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A health professional compassionately speaks with an elderly patient.

Public Health

A Public Health Worker is the friendly face people see when they have a health-related question. These skilled individuals typically are a trusted member of and have a close understanding of the community they serve.

This trusting relationship enables public health workers to serve as a link between health and social services and the members of the community. Public health workers increase health knowledge and self-sufficiency within communities through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support, and advocacy (American Public Health Association, 2009). They often assist in health system navigation; address barriers to care; and provide care coordination through referrals for needs such as food, housing, education, and mental health services.

Public Health Workers should have or want to develop the following skills

  • Analytical – Collect and assist in data analysis to evaluate programs and determine the needs of the community.
  • Instructional – Participate in public speaking to lead programs, teach classes, and facilitate discussions with clients, families, and healthcare teams.
  • Interpersonal – Build relationships and interact with many people from a variety of backgrounds. Be a good listener and culturally sensitive to respond to individual needs.
  • Problem-Solving – Think creatively about how to improve the health of the community through health education programs and services. Solving problems that arise in planning educational programs, such as budgeting or community resistance to services, is an example of this skill.
  • Writing – Develop written materials to convey health-related information and assist in proposal development to secure program funding.

In addition to the above skills most often used, individuals who are generally interested in empowering people, promoting healthy behaviors in the community, advocating for community members, and ensuring under-served populations have access to services often find professional fulfillment with a public health degree.


Why Choose Mid?

  • One of just a few programs available in Michigan.
  • Laddered learning opportunities allow you to complete rapid-training, and start a career while completing your associate degree.
  • Transfer 50 of the 62 credits required for the associate degree directly to CMU to pursue a bachelor degree. The remaining 12 credits are specifically designed to prepare you for a career.
  • Internships are a main building block of public health education, and include field experience in local agencies where you can put your course work into practice.
  • Get connected to the statewide network of public health workers while at Mid.
  • You'll become proficient in areas like healthcare delivery, insurance, CPR, and first aid.
  • Leadership and communication skills are also an important facet of public health courses.

Career Overview

What is a Public Health Worker?

Public Health Workers are cross-trained to perform both administrative and customer service duties. They have a clear understanding of professional boundaries, and the services available in the local area. These knowledgeable, compassionate individuals find fulfilling careers in medical offices and clinics, hospitals, non-profits, and government agencies. Public Health Workers play an important role in linking people to services, and are instrumental in helping individuals gain knowledge and confidence in managing their own health.

Duties may include, but are not limited to

  • Discussing health concerns with community members
  • Educating people about the importance and availability of healthcare services, such as cancer screenings
  • Collecting data
  • Reporting findings to health educators and other healthcare providers
  • Providing informal counseling and social support
  • Conducting outreach programs
  • Facilitating access to healthcare services
  • Advocating for individual and community needs

Job/Career Outlook

Earnings* Average: $11 to $30/hour or $22,880 - $62,400/year.

Median: $38,680/year.

Employment Outlook (2016-2026)*: 18% - Much faster than average.


* Information from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016 figures.

 
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