A course that’s all heart

Health pro­mo­tion is easy when you have in­spir­ing lec­tur­ers to help you com­plete your de­gree

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Tertiary Options -

HEALTH pro­mo­tion is about us­ing di­verse ap­proaches — such as ed­u­ca­tion, me­dia, en­vi­ron­men­tal change and pol­icy de­vel­op­ment — to main­tain and im­prove the health of in­di­vid­u­als, groups and com­mu­ni­ties.

Deakin Univer­sity’s Bach­e­lor of Pub­lic Health and Health Pro­mo­tion runs at its Bur­wood cam­pus and takes three years full time. There is also a part-time op­tion.

The course helps stu­dents de­velop knowl­edge and prac­ti­cal skills to an­a­lyse health and ill­ness among com­mu­ni­ties and pop­u­la­tions, and to de­velop ap­proaches that lead to health im­prove­ments.

One of the course’s strengths is its vo­ca­tional rel­e­vance, thanks to the close links be­tween staff and prac­tis­ing pro­fes­sion­als in the health, ed­u­ca­tion, en­vi­ron­ment and plan­ning sec­tors.

Grad­u­ates will be equipped to work in gov­ern­ment de­part­ments, non-gov­ern­ment agen­cies, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, hos­pi­tals, health coun­cils and foun­da­tions, com­mu­nity, pri­mary and women’s-health ser- vices, di­vi­sions of gen­eral prac­tice, aged care and other hu­man ser­vices, health pol­icy, and health pub­lic re­la­tions.

De­pend­ing on the elec­tives cho­sen, ca­reer op­tions vary.

A health-pro­mo­tion grad­u­ate may be qual­i­fied to work in ar­eas such as health ed­u­ca­tion, lo­cal gov­ern­ment, private en­ter­prise, com­mu­nity health, com­puter ser­vices, re­search, com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion, group man­age­ment, con­flict res­o­lu­tion, mar­ket­ing, hu­man ser­vices, health pub­lic re­la­tions, health pol­icy de­vel­op­ment and health coun­selling.

Merissa Judkins was re­cently ap­pointed gen­eral-prac­ti­tioner ser­vices of­fi­cer at East­ern Ranges GP As­so­ci­a­tion af­ter com­plet­ing the Bach­e­lor of Pub­lic Health and Health Pro­mo­tion. She val­ued the staff and in­dus­try links and the course con­tent.

‘‘Deakin gave me all the health­pro­mo­tion fun­da­men­tals and knowl­edge for my job, but skills such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion were also em­pha­sised,’’ she says.

‘‘A lec­turer in­spired me to get into the so­cial and men­tal-health side of things. It was great to be taught by peo­ple who are so pas­sion­ate.’’

As a re­sult of her stud­ies, Judkins says: ‘‘I draw on my knowl­edge and other skills learnt at Deakin 100 per cent . . . daily, even hourly.’’

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