Career Ready & Elective Courses / Full Catalog / Health Science Foundations 1b: Professional Responsibilities

Health Science Foundations 1b: Professional Responsibilities

Building on the prior prerequisite course, you will further develop your understanding of health science. Starting with safety, you will analyze your responsibilities for ensuring patient and personal safety with special attention paid to emergency procedures. Infection control, first-aid, CPR, and measuring vitals are discussed in detail. You will also learn about numerical data, such as systems of measurement, medical math, and reading and interpreting charts. Finally, examine effective team work and leadership characteristics while building your employment skills.

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Course Highlights

  • Explore employment opportunities in healthcare and analyze your career goals.
  • Understand how infection can spread and what steps to take to combat the advance of infectious diseases.
  • Describe the roles of different healthcare team members and explain characteristics of good teams.
  • Understand how advanced technologies can be used in diagnosing and treating patients.

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: Health, Safety, Security

Every workplace has dangers, but the risks that occur in healthcare settings are part of the everyday jobs of every player on the healthcare team. From taking care of the safety of vulnerable patients to taking care of your own health so you can continue to help people, there are many things to learn about applying safety measures while working to improve the health of those in your community. Implementing standard precautions and following all hazard warnings, including reading SDSs for the chemicals you use, will ensure safer conduct. When there is an emergency, you not only need to respond to protect yourself but to operate as part of the response to any threat. Finally, we look at how to reduce medical errors in healthcare settings, creating a culture of safety on the job.

Unit 2: Infection Control

How do we get sick? Tracing the chain of infection, we will learn how pathogens can invade and cause illness. We will learn how the body defends itself and the steps that each person can take to help stop the spread of infection. Something as simple as handwashing is the strongest weapon against pathogens, helping ordinary people and healthcare workers to keep germs at bay. But healthcare workers have a special duty to fight the spread of disease, being in the center of infection control—and with the power to fight the spread of disease, both to themselves and to the public at large.

Unit 3: Bloodborne Pathogens

Jobs in healthcare are on the front lines of the fight against the spread of pathogens, and none more important than the serious bloodborne diseases caused by HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C. We will learn the proper techniques for putting on and taking off PPE to stay safe from bloodborne and other pathogens. Each step done properly can stop a deadly pathogen in its tracks. In addition, we will dig into what community members can do to prevent exposure or access resources if they are exposed to a bloodborne disease.

Unit 4: Signs of Life: Vital Signs and CPR

The signs of life, or what we call vital signs, are the ways we can sense the mysterious quality we call “life” in a body. The right temperature, beating of the heart, the in and out of respiration, and the pressure with which blood pumps throughout our bodies are the ways we can tell that we are alive. Anytime any one of the vital signs deviates from the normal range, it can signal a serious health problem, so healthcare workers check on these signs of life very frequently, looking for any early sign of an ailment that they can help. Knowing how to properly check these measurements and record them is an integral part of most healthcare jobs. In an emergency, when these signs are not present or are wavering, learning CPR and first aid will mean that you can help keep these vital signs going, keeping a person alive until advanced medical care can take over.

Unit 5: Data, Measurement, and Math

It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3 to apply math skills to healthcare calculations that are used every day. In fact, fractions, decimals, and converting measurements are numerical tools that healthcare workers use all the time. Measuring time, temperature, height, weight, distance, angle and many other parameters provides valuable data for treating patients or analyzing public health problems. Once that important data is collected, turning it into a visually interesting graph, table, diagram, or chart can help healthcare professionals and their patients understand this information quickly and easily.

Unit 6: Technology in Healthcare

Information technology as well as simple and advanced technologies used in diagnosing and treating patients plays a crucial role in medicine today. From stethoscopes to CT scanners, all this tech requires skilled, observant workers to correctly operate and maintain. But some of the biggest changes that tech brings to healthcare are in the electronic health records (EHRs) that store all types of patient information so medical professionals can help patients to optimize their health. Of course, along with the ease of using EHRs comes the danger of compromising patient privacy—either by posting about your work on social media (a big no-no!) or simply sending a record to the wrong person. Learning how to appropriately handle medical records is therefore of the utmost importance – let’s dive in!

Unit 7: Teamwork and Leadership

Healthcare is a team sport—each person on the team has a job, and if they all work together effectively, the goal of high-quality patient care can be met. Everyone wins when the team pulls together. But just what can each person do to be a great team member? Read on for some great teamwork tips, as well as guidance on how to become a leader. Leadership can be practiced whether you are a member of a team or leading a team. And when the team comes into conflict, there are some basic strategies to manage and resolve issues so everyone can continue to work towards the goal of health for the community.

Unit 8: Employability in Healthcare

The healthcare industry has the most jobs of any sector of the US economy. Students who can demonstrate both competent skills and strong “soft” skills will likely become valuable team members. Enthusiasm, integrity, and a strong work ethic will impress potential employers, so improving these qualities in oneself is an important part of preparing for a career. Read on for some tips regarding how to find and successfully apply for job opportunities in the field.

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