this article approaches the teaching-learning process in healthcare services, especially in those that are integrated with the public health care system. based on rethinking certain pedagogical theories, the author attempts to build a frame of reference that would allow rethinking about certain aspects of teaching experienced in day-to-day work. it is the kind of work carried out at healthcare services that enables the articulation of education and of its social, technical and ideological dimensions while, on the other hand, defining it not only through the needs of its professionals but mainly as a response to the reality and purposes that guide the institutionalization of the brazilian healthcare system. the dialectics of educational practice and healthcare have given rise to innovative chains of thought and action. in general terms, it can be said that education in services brings out the educational potential of day-to-day work and guides learning as an ongoing process of a participative nature. it also allows the articulation of doing, educating, and knowing, and the reasons behind not doing, not educating and/or not knowing. as a pedagogical process that integrates the individual and the group, the institutional and the social, as well as the cognitive and the affective, it can be led by the commitment to transform practices, which is indispensable in order to render effective everything that is intended as part of a healthcare reform designed to defend life.