The job of Community Health Agents in evidence: an analysis under the perspective of the activity

This paper analyzes the work methods of the Community Health Agents (ACS) that are involved in the Family Health Unity (USF) in Ilha das Caieiras, located in the outskirts of a capital in southeastern Brazil. The USF provides health care to a population resident in five neighborhoods, whose territory embraces about two thousand and three hundred families, divided in regions and smaller areas. Each region is under the responsibility of a Family Health Team, and each smaller area consists in the territory of a Community Health Agent (ACS). Eleven ACS that work in the researched USF had their work directives prescribed according to the conceptions of Family Health Strategy management. This paper presents a qualitative research that used a cartographic research analysis supported on daily field diaries and activity. The work of these professionals was analyzed under the perspective of the activity, based on the theoretical-analytical models of Ergology and Activity Ergonomics. It is legitimate to assert that the social construction of the territory under the USF's care greatly influences the work of the ACS and the production of the population's health. There is a lot of variability to be managed and the means for providing this service have particularities determined by the social-economic context, which requires different"uses of the self" at work and in ACS' activities.

Work Analysis; Health Work; Family Health; Use of the self


Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. Av. dr. Arnaldo, 715, Prédio da Biblioteca, 2º andar sala 2, 01246-904 São Paulo - SP - Brasil, Tel./Fax: +55 11 3061-7880 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: saudesoc@usp.br