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Occupations in Health and Social Care Essay

Info: 2455 words (10 pages) Essay
Published: 16th Oct 2017 in Health

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1.1 Introduction

There are a variety of different occupations within the hospital and community, anyone willing to join the health and social sector should be aware of the different range of occupations. If employees can offer good employability skills this will then help them to be successful in their chosen occupations. Relevant qualifications and the willingness to train further in order to develop more appropriate skills including effective communication skills, the ability to work well in a team and using own initiative this can help the employee to be suitable for the employment (Bach and Grant, 2009).There is a wide range of opportunities available where each individuals interest and enthusiasm can progress. This report is aimed to describe the different types of occupations within Health and Social care. One of the areas of focus will be the typical hierarchy within health and social care and the important roles and responsibilities it plays for professionals within this field of work. Some of the information in this report will be provided in diagrams explaining the role and structure of management and the importance of hierarchy within health and social care.

1.2 Range of Occupations in Health and Social Care and Careers

HealthCare is defined as the treatment, prevention and management of illness and the safeguard of mental illness and physical wellbeing through the services accessible through the allied and medical professions. Social care is the service people get due to poverty, illness, old age and disability from social services (Brotherton and Parker 2011).The health and social care Act (2012) sets out specific obligations for the health system and its relationship to work together. This act clearly states that it gives a duty to NHS, England, clinical commissioning groups and health and wellbeing boards to make it easier for health and social services to work together.

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Health is provided in various settings which consist of physicians, offices, patient homes, outpatient departments, clinics, acute care hospitals, specialist hospitals, community health centres, long term care facilities and schools (Smith 2000).There are many health occupations in the health and social care .Health care professionals are defined by possessions of eligibility, membership for practice, code of ethics and competency (Smith 2000). Research into various careers demonstrate particular specialised roles and responsibility. Some of the occupations in the health and social care are social workers who work for a range of organisations,but primarily in local authorities, independent organisations and charities, in addition work for the NHSin hospitals, mental health trusts and other community-based settings. Social workers act as an adviser, advocate, counsellor and listener. Social workers work with, the elderly, people with learning and physical disabilities, young offenders, people with mental health conditions, school non-attenders; drug and alcohol abusers and homeless people. Their role is to conduct interviews with service users and their families to assess and review their situation and organise packages of support to enable service users to lead the fullest lives possibleSome of the occupations in the health and social care are Podiatrists who do a great job of caring for patients and offering professional advice on how to prevent foot problems. Podiatrist can identify and treat variety of disorders of the foot and lower lib. Many people who are in danger of amputation, such as those suffering from arthritis or diabetes are noted by podiatrists. There are dietetics who encourage healthy eating styles and give guidance and change specific diets for people (Smith, 2000).

The largest single health care profession is nursing. Healthcare assistants work along all health professionals. Nurses can start as assistant nurses. For someone to be able to be Registered Nurse (RN) must have nursing training which involves clinical practise, administration, education, research consultation and management (Smith, 2000).The nurses start on Band 5 on the NHS hierarchy (NHS, 2014) .Through continuous specific training of skills and knowledge professional nurses can develop higher in the hierarchy structure within the profession.. Nurses also have the opportunity to develop further and expand their knowledge and skills to become more specialised, for example providing care for patients with mental illness, learning disability or midwifery focusing on specialised antenatal care. Nurses do a great job communicating effectively between doctors and patients as well as caring for the patients, following the doctor’s instructions (Sullivan, E, and Decker, P. 2005) .Other duties include ensuring that medical records are kept securely (Data Protection Act, 1998).The nurses maintain the hospital standards by checking wards areas and ensure hygienic standards are met (Health and Safety at Work Act 1974). According to NMC (2004) registered nurses, midwifery or health visitor, are all accountable for their practice.

Prospects, 2014, .NHS, 2014, and Career Frameworks, 2014.

1.3 NHS Hierarchy in Health and Social Care

A social hierarchy is a vertically stratified relationship between two or more people or groups in which those at a upper levels of the hierarchy have more power and status than those at junior stages of hierarchy (Magee and Galinsky, 2008) Those at upper levels have greater power to make decisions and greater ability to enforce rules than those at lower class. Although those at higher level accrue the most power the lower level individuals often demonstrate significant support for hierarchies. The NHS is a huge organisation with many hierarchical structures. The many layers of management are aimed to ensure that tasks are being done exactly and correctly .Hierarchy is very important to the challenge of improving the health care for people and the ways in which healthcare is provided. Everyone is clear about their job description and who they are managed by and who they are managing. Following relevant determination in expanding knowledge and skills there are opportunities to be promoted to jobs at senior level. There are 9 bands in the NHS ranging from 9 as the highest hierarchy and the highest paid down to 1 where professionals begin their career. If the hierarchy is effective as it is everything is in place there is no misunderstandings someone is answerable. A hierarchical structure clearly defines each employee’s role within the organisation laid down in their contract. Through continuous specific training of skills and knowledge professionals can develop higher in the hierarchy structure within the profession. Large organisations have many levels of hierarchies compared to small organisations. Below there is a diagram of the NHS illustrating hierarchies in Allied profession


Hierarchies can be very different in different organisations.There can be advantages and also some disadvantages in a big organisations.There are several levels of hierarchy in NHS who monitor specific areas and who have a duty to communicate with different boards and departments. There is possibly the problem of too many people working in too many different levels. Another factor could be the organisation is too large. Within a social care setting for example a Residential home management teams organising the social care are not many. The hierarchy do not consist of too many levels as the number of employees that exists is relatively low. The head nurse can be nurse on the floor as well as the manager. Small organisations may successes in monitoring their business more effectively with better methods of communicating. In small groups , hierarchical differentiation among the group members improves task especially on task that involve interdependence (Ronay, et al . 2012) However in a small organisation there can be stress because one person will be doing a lot of things for example a head nurse can also be the manager and work on the floor.

1.4 Importance of Roles and Responsibilities of Hierarchy in Health and Social Care

Hierarchy plays a crucial role in health care system, it is a form of human social organisation and it offers structure to the organisation. It is important to work as a team in a hierarchy because everyone in the hierarchy has a role and is responsible according to their contract with the employer.Hierachy roles involve leading, controlling and organising other various functions within the health care system. For the hierarchy to achieve efficiently the goals and aims of the organisation it should be accountable and responsible (Barr and Dowding 2012). The role and responsibility of the hierarchy is to ensure that tasks are being done exactly and correctly and prioritise workload within the team. The Hierarchy has responsibilities to encourage staff to perform well as management team will be accountable if anything goes wrong. The hierarchy maintains work schedule, training of staff, responsibility on financial budget and ensuring that the staff perform to the standard set by the policy within the organisation. The hierarchy as well as being responsible for legal issues at the hospital ensure that they perform to the standards set by hospital policy and other professional guidelines (Taylor and Thornton ,1995 ). In addition the hierarchy deal with complaints from both patients and relatives and where necessary bring about changes or improvements to prevent further complains.

1.5 Conclusion

There are a range of occupations within the Health and social setting that is in hospitals and also in the community. If employees can offer good employability skills this will then help them to be successful in their chosen occupations .The hierarchy is different from different organisations.There are 9 bands in the NHS hierarchy ranging the lowest band 1 lowest paid to band 9 the highest hierarchy and highest paid. The NHS has many hierarches from lower to senior level covering a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience. There is always chance to expand further and go up the hierarchy if determined. Hierarchy maintains work schedule, training of staff, responsibility on financial budget and ensuring that the staff perform to the standard set by the policy within the organization.


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Barr,J. and Dowding ,L.(2012) Leadership in Health Care 2nd edn SAGE Publications

Brotherton, G.and Parker, S. (2011) Your Foundation in Health and Social Care. London: Sage Publications

Department of Health Professions (2009) Confidentiality NHS Code of Practice London, DOH

Health and Safety Executive (1974) Health and Safety in the Workplace Act 1974 www.hse.gov.uk accessed 31/10/14

NMC (2004) Code of Professional Conduct Standards for Conduct Performance and Ethics. London, Nursing & Midwifery Council.

NMC. (2009) The Code: Standards of Conduct, Nursing and Midwifery Council Tilley, S and Watson R. (2004), Accountability in nursing and midwifery 2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing Oxford

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Sullivan, E, and Decker, P. (2005) Effective Leadership and Management in Nursing; 8th edn Pearson/Prentice Hall

Taylor,G. and Thornton ,C.(1995) Managing People Directory of Social Change :Radius works. London.

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Smith, J. (2000) Health Management Information Systems :Library of Congress: Open University Press :Buckingham

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Social worker – NHS Careers. Available from: http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/explore-by-career/wider-healthcare-team/careers-in-the-wider-healthcare-team/clinical-support-staff/social-worker/ [Accessed 29/11/2014]

Social worker: Job description | Prospects.ac.uk. Available from: http://www.prospects.ac.uk/social_worker_job_description.htm [Accessed 29/11/2014]

Career Framework Interactive Resource – Career Frameworks – Administration, business support and management of health services. Available from: http://www.skillsforhealth.org.uk/career-framework/?sec=cf&id=3 [Accessed 29/11/2014] BBC(2014).Policy at a glancehttp//news,bbc.co.uk politics:2010/8677088,stm accessed 10/03/14


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