Public health is about helping people to stay healthy. You are administrating cures for ailments, helping the public recover from wounds and protecting them from threats to their health. Public health care can involve helping individuals, however, at other times it means working with wider factors that impact an age-group, a country or an ethnic group.
There are three main sectors to help reduce the causes of ill-health and improve the public’s overall health and wellbeing. They are:
Health protection: Protecting the public’s health through, for example, environmental or biological threats. This can be anything from a severe case of the flu, food poisoning or radiation.
Healthcare public health: Making sure health services are efficient, effective and easily accessible to the public.
Health improvement: Improving people’s health. This can mean helping obese people improve their diet or helping people quit smoking.
While tending to those who are ill or wounded is more recognized by those who are identifying health risks and looking for preventative care solutions, there are many careers for public health workers seeking a career focused in health improvement. Whether you are a medical student, a fledgling resident or a high-flying physician, there are careers to help detect health risks and find solutions for them.
Dietitian and Nutritionist
Dietitians and Nutritionists will work with clients to evaluate their health and determine a diet so that they can overcome diet-related issues causing harm to the client’s health. They will assist with meal plans as well as exercise requirements. This can help fight the obesity epidemic as well as reduce type 2 diabetes, caused by inactivity and weight gain.
Dietitians and Nutritionists work in a variety of settings. They can work in hospitals, assisted living facilities, neighborhood clinics, and private practices.
Educational requirements: A bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, food services management or equivalent is required. Those who wish to advance to more supervisorial positions will have to earn an advanced degree, and certain states require a licensure or certification.
The role of an Epidemiologist is to identify public health issues and understand the mechanism of a particular illness they are currently investigating. When a cause is identified, an Epidemiologist is required to prevent the disease from spreading and causing a major outbreak.
Average working days would be spent in a medical facility, such as a laboratory or hospital. Professionals may be expected to perform field research to aid them in discovering illnesses in the local community.
Educational requirements: It is expected for an Epidemiologist to have, at the very least, a master’s degree in the field. To further your knowledge and understanding of public health, online MPH degree programs from the University of South Dakota can prepare you to address, treat and prevent epidemics abroad and in your local area. Certain employers also make it mandatory for applicants to have a doctoral degree.
Health Educators and Community Health Workers
The primary responsibility of Health Educators and Community Health Workers is to teach the public about health and wellness issues, while also providing them with techniques so that they can improve overall wellness.
Public Health Educators provide training for health care workers and health professionals, as well as host events for the local community to aid their health and wellbeing. Community Health Workers must understand the community’s health problems and counsel individuals. Their findings will be reported to Health Educators so the information can help serve the community better.
Educational requirements: To work as a Health Educator, a bachelor’s degree in health education or health promotion is required. However, some employers require applicants to hold the CHES (Certified Health Education Specialist) credential. Community Health Workers can find employment with a high school diploma. They may, however, be expected to attend postsecondary education in the form of a one or two-year certificate in the field.
A Pharmacoepidemiologist studies pharmacology and epidemiology so that they better understand how drugs work and can improve the general public’s health. They are tasked with the responsibility of protecting the general public from the spread of various diseases. This field is expected to experience an increase in demand of nearly 24% throughout 2020.
Educational requirements: A master’s degree is essential to any budding Pharmacoepidemiologists. Many also earn additional credentials and certificates in the public health field. Furthermore, many Pharmacoepidemiologists have pharmacology and epidemiology degrees.
Microbiologists study organisms (commonly microorganisms such as viruses, algae, bacteria, fungi, and parasites) that cannot be seen by the naked eye. Their role is to understand how they grow, interact with other organisms, as well as their nature so that they can conduct research aimed at developing drugs to fight infectious diseases. Microbiologists can also be employed in creating genetically engineered crops and biofuels. There have been many notable discoveries in microbiology, most of which have aided human life.
Educational requirements: A bachelor’s degree in microbiology or closely related subjects is a requirement. However, substantial amounts of laboratory work and experience is also a necessity.
Tropical Disease Expert
As the name suggests, a Tropical Disease Expert works to help prevent tropical diseases from spreading. Outbreaks of a tropical disease can be catastrophic; therefore, a Tropical Disease Specialist’s primary responsibility is to keep the public safe and reduce the chance of epidemics. Travel may be required in this job role. However, the salaries for Tropical Disease Experts are high. A professional can earn up to $190,000 annually.
Educational requirements: A medical degree is expected. They will also have to obtain specialized knowledge in tropical diseases, how they are caused as well as how they spread. It is suggested that medical students take courses catered to such topics.
Typically, a Vaccine Researcher is employed in a number of positions. Vaccine Researchers are responsible for creating as well as improving existing vaccines so that viral outbreaks are prevented. Vaccine Researchers usually work with medical doctors, medical scientist, microbiologists, and clinical laboratory technicians. You work with a variety of organizations, from hospitals to colleges, to pharmaceutical organizations.
Educational requirements: A medical and doctoral degree in chemistry or biology is expected.