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Health Science Theory 1a

Health Science Theory 1a: Introduction

From doctors and nurses to x-ray technicians and medical aides, the field of healthcare offers numerous roles that will allow you to make a difference in the lives of patients. In this course, you’ll learn all about the foundations of healthcare from how the industry works around the worldto the different professions that fall within the field. You’ll also learn medical terminology and calculations, the difference between diagnostic and therapeutic careers, and the legal and ethical considerations. Let’s start building the foundation of a career in healthcare today!



Review Course Outline

Units at a Glance

Unit 1: A Trip through the Exciting World of Health Care

Global pandemics, variations in access to health care, political health issues, economic forces, noncommunicable diseases, and environmental changes all influence the world of health care as we know it today. To understand our present, we need to look at the history of this exciting world and the factors that influenced its development. As we’ll see, not all health care is created equal, and health care differs drastically from one area of the world to the next. As we explore the past, present, and future of health care, we’ll see why choosing a career in health science makes perfect sense!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Define health care and the components that influence healthcare systems
  • Describe types of healthcare systems throughout the world
  • Analyze the United States healthcare system and the agencies that oversee it
  • Evaluate the global impact of disease and the effects of access to quality health care
  • Identify the factors that make health care a good career choice

Unit 2: Adventures in Healthcare Careers

Do you like technology and working with equipment or do you prefer communicating and working hands-on with patients? Whatever your skills and preferences, the healthcare world has a career for you! As we take an adventure through healthcare careers, we’ll see some skills each one requires and take a glimpse at the types of functions performed daily. We’ll also explore the personal qualities required for these types of careers and workplace expectations for someone in these roles.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe diagnostic health science careers, including duties, skills, and qualifications
  • Identify therapeutic health science careers, including duties, skills, and qualifications.
  • Explain workplace expectations in a healthcare setting
  • Differentiate between job settings in health care
  • Analyze key components of different healthcare careers

Unit 3: Using a New Language

Have you ever heard someone explain something using technical terms and had no idea what they meant? Industries use everyday language to relay information, and unless you know how the terms apply in that setting, it’s impossible to understand their meaning. The healthcare world is no exception when it comes to language! Communication in health sciences requires understanding and properly using medical terminology and calculations that are part of everyday interactions. Using the new language effectively helps you function in this highly specific world as a valuable team member.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Examine how to decode medical terminology using prefixes, root words, and suffixes
  • Differentiate between commonly used medical abbreviations and abbreviations that should not be used
  • Describe body parts and movements using common medical terms
  • Review common calculations used by healthcare professionals

Unit 4: Communicate Like a Pro

No matter what type of health science profession interests you, good communication skills are essential for success. From verbal to nonverbal techniques and personal to professional exchanges, the way we interact with the people around us forms the foundation for whatever we’re trying to accomplish. As we explore the various types of communication, we’ll investigate barriers to communication, cultural awareness, and ways to communicate with special populations. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to communicate like a pro!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Contrast various types of communication and the importance of active listening
  • Describe the components of the communication process
  • Analyze features of effective communication
  • Identify potential barriers to communication and ways to overcome them
  • Explain ways to effectively use technology as communication tools in health care

Unit 5: Get Well, Stay Well

Healthcare professionals obviously work to take care of health issues in patients, but they also provide patient education about preventive measures patients can use to avoid health issues. As we explore the concepts of health and well-being, we’ll look at methods people can use to identify aspects of wellness and improve their own health and well-being. We’ll also discuss how healthcare workers need to remember and apply the concepts they’re teaching to patients in their own lives. As we’ll see, everyone needs to know how to get well and stay well!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain the differences in health and wellness and the importance of development milestones
  • Describe the hierarchy of needs and its role in health and wellness
  • Analyze dimensions of wellness and strategies used to fulfill them
  • Identify complementary and alternative health practices and therapies

Unit 6: Encountering Substance Abuse

Substance abuse is a topic we frequently hear about in the news. Other than treating patients affected by substance abuse, this isn’t something we need to worry about, is it? Unfortunately, this question relays a common misconception about substance abuse. As healthcare professionals, although we do need to know how to provide care to patients affected by substance abuse, we also need to be aware of the risks of addiction ourselves. As we explore this topic, we’ll investigate how drug schedules help identify how addictive a particular drug is. We’ll also examine the anatomy and physiology of addiction, the effects of substance abuse, and treatment options. Let’s raise our awareness so we are better prepared to face this difficult topic.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Define substance abuse and describe how substances are classified
  • Analyze the physiology and cycle of substance use disorder
  • Identify risk factors, warning signs, and the potential effects of substance abuse
  • Explain treatment options for substance use disorder

Unit 7: Meet the Patient

Although each healthcare professional specializes in job-specific skills required to perform their role on the team, some skills are universal and must be mastered before interacting with patients. Think about a time you had an appointment at a clinic or with a nurse practitioner or doctor. What did the medical assistant, nursing assistant, or dental assistant do before, during, and after interacting with you? Even though these skills often go unseen or are so much a part of the process we take them for granted, they help providers assess the patient and promote a safe environment. Let’s get ready to meet the patient!

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Describe causes of infection and the role of hand hygiene in its prevention
  • Identify standard and transmission-based precautions
  • Analyze key factors that impact patient interactions
  • Explain how to measure vital signs and the normal ranges for each measurement

Unit 8: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Healthcare professionals learn skills specific to their profession, but did you know they are legally obligated to stay within certain guidelines? What tells them what they can or can’t do? As we explore these questions, we’ll investigate guiding principles and learn about legal and ethical considerations faced by healthcare providers. In addition, we’ll look at the consequences for unacceptable behavior.

What will you learn in this unit?

  • Explain ethics and ethical behavioral standards for healthcare professionals
  • Describe legal aspects related to the duties of healthcare professionals
  • Identify healthcare regulatory agencies
  • Analyze the role of professional associations

Required Materials Coming Soon!


  • Recipe of choice
  • Video recording device
  • Paper and writing utensils
  • Art supplies



  • Presentation software
  • Word processing software
  • Slideshow software



  • Graphic design software
  • Audio recording device
  • Posterboard
  • Household supplies
  • Helper
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