Service-Learning as a Strategy to Enhance Student Understanding of the Profession and Patient Centred Care.

Angela Kim-Sing


Objectives. To pilot a service-learning course in pharmacy as a strategy to enhance professionalization and student understanding of patient centred care.

Design. Ten students were enrolled in the course and eight students participated in this study.  Data collection was limited to the written reflections and focus groups.  Analysis of the data was a qualitative thematic analysis using NVIVO 10 software.

Assessment. Five inflection points for student learning were identified which resulted in two key outcomes observed: (1) students had a deep understanding of patient centred care, and (2) students understood the role of the pharmacist in the current climate.   These outcomes were understood through Kolb’s experiential learning model and Vygotsky’s theory on the zone of proximal development.

Conclusion. Incorporating service-learning is an excellent way of improving student’s academic experience.  The community oriented coursework gave meaning to patient centred care and interprofessional collaboration, and enhanced student understanding of the profession.


service-learning; pharmacy; experiential education; zone of proximal development.

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