Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Mary Ita Heffernan from Health Service Executive to give some advice for people considering this job:


Mary Ita Heffernan

Social Worker

Health Service Executive

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  Mary Ita Heffernan

Whilst in secondary school, I changed my mind many a time regarding the career path I wanted to pursue! I always knew that I wanted to work with people but was unsure about the profession which would most suit my interests and skills in this regard.

While in school, I definitely found that being unsure about the type or area of work you want to pursue is a very difficult and confusing position to be in, especially given the array of career choices now available and the pressure one feels in trying to make one’s mind up.

To this end, I would strongly advise anybody in this position to research courses and job descriptions well in order to make the most informed decision possible at that time in your life. 

I recommend one tries to gain as much work experience as possible as it will provide you with valuable insight into your skills, ability, likes/dislikes for certain areas of employment!!!!

Also I would research the courses and job areas as much as possible so that you can make an informed decision regarding your choices. If you can't gain enough information in school, contact the college directly or arrange to talk to somebody who facilitates the course. In particular, it would be really valuable to talk to somebody in the profession to gain a realistic and practical insight into the job.


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Course Information

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McEgan College

Healthcare Support

Code:  5M4339
Award:  National Framework of Qualifications level

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Further Information...

Course Details - from College Website
Colleges often have information about the course on their own website, along with other useful information relating to the college. (Note: Not always available).
Course Details - from Qualifax
Qualifax is the National Learners Database. (Note: Link not always available).

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More Course Suggestions...
The following courses are related to the course above and are from colleges in the same region. These might be worth exploring further. You can sort the list by Title or College by clicking on the column headings.
Course Title College
Social Studies Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE 
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Healthcare Support / Caring for the Elderly Kinsale College of Further Education 
Health Services Supervisory Management Cork College of Commerce 
Psychosocial Awareness & Training Cork College of Commerce 
Early Childhood Care & Education McEgan College 
Early Childhood Care & Education - Afternoon Advanced Cork College of Commerce 
Healthcare Support East Cork Further Education & Youthreach Centre 
Early Childhood Care, Education & Montessori - Advanced Mallow College of Further Education 
Social Studies 2 Colaiste Stiofain Naofa CFE 
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Sample Careers...
If you are interested in this course, then some of these occupations may be of interest. These suggestions are related by Career Sector and Career Interests, and may be worth exploring.
Charity Officer   Equality Officer  
Community Welfare Officer   Psychologist - Educational  
Guidance Counsellor - Post Primary   Art Therapist  
Teacher - Nursery/Playgroup    Funeral Director  
Naturopath   Vision Rehabilitation Therapists  
Aromatherapist   Health Educator/Promotion Officer  
Acupuncturist   Speech & Language Therapist  
Nurse - General   Nurse - Psychiatric / Mental Health Care  
Nurse - Intellectual Disability   Paramedic / Emergency Medical Technician  
Psychologist - Sports   Probation Officer  
Garda   Psychologist - Clinical  
Social Care Worker / Practitioner   Counsellor  
Music Therapist   Aid worker / humanitarian worker  
Community Education Officer   Psychotherapist  
Social Worker   Occupational Therapist  
Careers Adviser   Clergy / Religious Ministers  
Guidance Counsellor - Adult Education   Community Development Worker  

Related Career Sectors...
This course prepares people for careers typically found in the sectors below. You can explore information relating to these sectors by clicking on the titles below.
Social & Caring
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Progression Routes

(Higher Education Links Scheme)

This course leads to a QQI Major Award, and provides progression opportunities to a number of Higher Education courses, including those in the CAO.

To view CAO courses to which any Major Award (including this one) provides a possible Progression route, click below:

CAO with any QQI Major Award

To view additional CAO courses which this specific course may lead to, click on the Award Code below:

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