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Upon completion of the chapter and exercises, the student pharmacist will be able to

  1. Define service-learning and describe ways that it has been implemented in the education of pharmacists.

  2. Explain how service to the community, coupled with appropriate reflection, can lead to relevant learning.

  3. Describe the professional and educational potential of community engagement and service-learning.

  4. Evaluate outcomes resulting from service-learning in pharmacy education or pharmacist involvement in community programs.

  5. Employ reflection in the classroom and following activities in the community.

  6. Predict the impact of a community engagement through a student organization, or service-learning in a course on your future practice of pharmacy.

"Pharmacy as a Community-Based Profession" (Service-Learning)

Discussion (based on the Patient Encounter from Chap. 2):

Consider how this tragic situation could be transformed into a positive one, benefiting both the patient and the community. Imagine how you, the pharmacist, could both bring hope to the patient (and his family) and turn this into a "teaching moment" for the community. Specifically: Though it is clear that this young man will most likely never ride a bicycle again, can we find a way for him to channel his energy and drive to benefit others? He may never win another Olympic medal, but might he be able to save lives or improve others' lives? And might this not eventually be an accomplishment at least as significant as winning another gold medal?

As a pharmacist who understands both the community's needs and some of the resources available to meet those needs, especially in the area of health care, could you suggest some ways that this young man could work to achieve some important goals? Is there a Brain Injury Association or Public Health Department in your community, with which he might work to encourage people to take concrete steps to reduce the risk for brain injuries (such as wearing bicycle helmets)? Could he work with a hospital or rehabilitation center to help people recovering from brain injuries? Could he visit local schools to encourage children to practice "safe cycling?" As an Olympic Gold Medalist, he might be able to attract attention to these important issues—more so than others could. As someone recovering from a severe life-altering injury, he might be able to offer hope to others in similar circumstances. (You might want to read, and tell your patient, about the great African American cyclist Marshall "Major" Taylor—someone who overcame tremendous adversity.)

As a pharmacist grounded in your community, you may be able to benefit both this patient and the community. Deciding whether and how to do this is up to you.

It is critically important that pharmacists understand, and be prepared to provide service and care for the diverse populations in the communities where they practice. For many people, the pharmacist is the first or primary contact with the health-care system. The way pharmacists are dispersed throughout ...

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