Health and Social Care

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Extended Certificate and Diploma

Much of our course centres around respecting and caring for the individual, whether that be because of legislative requirements or because it is simply the right thing to do. Many of our students go on to use the skills they have learned about in the HSC course in the degrees, apprentices or jobs they go on to post-18.

“I chose Health and Social Care because it has applications in childcare settings and my ambition is to become a Primary School Teacher. I liked the idea of half of the course being coursework and the other half exams. I’m pleased I chose this subject because it has been very enjoyable and less stressful than my other A Levels because the exams are spread out – I have already sat the first exam and been graded for it. I have made some lovely friends in my group which has made class discussions fun. My favourite part of the subject in Year 12 was visiting a primary school as part of my coursework on building positive relationships. If I had the chance I would have revised earlier for my exam. I would try to revisit the exam units more often while we are studying them to make subsequent revision easier.” – Courtney

“I chose Health and Social Care because I want to work in the healthcare sector. I also like the way the course is set out whereby one half is coursework and the other half is exam-based. I have found this has suited me reall well. Throughout my time in Year 12 I have enjoyed many things about this subject – the discussions in class are very engaging and activity work and assignments can be completed in a real-life setting. I completed the assignment on Building Positive Relationships at a local primary school. The assignment was about how I can effectively communicate in a one-to-one and group scenario. I found being able to do it in a real-life setting made it much more natural and realistic. If I had the chance, I would have started revising the topics and making revision material earlier. This would have been more beneficial at the time of my exams – and less stressful!” – Lucy

“Health and Social Care has been a great subject to study. I chose to study the full Diploma. The majority of the work is coursework which is quite simple and if you struggle the teachers are a great help. The exam side is similar to any other subject – you’ll have to retain information and produce it in your exams. Health and Social Care will provide you with knowledge and skills on how to effectively interact with individuals in health and social care environments. This is a considerable advantage if you plan on following a career which requires lots of interaction. So far I’ve enjoyed my first year and am looking forward to my second year!” – Jess

One skill you will learn about is Communication. It is absolutely key in building and maintaining positive human relationships in all walks of life. With that in mind, when (if) you watch drama programmes such as Holby City or Call the Midwife, or documentaries, such as 24 Hours in A & E, be aware of how actors or practitioners are speaking to each other. What’s their body language like? What language do they use? Do you think the person receiving the care feels comfortable? Can you identify when communication skills are good or bad?

1. If you want to, watch the video below. Think about the skills on show. Whose fault is it that there’s a misunderstanding?

2. Understanding relationships in health, social care or child care environments

In this video, you could consider how the environment affected the health and wellbeing of the individual, e.g.

Positive effects: key worker/support work/care setting facilitating contact with family, building relationships, daytrips, holidays, leisure and community activities. reassurance, help and support, discussing worries and concerns, dealing with personal/emotional issues including emotional regulation, building on aspirations, discussing worries and concerns, boosting self-esteem, confidence, identify skills and abilities, knows personality, strengths and weaknesses, providing encouragement, showing care, interest, giving chances, increasing life opportunities, building trust, giving a voice, control and opportunities for independence.

Negative effects: lack of control, lack of contact with family and friends, difficulties with communication, bullying, insecurity, isolation, stress, tensions, frustration, aggression, anger, fear, anxiety, lack of trust, not accessing help and support.

3. Understanding the factors that influence the building of relationships

You could consider how communication factors influenced the building of positive relationships, e.g.

Good communication can help people to maintain their dignity. Using a diary so that service user knows what she/he is going to be doing; using a diary/keeping a daily record so staff know what’s been happening in a service user’s life. Mmaking time to support people that you offer care and support to. Giving people time to express their needs and preferences; asking people how they prefer to be addressed respects their wishes. Ensuring staff understand the person they are supporting. For older people, reflecting on past memories can be used as a useful communication tool. Giving people information about the service in advance and in a suitable format. Not assuming that you know what people want because of their culture, ability or any other factor. Developing other ways of communicating with people who have a cognitive impairment of limited speech. People with dementia or people with learning difficulties can be assisted to choose things be being offered a selection of things or shown pictures.


4. Anatomy and Physiology. This unit involves both ‘pure’ biology – learning about body systems and how they work – as well as being able to explain the impacts experienced by an individual when they have certain conditions or illnesses. You need to be able to identify risk factors (behaviours like smoking or being obese, that make it more likely they will be affected by a particular illness), as well as describe the effect having an illness, like asthma, will have on an individual’s daily life. Complete the two tasks below IF YOU WANT TO.

1. Click on this link to label the diagram of the heart with the following terms: 

  • pulmonary veins
  • left ventricle
  • inferior vena cava
  • right atrium
  • sinoatrial (SA) node
  • aorta
  • left atrium
  • purkinje (or purkyne) fibres
  • right ventricle
  • atrioventricular node
  • superior vena cava
  • pulmonary artery
  • mitral/bicuspid valve
  • septum
  • tricuspid valve
  • pulmonary veins

The parts in italics are to do with the electrical impulses within the heart, which control how fast the heart beats.

2. Read the following case study and answer the questions below:

David, 44, is team leader for a national insurance broking company. He is responsible for a department of thirty staff with targets and deadlines to meet frequently. It’s stressful and he smokes to help him deal with the pressure. He relaxes by drinking with friends at the local pub, watching the football. When he’s at home he enjoys watching TV and playing GTA on the Xbox. He loves alone and eats microwave meals or takeaways frequently. At a recent check-up he had a BP of 157/98mmHg and a BMI of 34.

  • What does his BMI and BP tell you about David?
  • How has his lifestyle contributed to this?
  • What might be the consequences of his current lifestyle?
  • What would you advise David to do if you were his Healthcare Professional?