Public Health: Discovering the Big Picture in Health Care
In this course, we discuss the multiple definitions of public health and the ways that these definitions are put into practice. We explore the five core disciplines and the ways that they interact to reduce disease, injury and death in populations. By understanding the roles of public health, we are able to gain a greater appreciation for its importance and the various occupations that one could pursue within the field of public health. Unit 1 introduces the definition of public health and provides a description that allows you to differentiate public health from other health care fields. The five core disciplines and the interactions between local, state, and federal organizations are also discussed. The history of public health concludes the introductory unit. Unit 2 focuses on specific information regarding the core disciplines of behavioral science and emergency preparedness and response. Unit 3 takes a detailed look at epidemiology and biostatistics. Unit 4 relates to environmental and occupational health issues. Finally, Unit 5 describes global health and the future of public health.
Because of public health’s broad and multi-faceted nature, it is important to understand the details and the overall interactions and importance that make the field essential to modern society. There are many disciplines that work together on different levels within public health. Each public health worker contributes to the overall function of the field itself. By entering the field of public health, you will play an integral part in improving the health and lives of a large number of people. The contributions of public health to society have shaped our modern world and will continue to do so in the future.
In this course, students will learn to:
- Define public health.
- Compare and contrast the scope of the various professions within public health.
- Formulate a solution to current problems of public health.
- Examine the role of public health in determining health policy.
There are no formal prerequisites to this course. However, it is assumed the student will have access to the Internet and associated resources and will understand how to conduct research using the Internet. It is important the student learn how to discern correct and quality information on the web. Students will need to conduct personal interviews as part of their projects.