What do public health professionals do?
Public health is a science involved in protecting the health and safety of people and improving the communities in which they live, work, learn and play through education, policy and research . While doctors treat illnesses and diseases, public health professionals work to prevent people from getting sick or injured by promoting wellness by protecting populations. They do this by researching injury and disease prevention, promoting healthy lifestyles, and preventing, detecting, and responding to infectious diseases.
Why is public health important?
Public health professionals, such as MPH (Masters in Public Health), work to prevent diseases and health-related problems from occurring or recurring. They accomplish this by conducting research, implementing educational programs, administering health-related services, and recommending policies. This contrasts with clinical health professionals such as doctors and nurses, who focus primarily on treating sick people.
Where can a public health graduate work?
First, you need effective public health training to be a professional. If you already have a degree, you can opt for a master’s degree, such as a online masters in public health, for further qualification. In general, a profession in public health can lead you to:
- A government agency, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), National Institutes of Health (NIH), EPA (Environmental environment) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), among others.
- Local or state health departments
- Non-profit organizations, such as St. John Ambulance, American Red Cross, Allies for Health + Wellbeing, or Planned Parenthood.
- Hospitals and other healthcare organizations
- Private companies, such as pharmaceutical companies and health insurers
- Training institutions, colleges and universities, such as being a teacher at the school of public health
- Field of research
What public health professionals do
The level of involvement in public health differs according to the level of the profession. A public health degree holder works differently than a public health master’s degree holder. Generally, as a qualified public health professional, you can perform one or more of the following essential services:
- Monitor the health status of a community to identify potential health and injury issues
- Investigate and diagnose health risks and problems in the village community
- Educate, inform and empower a population on current and impending health issues
- Mobilize community partnerships that can help identify and propose solutions to health problems
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
- Connecting individuals and communities to needed health services (shared and personal) and facilitating health care if not otherwise available.
- Propose policies and enforce regulations and laws that protect the health and safety of a community
- Facilitate and evaluate the effectiveness, quality and accessibility of personal and population-based health services
- Conduct research and education on new knowledge and provide innovative solutions to different health issues and injuries
Public health is an important part of the health sector and a driver of community health and safety. The field of public health in the United States is currently experiencing a shortage of professionals, workers and researchers. As the population grows. This field needs more manpower to prevent, identify and address new and emerging health threats (such as COVID-19) and to research, design prevention and management policies.
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