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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


CLEARY, Helen P.. Health education: the role and functions of the specialist and the generalist. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1988, vol.22, n.1, pp.64-72. ISSN 1518-8787.

Education for health is a process in which all public health and medical care personnel are involved. People learn both formally (planned learning experiences) and informally (unplanned learning experiences). Since the patient, the client, the consummer and the community expect public health and medical care personnel to assist them with health and disease issues and problems, the response of the professional "educates" the customer whether the professional intends to educate or not. Therefore, it is incumbent on all public health and medical care professionals to understand their educational functions and their role in health education. It is also important that the role of the specialist in education be clear. The specialist, as to all other specialists, has an in-depth knowledge of his area of expertise, i.e., the teaching/learning process; s/he may function as a consultant to others to enhance the educational potential of their role or s/he may work with a team or with communities or groups of patients. Specific competencies and knowledge are required of the health education specialist; and there is a body of learning and social change theory which provides a frame of reference for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs. Working with others to enhance their potential to learn and to make informed decisions about health/disease issues is the hallmark of the health education specialist.

Keywords : Health education; Health manpower; Interprofessional relations.

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