Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2024
Units: 2
Hours: 1 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (48 total per quarter)
Advisory: This course requires clinical field experiences that may take place outside of the U.S.; the cost of travel is borne by the student.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU
Grade Type: Letter Grade Only
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate clinical skills of taking vital signs on a patient.
  • Students will provide accurate education for patients/clients and communities about effective health practices and prevention.


Introduction to community approaches to disease prevention and health promotion with an emphasis on a holistic approach, risk and resilience, social capital, and social change to promote community health in communities with limited access to care. Students have the opportunity to shadow licensed doctors, dentists, and other health care professionals in urgent and preventive medical/dental services. Intended for, but not limited to, students pursuing an allied health or medical career.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the cultural aspects of health and wellness
  2. Identify key components of effective communication with patients/clients
  3. Demonstrate clinical skills of taking a health history and vital signs
  4. Demonstrate how to educate patients/clients and communities about effective health practices and prevention
  5. Utilize appropriate infection control procedures
  6. Exhibit professionalism in behavior appropriate to the medical/dental environment
  7. Exhibit principles of ethical volunteering and community engagement

Course Content

  1. Cultural factors influencing health and wellness in underserved populations
    1. Social/cultural
    2. Psychological
  2. Effective communication with patients/clients
    1. Interviewing patients/clients for medical/dental issues
    2. Working with an interpreter and non-English speaking patients/clients
    3. Patient/client confidentiality
  3. Principles of taking medical/dental history and vital signs
    1. Open-ended questions
    2. Vitals signs: pulse, respiration, temperature, blood pressure
    3. Significance of exam findings and referral process
  4. Community and patient/client wellness
    1. Disease risk factors in the community population
    2. Treatment and prevention strategies
    3. Development of appropriate educational materials for the community
    4. Working with inter-professional medical/dental teams
  5. Infection control
    1. Risks associated with cross contamination and spread of disease
    2. Procedures for disinfection and sterilization
    3. Personal protections to avoid disease transmission
  6. Professionalism standards for health care workers and volunteers
    1. Advocacy for underserved populations
    2. Inter-professional relationships
    3. Ethical principle of non-maleficence (do no harm)
  7. Principles of ethical volunteering and community engagement
    1. History of the community with which you are working
    2. Forming a reciprocal relationship with the community
    3. Critiques of international volunteer programs

Lab Content

Field experience with an emphasis on identifying and utilizing community resources to facilitate wellness in a community that is underserved. Skills taught include:

  1. Holistic approaches to disease and health
  2. Basic patient assessment procedures
  3. Multicultural issues in health
  4. Infection control and prevention of disease transmission

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

1. For all sections of this course, students need access to a computer and the internet.
2. Clinical field site.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Written assignments including short answer/essay questions
Analysis and reflection paper on clinical field experiences
Demonstration of appropriate and safe patient care skills, including: communication, taking vital signs, documenting patient treatment, working cooperatively and under the supervision with health care professionals

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Web-based tutorials/case studies
Clinical field experience

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Bertold, Tim, et al.. Foundations for Community Health Workers, 2nd ed.. 2016.

St. John, Julie Ann, et al.. Promoting the Health of the Community. 2021.

The Bertold text is widely used and is the most recent edition.

Instructors may choose to use relevant articles and online educational materials such as those provided by Global Brigades:

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. Written analysis and reflection of clinical and cultural experiences of the field experiences
  2. Reading assignment related to the culture where the field experiences will take place to understand the cultural issues and health beliefs of the patient population


Biological Sciences, Dental Technology, Diagnostic Medical Technology, Emergency Medical Technologies, Health Care Ancillaries, Pharmacy Technology, Radiological Technology, Registered Veterinary Technician, Respiratory Technician