Essay on Service Learning and relevance to Primary Health Care

Essay on Service Learning and relevance to Primary Health Care

Primary healthcare is a concept whereby a range of health services are provided. Most of these health services are provided in community based settings. Primary health services seek to prevent the progress of illnesses. Healthcare providers develop intervention programs.  Effective primary health care system is crucial in ensuring health is improved in the community. It also helps reduce inequalities among people in the community. This leads to lower death rates and few premature deaths.  The Australian community health offers a wide range of community health services.

Healthy mothers, healthy babies program is a community health service provided by Austrian community health. This is a program that aims at reducing the burden of chronic disease. This is done by addressing risk behaviors and providing support during pregnancy. This program usually targets pregnant women who not capable of accessing antenatal care services. It was target the women who are disadvantaged and are not able to afford the services. The women in this program are from different cultures. The program is based in the suburbs of Melbourne because these areas have high births rates. The women in the area are socioeconomically disadvantaged.  In this program, there are different services offered. Antenatal, postnatal and other health services are provided to these women. These women are also supported throughout their pregnancy period. The program also serves the community by delivering health promotion messages concerning pregnancy (Department of Health, Victoria, Australia).

Service learning is quite essential for nursing students.  The aim of service learning is to provide students with hands on experiences locally and globally. When students learn about community services, they will be able to work in different environments. Service learning instills a sense of responsibility in that students understand themselves and their duties in the society.  Students become accountable and they know what they are expected to do in the society. Community service learning also empowers students in broadening their knowledge about culture and lifestyles of different people in the society.  Community service learning for nursing students has a wide range of benefits (Gaberson & Oermann, 2010).

Community service learning meets actual community needs. Nursing students who learn about community service are able to address the needs of needy people in the community. They are able to assess the needs of the communities and help alleviate them.  Community service learning also fosters caring for others. Students who learn about community service are able to care for others in the community. Students are able to experience firsthand how vulnerable populations are affected by public policy and help them develop empathy with diverse individuals (Sines et al, 2013).  Students are able to reflect on the experiences and they develop moral responsibilities and decision making.  Their interaction with vulnerable populations makes the students have a better understanding of self and their own strengths and weaknesses.  Students who engage in community service learning are able to develop skills concerning problem solving, critical thinking, leadership and ethical decision making (Chesnay & Barbara, 2008).  Community service learning also create awareness that help students know the current issues happening in the communities that affect or promote health.


  • To gain knowledge on different cultures and communities that needs community health services
  • To engage and interact with vulnerable communities in order to understand their needs and how to address them
  • To learn communication, tem building, and problem solving skills that are useful in community health services.

Department of Health, Victoria, Australia. Primary and Community Health. Retrieved April 23,

2014 from

Chesnay M & Anderson B. (2008). Caring for the Vulnerable: Perspectives in Nursing Theory,

Practice and Research. New York: Jones and Barlett Publishers

Gaberson, K & Oermann M. (2010). Clinical Teaching Strategies in Nursing, Third Edition.

New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Sines D et al (2013). Community Heath Care Nursing.  New York: Wiley Publishers.