Article: Health and Social Care
'Health and Social Care' looks at some of the jobs related to this subject that might interest you.
Qualifications in health and social care can help you to develop the understanding, knowledge and skills you need to work in a wide range of jobs in this area.
Depending on the level and type of qualification you take, you could be studying topics such as the development and care of children, health promotion, how the body works, and planning diets.
You could take a GCSE in health and social care or do an equivalent qualification such as a BTEC level 2 qualification or Cambridge National in heath and social care.
Following this, you might be able to enter a related job. Or, you could go on to take a further education qualification such as an A level in health and social care or Cambridge Technical in health and social care.
This could help you to take a relevant course at a university or college of higher education.
However, you must check university or college prospectuses to find out what the course entry requirements are and to see whether qualifications in health and social care are acceptable.
The world of work
There are very many careers in health and social care. In health care, there are people who work directly with patients, such as Nurses and Healthcare Assistants.
Others, such as Health Promotion Specialists, use their knowledge to educate and advise the public about health issues.
Some people, such as Nannies and Nursery Nurses, use their knowledge of the development and care of children.
Care Assistants provide basic care to people who need help and support with everyday tasks. They work in residential homes for children or older adults, special schools, day centres, people's own homes and non-emergency ambulance services.
Social Workers help, support and protect people who are vulnerable or at risk, or have social or emotional problems.
Advice and education
Personal Advisers are part of the Connexions service, which aims to provide people aged 13-19 with the information, advice and practical help they need to reach their goals. Personal Advisers work mainly in schools, colleges or drop-in centres.
Different Personal Advisers have expertise in different areas. Many have previously worked as Careers Advisers and they have expert knowledge in this area. Others have had a background in youth work or social care, for example, and their expertise has a broader range.
As well as working with young people, Personal Advisers liaise with parents/carers, voluntary and community organisations and other professionals who have an interest in the welfare of young people.
Fully qualified Personal Advisers have a relevant professional qualification.
Health Promotion Practitioner
Health Promotion Practitioners educate people of all ages about how to have a healthier lifestyle. They research local health issues, plan campaigns to promote particular messages about health issues, and evaluate the results.
If they have found, for example, that heart disease is a particular problem in a local area, a Health Promotion Practitioner might organise a campaign, encouraging people to eat less fatty food and start getting regular exercise.
The practitioner would start by deciding which form the campaign should take (for example, fun runs or sponsored swimming) and would then advertise the campaign by producing posters, web pages and leaflets, and contacting local newspapers.
They give talks to groups, for example, in schools and the community, about health issues. They also work with other health professionals such as Doctors, Physiotherapists and Midwives to jointly promote health education.
Health Promotion Practitioners are usually graduates. Relevant degree subjects include health promotion, social sciences, food science and nutrition, and biological science.
Entry is also possible with a professional qualification, for example, in nursing, teaching, social work or medicine.
It's not enough just to like babies and young children to have a job in child care. You need to have some understanding of how children learn and develop, eg, through stimulating toys and play activities, and be committed to encouraging this process.
You also need to be patient, have lots of creative ideas - and the energy to put them into practice - and have a mature, responsible attitude.
Nannies work with children in private homes, usually when the children's parents (or lone parent or guardian) are away at work. Nannies provide care for the children and encourage their social, emotional and educational development.
Their duties vary depending on the age and number of children they care for. Nannies who look after babies and very young children are responsible for dressing, feeding and changing them.
They may take older children to school in the morning and collect them in the afternoon.
Nannies also plan and supervise play and work activities to encourage the children's learning and development.
Although there are no formal academic entry requirements to become a Nanny, most employers prefer applicants who have a relevant childcare qualification.
Nursery Nurses work with children, usually aged from birth up to eight years old. They care for the children and use their knowledge of child development to promote their learning and development.
Nursery Nurses work in a variety of settings including local authority and privately run nurseries, and in nursery, infant and specialist schools.
They are responsible for supervising and helping children with activities such as reading, number work, cooking, artwork and using a computer. They encourage the children's concentration, creativity, ability to solve problems and general sense of discovery.
Nursery Nurses who hold a qualification like the CACHE Diploma in child care and education or the BTEC National Diploma in children's care, learning and development may work in childcare centres in an unsupervised role.
Childminders look after children and babies when their parents go to work. As well as providing basic care with practical tasks, such as washing, getting dressed and eating meals, Childminders encourage children's social and educational development. They provide a safe, stimulating environment for the children to learn and play in.
With babies and younger children, childminders are responsible for basic care, such as changing nappies and clothes, and preparing meals. They must pay strict attention to hygiene, when making up bottles for babies, for example. They feed or help young children at meal times.
No formal education requirements are needed for entry. However, Childminders who care for children under eight must register with Ofsted and complete a pre-registration course.
Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE)
Address: Apex House, 81 Camp Road, St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 5GB
Tel: 0845 3472123
Skills for Care & Development (SfC&D)
Skills for social work, social care and children's services
Address: 2nd floor, Westgate, 6 Grace Street, Leeds LS1 2RP
Tel: 0113 2411240
The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)
Address: Royal Court, 81 Tweedy Road, Bromley, Kent BR1 1TG
Tel: 0845 8800044
National Children's Bureau (NCB)
Address: 8 Wakley Street, London EC1V 7QE
Tel: 020 7843 6000
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
Address: Park House, 184 Kennington Park Road, London SE11 4BU
Tel: 0845 3006184