Subjects: Health, Career Planning
Estimated Time of Completion: 4-5 class periods
Research various topics and learn how to phrase information in layman's terms
Learn about a variety of health insurance options and terminology associated with health care
Examine the impact of health care issues on politics and legislation
Investigate the crisis involving high prescription costs
To prepare a presentation that is interesting and informative to enhance the knowledge base of the audience as well
This activity addresses the following national content standards as established by McREL at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/standardslib/health.html:
Knows factors that influence personal selection of health care resources, products, and services
Knows local, state, federal, and private agencies that protect and/or inform the consumer (e.g. FDA, EPA, OSHA, local prosecutor's office)
Understands the cost and accessibility of a variety of health-care services(e.g. Health insurance coverage)
Use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health. Students will learn how to listen, express themselves, and show respect for others. Good communicators and problem-solvers successfully resolve conflicts.
ISTE Technology Standards found at http://cnets.iste.org/912pro.htm:
Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity.
Select and apply technology tools for research, information analysis, problem solving, and decision-making in content learning.
Collaborate with peers, experts, and others to contribute to a content-related knowledge base by using technology to compile, synthesize, produce, and disseminate information, models, and other creative works.
Video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?"
Computers with Internet access, paper for the brochure, presentation boards, large pads of paper or posterboard.
In addition to the video, at least one each of the following must be used to complete the assignment: Web site, book, interview, periodical
Web site reference list in particular, Frontline: The High Price of Health
PBS: Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?
Procedures and Activities
Begin the lesson by asking students what types of things they will look for in a full-time job (after graduation, as adults). Make a list of "desirable" job qualities on the board. If "benefits" aren't listed, ask students why they didn't name this. If students have identified benefits as an important quality, ask them why benefits are important. What types of benefits are essential?
Explain that today they'll be viewing a video that will explain more about employee benefits, especially health care benefits.
Explain also that they may take notes and may want to use those notes to complete several assignments related to the video.
Explain that they will be working in groups and that one student from each group will draw a number to determine which group selects their topic first. The number drawn will be the order of selection of topics. The topics to be explored will be:
What is a "benefits" package? Examples; choice between higher wages/no insurance or lower wage and benefits; what is a cafeteria plan and is it a viable alternative to employer subsidized health insurance. How can it be used? How does it benefit the employer and the employee?
Major Medical or Fee-For service
National Comprehensive Health Care status
The presentations may be web pages, power point presentations, on a tri-fold presentation board or as a tri-fold brochure. Information should be presented in an interesting informative manner. Graphics of some type must be used.
A list of Web sites will be given to each group for use in their search
The assessment rubric will be distributed as a student checklist for the project
1st day- Introduce the topic, draw for group assignments, and view the video, "Healthcare Crisis - Who's At Risk?"
2nd day -Begin research on the Internet and in the library.
3rd day-Plan for a health insurance agent guest speaker who sells a variety of health insurance plans. Students may take notes and ask questions.
4th day-Set aside this day for group work compiling presentations and information. This may need to be 2-3 days, depending on the level of detail you desire.
5th day- Presentations
The attached rubrics are examples of possible assessments.
Benefit Package Assessment
Examples of benefits 20
Choices when interviewing for employment 10
Options within a benefit plan 10
What is a cafeteria plan? 10
How does a cafeteria plan benefit employer and employee? 10
Status of benefits Packages today 10
Accurate and easy to understand 10
Total Points possible 100
Types of Insurance Plans(HMO, PPO, Major Med)
Easy to understand 20
Comparison with other types of plans(cost, coverages) 20
Options within the plan 20
Well prepared & interesting 10
Total Points 100
What is Medicare? 10
What is Medicaid 10
When was Medicare enacted 10
Problems with Medicare today 20
Who is excluded from Medicare 10
What particular part of Medicare are senior citizens today concerned? 20
Interesting and well prepared 10
Total Points possible 100
National Comprehensive Health Care Plan Status
Interesting, well prepared 10
Main issues today 20
Problems needing to be addressed 20
Current status 20
Total Points possible 100
Extensions and Adaptations
To shorten the in-class time, some of the work could be done as homework. In lieu of a class speaker, each group (or a member of the group) could interview an agent on their own.
Another shortened version would be for groups to use their notes to prepare an Acronym assignment in which the first letters of the words in their topics would be the basis for explaining their topic.
Note: This doesn't refer to the crosswords, but rather the acronym assignment.
Student presentations could also displayed at health care open houses or community health fairs.
As homework the night before showing the video: "Healthcare Crisis: Who's At Risk?" students might be asked to talk with their parents about the type of health insurance they have for their family. The lesson introduction might then be class discussion about what the students learned from their parents.
Health psychology, also known as medical psychology or behavioral medicine, focuses on how biology, psychology, behavior, and social factors influence health and well-being. It's a diverse and rich field worth exploring if you're studying to be a health professional and have an assignment that requires doing research or writing a paper.
Next time you're looking for a research topic for your studies and would like to focus on health psychology, consider the suggestions that follow.
These can be the inspiration for an experiment, a research paper, or any other type of class project. Before you begin, make sure the topic you're interested in is in keeping with the specific assignment. Even if your instructor doesn't require you to get approval for your intended topic, it's always a good idea to run it by him before you delve too deeply into your research.
And of course make sure you've chosen a subject that you know you'll be able to find appropriate sources for. You wouldn't want to commit to a project only to find that there's not enough existing information to work with. Again, input from your instructor can prevent you from wasting time on a topic that offers little to go on.
EXERCISE AND EATING BEHAVIOR TOPICS
- Explore some of the psychological strategies that can help people stick to a diet and exercise program. Is there any one strategy that is more effective than others?
- Analyze how media depictions of "ideal" bodies influence anorexia and bulimia. Is there a link between exposure to these images and eating disorders?
FAMILY HEALTH AND SAFETY TOPICS
- Explore how increased public awareness of infant safety, such as placing an infant on his back to sleep, removing pillows and other objects from the sleeping area, etc., have influenced the occurrence of SIDS or "crib death." Has the number of SIDS-related deaths gone down? Why do some parents ignore these sleep safety guidelines?
- Assess current approaches to childhood immunizations. Why do some parents choose not to immunize their children? How does this impact public health? What can health professionals do to increase the likelihood that kids are immunized?
- Explore the factors that contribute to teen suicide. How effective are suicide prevention programs?
- Look at the emotional, social and psychological impact of care-giving, such as taking care of an aging parent, a family member with AIDS or a spouse suffering from Alzheimer's.
PUBLIC HEALTH TOPICS
- What can mental health and medical professionals do to help people cope in the immediate aftermath of a disaster? Are there any strategies that result in better long-term outcomes?
- Research the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among veterans. What factors contribute to whether an individual experiences PTSD? What mental health interventions are most effective at treating this disorder?
- Evaluate how stress management techniques and relaxation methods can help patients suffering from chronic pain. How effective are these tactics? How do they compare to traditional pharmacological approaches to pain management?
- Compare and contrast different approaches to smoking cessation. Which strategies are the most effective?
- Look at different techniques that can be used to increase the likelihood that people will use safety equipment such as seat belts and bicycle helmets. What type of public safety program would you devise to encourage the use of these products?