Setting: The research was conducted within a faith community as service learning opportunity for Baccalaureate degree nursing students. This community was situated in a semi-urban area in the North-West Province, South Africa. Participants: Eighteen (n=18) final year nursing students from different cultural representations, grouped into seven groups conducted home visits at seven (n=7) families. Methods: Comprehensive reflective reporting after the visits, namely that the students participated in a World Café data collection technique and interviews were conducted with family members. Results: Three main themes emerged: students' initial experiences of feeling overwhelmed but later felt more competent; students' awareness of religious and cultural factors; and students' perception of their role. Two main themes from the family members emerged: experiencing caring and growth. Conclusions: There is mutual benefit for nursing students and family members. Students' experiences progress during home visits from feeling overwhelmed and incompetent towards a trusting relationship. Home visits in a faith community seems to be a valuable service learning opportunity, and the emotional competence, as well as spiritual and cultural awareness of nursing students should be facilitated in preparation for such home visits.
- Faculty of Health Sciences