Service-Learning Experiences Related to Health Support Activities for Residents Who Have Returned Home after Evacuation Due to a Radiation Disaster

Healthcare (Basel). 2022 Aug 4;10(8):1467. doi: 10.3390/healthcare10081467.


Hirosaki University has regularly offered health support activities to residents of X town in Fukushima, and thus, some interactive benefits are expected as a service-learning experience for nursing students. This study aimed to clarify the experiences of students who participated in service-learning and consider which methods and content were effective. In total, 52 nursing students were recruited into the program, which was held from 2018 to 2021. The roles of students included assisting in health consultations related to a radiation disaster. Questionnaires designed by researchers with experience in risk communication programs were conducted on the students after the program, and included the reasons why they joined, their most memorable experiences, and their opinions regarding required support for residents. The data were analyzed by content analysis. The nursing students thought about the health of residents through health support activities in the affected areas. Furthermore, by communicating with residents via on-site service-learning, they could experience the humanity of the residents and the current status of the affected areas, learn the importance of person-to-person relationships, and think about reconstruction. Thus, service-learning was found to be effective and to offer substantial benefits for both residents and students in affected areas.

Keywords: Great East Japan Earthquake; disaster nursing; nursing student; service-learning.