To evaluate the success of an elective course in Native American culture, health, and service-learning in fostering interest in experiences and careers with the USPHS Indian Health Service (IHS), and in shaping reflective practitioners.
Students conducted readings, kept reflective journals, and engaged in discussions with Native American and non-Native American speakers. Students orally presented a Native American health issue and spent their fall break in Chinle, Ariz, providing social and healthcare services to the Diné under the supervision of IHS pharmacists. Opportunities for additional IHS experiences were discussed, as was discerning the Creator's call to a professional life of service.
Thirteen of 15 students who had completed the service-learning course by January 2007 responded to a brief survey indicating that not only were the course objectives met, but the experiences had a lasting impact on professional mindset and career plans.
The course had a lasting impact on students' understanding of Native American social and health care issues, and on how they will practice their profession and live their lives.