Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Health Science | Texas | Practicum in Health Science
Practicum in Health Science: What Is it and What Are its TEKS?
With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the AES curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.
If you’re new to teaching health science in Texas, you’re probably confused about some of your more specialized courses. After all, they can get pretty advanced, and each has associated Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) your students will have to learn in order to move their careers forward.
As a health science curriculum developer, one course new Texas teachers often ask us about is the Practicum in Health Science course. So what’s the purpose of this course, and what TEKS must you meet to teach it successfully?
In this article, you’ll discover what Practicum in Health Science is, and what associated TEKS your students will have to demonstrate in order to pass.
By the end of this article, you’ll have a better grasp on Practicum in Health Science, its purpose, and what TEKS are essential to it.
What Is the Practicum in Health Science Course?
Practicum in Health Science is an advanced course designed to give students firsthand experience and practice with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen healthcare pathway.
Depending on the pathway they’ve chosen, this could take many forms. There are Practicum courses designed for Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), nurse assistants (PCTs), Pharmacy Technicians, and more.
Students can take a Practicum in Health Science course twice for credit, so long as the second time around they’re advancing new skills and learning different things about the industry they’re entering.
Because this course involves students applying their skills in a practical setting, it’s generally reserved for those in grade 12, since they’re further along the pathway and have a greater body of knowledge to draw from.
Upon completing Practicum in Health Science, your students will have gained valuable experience and be one step closer to certification.
What Are the Practicum in Health Science TEKS Requirements?
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Practicum in Health Science is, your next step is to learn more about the TEKS associated with the course.
Each of the Practicum in Health Science TEKS is composed of two sections:
- Knowledge statements refer to the overarching concepts students must learn.
- Skills statements are the specific objectives students are expected to meet when taking the class.
Overall, the Practicum in Health Science TEKS are categorized into 9 knowledge statements:
- The student demonstrates professional standards/employability skills as required by business and industry.
- The student applies mathematics, science, English language arts, and social sciences in health science.
- The student uses verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- The student implements the knowledge and skills of a health care professional necessary to acquire and retain employment.
- The student employs ethical behavior standards and legal responsibilities.
- The student employs a safe environment to prevent hazardous situations.
- The student explores the knowledge and skill levels necessary for advancing in the health science professions.
- The student implements skills in monitoring individual health status during therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.
- The student recognizes the importance of participation in extended learning experiences.
These 9 knowledge statements also have another 25 skills statements divided across them, which detail the specifics of the skills students need to develop.
In the following sections, you’ll learn more about each of these knowledge statements and the skills statements that compose them.
TEKS Requirement 1: Professional Standards and Employability Skills
This TEKS standard requires that students learn critical career readiness concepts to prepare them for everyday life in the workforce.
Specifically, students must be able to learn and demonstrate these skills:
- Clear and effective verbal and non-verbal communication.
- The ability to cooperate, contribute, and collaborate as a team member.
These are fairly general skills, but are essential for success in business and industry settings.
TEKS Requirement 2: Math, Science, Language, and Social Studies Skills
This knowledge statement measures a student’s ability to apply academic knowledge and skills to a healthcare context.
Specifically, the student is expected to be able to use these skills to:
- Interpret data from various sources to formulate conclusions.
- Compile information from various sources to create technical reports.
- Plan, prepare, and deliver presentations.
- Examine the environmental factors that affect homeostasis.
- Relate anatomic structures to physiological functions.
- Distinguish atypical anatomy and physiology in a human body system.
This Practicum in Health Science standard ensures students can take the knowledge and critical thinking skills they’ve developed throughout their education and apply them to their position in healthcare--even if those don’t seem immediately relevant.
TEKS Requirement 3: Communication Skills
This TEKS requirement measures a student’s understanding of key communication concepts valuable in the healthcare industry.
In particular, the student is expected to be able to use communication skills to:
- Report information accurately and according to proper policies and procedures.
- Provide therapeutic, quality care to patients.
- Employ suitable measures to minimize communication barriers.
By developing these skills, students become better at communicating both with patients and with fellow healthcare professionals.
TEKS Requirement 4: Healthcare Skills
This TEKS standard requires that students demonstrate their capacity to perform the duties of their chosen pathway.
Specifically, students are expected to be able to:
- Demonstrate proficiency in medical terminology and other healthcare skills.
- Develop problem-solving strategies based on their knowledge and skills.
- Evaluate their own performance to foster continuous improvement and advancement.
These are the critical healthcare skills for students to develop and showcase, the ones that make it clear that they’re equipped with the proper knowledge to perform their functions.
TEKS Requirement 5: Legal and Ethical Responsibilities
This TEKS requirement measures a student’s understanding of the legal aspects of being a healthcare professional.
To meet this standard, each student is expected to:
- Identify the proper individual ethical and legal behavior standards they must adhere to.
- Research case studies related to unethical behavior in the healthcare industry.
By meeting this requirement, students ensure they know the legal and ethical standards they will be held to as healthcare workers.
TEKS Requirement 6: Safety Precautions and Hazardous Situations
This TEKS standard measures a student’s understanding of common safety procedures in a healthcare setting.
Students are expected to be able to:
- Integrate regulatory standards and precautions into their work, like safe patient handling.
- Evaluate hazardous materials according to safety data sheets.
- Apply principles of infection control and body mechanics throughout their duties in the industry.
By demonstrating proficiency in this standard, students ensure they have the knowledge necessary to handle emergencies or hazardous situations, and create a safe healthcare environment for patients.
TEKS Requirement 7: Health Science Career Pathways
This TEKS skills statement helps students learn more about the career options on their chosen healthcare pathway.
Students are supposed to think deeply about their careers, and thus are expected to:
- Identify the knowledge and skills that are transferable among health science professions.
- Research various career pathways within the healthcare industry.
The insight that students gain from this TEKS standard will aid them in making more informed decisions when exploring health career options down the road.
TEKS Requirement 8: Observational and Monitoring Skills
This TEKS standard requires students to demonstrate their ability to monitor the health status of patients during therapeutic or diagnostic procedures.
The student is expected to be able to use these skills to:
- Identify care indicators of health status.
- Record health status according to facility protocol.
By developing these skills, students gain the expertise necessary to care for individual patients without feeling lost, confused, or panicked. This is a keystone to effectively handling their duties as a healthcare professional.
TEKS Requirement 9: Professional Development and Community Service
This TEKS skills statement has students recognize the importance of participating in new learning experiences and community service opportunities.
To meet this standard, the student is expected to:
- Take part in experiences like community service, student organizations, or professional organization.
- Create an action plan targeting the career and technical student organization’s community service goal.
By participating in these learning experiences, students develop peer networks and gain more insight into the communities surrounding their career pathway.
Need Materials to Meet Your Practicum in Health Science TEKS?
It can be challenging to gain your bearings as a new health science teacher in Texas. Between learning about complex, advanced courses and ensuring your courses meet their TEKS standards, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
In this article, you’ve learned more about Practicum in Health Science, who it’s meant for, and what TEKS your students will have to meet to successfully pass the course. With this knowledge in mind, you should be able to go forward and teach a class that will give your students the practical experience they need.
At least, theoretically you’d be able to. But in reality, how do you go about teaching a Practicum in Health Science course? Where do you start looking to find course material for your classroom? What kind of material would be the right fit for you and your students?
If you need an idea of the best fit lesson plans and activities for your teaching style, check out our article on the Best Places to Find Practicum in Health Science Curriculum.
This article goes in-depth into the pros and cons of several different kinds of curriculum resource, so that you can teach the best Practicum course possible: