What you will study
Care is constantly in the headlines because it involves such a huge workforce huge budgets, and profoundly affects so many lives. And what makes it such a fascinating subject to study is the pace of change as society develops, technology advances and new forms of care evolve. This broad module about the nature of modern caring is lively and accessible and for anyone with an interest in how our society provides care services.
If you work in the frontline of care or are seeking employment in this area, this module will build your confidence and skills, and give your career a boost. The module takes you into the lives of care workers and care service users through in-depth case studies, often brought to life through audio and video resources. The module books are written in clear, simple language and a friendly, thought-provoking style. It has frequent activities to set you thinking – drawing on your own ideas and experience to deepen your learning and help you understand the essentials of good practice. If you want to share your ideas, you can join online forums for dialogue with other students and our tutors. You will develop the academic skills needed to thrive at university through activities that are threaded through the module material. Your personal tutor will provide you with guidance and feedback on your academic skills. The module also teaches you, quickly and simply, how to use information and communication technology for study.
Block 1: paints a broad picture of care in the UK, ranging from the caring within families, to primary health care, acute care in hospitals and social care in the community. You will explore the diversity and sensitivity of care situations, the wide variety of modern care services, the interconnections between them and what it is like to care and to receive care.
Block 2: explores the impact of care needs and care services on people’s sense of identity and self-worth. Care can make deep inroads into personal lives and life narratives, so it is essential that care workers are sensitive to this and provide appropriate support. They need skills in communication and in ways of group working, so that lives are enhanced by care, rather than damaged. It also asks how a community can respond to the needs of different groups of people. An in-depth case study of a neighbourhood renewal programme enables you to assess whether such schemes can improve people’s health and wellbeing. You will also examine the work of services, agencies and carers against a background of rapid social change across the UK.
Block 3: explores the settings in which care takes place and is managed. You visit a wide variety of care environments, from domestic homes, to residential and hospital settings, exploring their physical, social and psychological impact and the extent to which they are enabling or disabling. You also consider how people become attached to places and what happens when they have to leave them.
Block 4: examines how care can go wrong and what individuals can do to try to prevent this. You explore the crucial role of record keeping and the challenges of preserving confidentiality in a busy workplace. You consider the pressure on care workers to be accountable, and you explore the roles of research evidence and protocols in ensuring high standards of care.
You will learn
This module is a compulsory part of all OU professional programmes in health and social care. It is designed to provide a broad foundation of essential knowledge and skills for studies in the care field. It provides a thorough and supported programme to develop the skills of independent learning that all students require, particularly the skill of communicating effectively in writing.
This is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme that leads to The Open University's social work degrees in England, Wales or Scotland. If you would like to know more about these degrees, please download or order one of our Social Work prospectuses. In addition, as KYN101, it forms part of The Open University's programme leading to the professional qualification of Registered Nurse (Part 1: NMC). It may also help you to gain recognition from a professional body.