Authors: Terica McCullough, RN, Melinda Rozier, RN, Bernadette Wooten, RN, & Michael Keenan, RN
Faculty Supervisor: Maryanne Sandberg Ed.D., RN
Four class members formed a group and worked on the service-learning project as a team. One of the team members lives in a rural town called Waycross, Georgia. The team first developed a timeline of the service-learning project to help plan and organize the project. The team chose a community partner to work with the group and help guide them. The community partner, Dr. Joshua McCarthy, is a family medical doctor who works rotating weekends at a drug, alcohol, and mental health crisis unit. The team arranged a phone call with Dr. McCarthy to discuss with him what he thinks are some identified needs in Ware County where Waycross is located. Dr. McCarthy suggested that transportation and drug abuse are concerns in Waycross, Georgia. As a team, methamphetamine abuse was chosen as the topic for our service-learning project.
The team assessed Waycross by conducting a windshield survey. The windshield survey revealed that Waycross is surrounded by rural land and identified both strengths and weaknesses of the community. The team searched on websites for information on methamphetamine abuse. The team developed interview questions and set up an interview with Dr. McCarthy. From the interview, the team developed a teaching brochure to support our topic of methamphetamine abuse and identified places for individuals to seek help as well as provide information about methamphetamine abuse overall. The team formulated a nursing diagnosis for recognizing methamphetamine abuse. The team decided the implementation of teaching and education are very important for methamphetamine abuse and what better group to teach recognizing methamphetamine abuse than nursing students. The team worked to develop a teaching poster for educating the nursing students. The team allowed the nursing students to ask questions for evaluation of the project.
While talking with our group’s community partner, Dr. McCarthy, some good points like “we teach our children that it not ok to make a C grade.” We are constantly comparing them to other children, instead of accepting that every child is not an A or B student and making a C is okay. Dr. McCarthy brought to light that we expect children to sit still all day long in class and very little recess time is given. He also acknowledged that if a child does not sit still during class, they are labeled ADHD. This service-learning project on Methamphetamine Abuse can make an impact on the community by helping others to recognize and identify methamphetamine abuse as well as to help educate people to know the signs and symptoms of abuse in addition to knowing where to turn for help.
The relationship between our project and our service-learning outcomes was to provide education to Licensed Practical Nursing students on Methamphetamine use, it destructive effects, and identify treatment options. Hopefully, the Nursing students will gain knowledge about methamphetamine abuse and signs/symptoms of abuse, use the knowledge gained to know where one can seek treatment and share this knowledge with others in the community.