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Service Learning Project Proposal Tori Gwilt Ferris State University NURS 320


Volunteering is a noble act that exemplifies kindness, caring, and compassion, along with many other traits. The facility at which I would like to complete my service learning is West Side Community Church, as part of their Medical Response Team. This team is composed of medically trained professionals of various backgrounds who rotate weekly to serve as part of this ministry. The sole purpose of this faction is to care, evaluate, and treat any illness or injury that occurs while on the church property. The Medical Response Team has been frequently utilized since its inception in 2008. I believe this service learning project will provide many opportunities for me to practice and hone my current nursing skills. It will also allow me to examine the current safety practices and protocols of the church and collaborate with other members of the Medical Response Team to develop a plan that will increase the safety of church members.

SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT PROPOSAL Service Learning Project Proposal Introduction

The agency that I would like to volunteer at is West Side Community Church (WSCC) as part of their Medical Response Team (MRT). West Side Community Church is a relatively large church that has three services every Sunday with an average of four to five hundred people in attendance per service. The Assistant Pastor, Lyle Dereen, realized that in the event someone was injured or had a medical emergency on the church property, the only option available was to call an ambulance (if the problem was severe) and wait for it to arrive. Due to this deficit in medical care, he developed a plan to help deal with the issue something called the Medical Response Team. In this paper, I aim to describe and explain the function of the Medical Response Team, their duties, as well as my role within this group. Agency Description WSCC functions as a church. The MRT functions as a medical ministry within the confines of the church. During each church service there are two volunteers with medical background and training (registered nurses, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, doctors, and respiratory therapists) who respond to any and all medical emergencies that happen on the church premise. WSCC has two small electronic boards, one on each side of the auditorium, that function as a notifying system. For example, if the number 7777 flashes on the board, it means that the MRT is needed and to report to the lobby of the church. If we happen to miss the numbers as they flashes on the board, an usher will find us and let us know that our services are required. If the number 5555 flashes on the board, it indicates a true medical emergency (example cardiac arrest, known diabetic passing out, etcetera) and all medical personnel in

SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT PROPOSAL attendance at the church are to report to the emergency to aid and assist in controlling the situation. Volunteer Role Described Volunteers work on a rotating schedule two workers cover each service and serve one Sunday a month. I, along with another volunteer, will sit in a special designated area and be available for any medical need. It may seem as though there would not be many instances in a church that would require medical attention, but that assumption is incorrect. As I talked with Lyle Dereen, the Assistant Pastor, he stated, Since the beginning of this program in 2008, the

MRT has been used on a regular basis. Between slippery sidewalks in the winter, young children running around, many pregnant women, and all of the other unforeseen events, the MRT tends to stay pretty busy within the sixty minute timeframe of a church service (personal communication, March 20, 2012). Objectives Through this service learning project, I hope to increase my critical thinking and responding skills through the action of evaluating and caring for individuals with their medical needs. I believe this volunteering assignment will assist in increasing my awareness to the needs of others around me. I currently work in the operating room, which I love. However, the only patient interaction that I am a part of occurs in the fifteen minute window before the patient is anesthetized. I hope to increase interaction with the patient during my volunteer service and gain greater understanding and empathy towards others. I believe that if I devote my time and energy to a worthy cause, such as helping others, it brings many positive outcomes. First of all, it brings about healthy emotional feelings. Volunteering increases self-confidence, helps to boost self-esteem, and provides a sense of


fulfillment and achievement. Secondly, volunteering brings people closer together and creates a sense of community. This is one of the reasons why volunteering is such a valuable activity. I hope that my service will benefit the community in a couple of different ways. I believe that by providing efficient and on the spot medical care, my volunteering with have a direct and beneficial effect on the community. Secondly, I hope that people will feel valued and cared for when they realize that members of the MRT have donated their time to make sure that they are safe and will be taken great care of should any medical emergency arise. Activities to meet objectives My main objective and responsibility is to be available and to respond to medical emergencies. If a person is injured or has a medical emergency, I will use my skills as a nurse to assess their condition and determine if it is severe enough to warrant the call of an ambulance. If an ambulance is needed, I will stay with the patient and evaluate their condition so I have some information, both objective and subjective, to report when the ambulance arrives. WSCC has purchased several evaluative tools that can be used to assess a patients condition such as a thermometer, glucometer, and Automated External Defibrillator (AED). If the person has a minor injury, it will be my job to assess its severity and determine what needs to be done. WSCC has purchased ice packs, heating pads, Band-Aids, and bandages that may be used to treat strained muscles, bruises or minor abrasions and cuts. Another one of my responsibilities will be to educate the patient on signs and symptoms to watch for following the injury in question. I will also teach the patient the necessity of going to the Emergency Room to seek further medical attention if at any time he is exhibiting certain symptoms. My third objective is to create a plan to prevent similar incidences and injuries from happening repeatedly. I will also evaluate safety measures which, in turn, will help make the church a safer place. Lets face it, accidents happen

SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT PROPOSAL no matter what safety precautions are observed. There is always room for improvement and enhancement in safety protocols. Evaluation Plan A great evaluation consists of a combination of both objective and subjective information. Subjective information: take into consideration how the patient feels the medical situation was handled. Was the patient satisfied with the level of care? Also take into account how I and the other MRT member feel the situation was managed. Did we assess, evaluate, and treat the situation correctly? Is there anything more we could have done to make this difficult situation any easier on the patient? Objective information: How did the patient fare after the encounter with the MRT? Is there any measureable difference made by the interaction with the MRT members versus if patient had received no care or had to wait for the ambulance to arrive before receiving care? I am very excited to start my service learning project and be a part of the invaluable Medical Response Team at WSCC. I believe it will be an eye-opening experience. I plan to keep an open mind and try to learn as much as I can while serving the community.


American Psychological Association [APA] (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC. Author. Saisan, J., Smith, M., & Kemp, G. (2012). Volunteering and its surprising benefits. Helping yourself while helping others. Retrieved March 29, 2012 from West Side Community Church. (n.d.). Service Opportunities. Retrieved April 1, 2012 from volunteers.

SERVICE LEARNING PROJECT PROPOSAL Appendix Service Learning Agency Contact Form Agency Name: West Side Community Church Contact Person: Lyle Dereen, Assistant Pastor, director of the Medical Response Team Contact Phone Number: (231)-941-9300 Contact E-mail Address: None listed Contact Address: 4975 E Traverse Highway / M72 West Traverse City, MI. 49684 Description of agency and type of service learning student will be engaged in: West Side is a church. The MRT functions as a medical ministry at each church service. Toris main focus will be to assess the status of the medical needs and provide education and treatment (within her nursing abilities). Another important goal is to improve the safety of the church by implementing new safety measures in direct response to any injuries received on the church property. Signature of agency representative (agreeing to student volunteer): Lyle Dereen