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Friday, September 6, 2013

Essay on Careers in Public Health





Essay on Careers in Public Health

Public Health is the most thriving and developing field all over the world. As a discipline, it deals with the academic research, teaching and  professional practice  of preventing disease and promoting general public health. It focused on the organized efforts of the society for the betterment of the health conditions of people. These efforts include organizations, communities and networks of individuals working together to assure a good public health system. These groups of people which often includes the medical care institution, the private industry, the community based non-profit organization and the academy works together and takes the responsibility of assuring the health of the public and the functioning of the whole public health system. Any society, community or country would acknowledge the public health as a top priority. As a top priority, public health system needs different careers to address the different health issues and aspects. It is a very expansive and varied field that requires many different occupations working together to achieve its goals.

Two of the careers in Public Health that I find very interesting is that of the State Epidemiologist and the health educator. State Epidemiologist sounds very appealing to me because I am very interested in science, microbiology and human health. Being a state epidemiologist can allow me to deal with all these fields that I am interested in. I guess I would really find it very the investigative work of tracking diseases in human population very interesting. Being a state epidemiologist can also allow me to interact with a lot of people in various public health professions. On the other hand, being a Health Educator interests me because designing, facilitating and implementing educational programs is somehow an appealing job for me. Aside from my interest in natural sciences, I am equally interested with social sciences. The social science made me understand enabled me to understand the ethnic and cultural issues of different communities. Possessing this kind of understanding can help me a lot in being an effective health educator. 

There are different routes in being in the career of epidemiology. The quickest way in having a career as an epidemiologist is to take an undergraduate degree in order to get a master’s degree in public health with a concentration epidemiology. Physicians, nurses and others already in the medical profession can be an epidemiologist if they would earn their masters in public health before or after their graduation. Another way into entering epidemiology is to go through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an be in the program called the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). This 2-year program teach physicians and other health professionals the important epidemiological skills needed for the prevention of diseases and outbreaks. State epidemiologist basically investigates, track and report the information regarding the outbreaks or diseases in a population that is why they are also called disease detectives. They investigate the disease clusters or the investigates the incidence of a disease in a community. They can also examine and cure problems and diseases related to the general physical environment. State epidemiologist usually on the surveillance, investigation, data analysis and evaluation of pandemic diseases and outbreaks. Because of this investigative nature of their job, they are also usually interacting with program managers, medical providers, statisticians and public health policy makers. 

On the other hand, being a health educator would require a bachelor degree in health education, health management, sociology, education, community development or other related degrees.  After earning these one of these degrees, aspiring health educator can opt to take the  (Certified Health Education Specialist)  offered by the National Commission of Health Education Credentialing Inc. The main responsibility of a public health educator is to change policies and environments as well as the behaviors and attitudes that affect health. They design workshop and forums, plan and direct programs and work with the community groups to address the wider public health agenda. They also conduct studies related in public health education , evaluate the methods of the program, determine the effectiveness of the program and improve the general health of the communities. They can improve general health by addressing issues such as drug-abuse, pollution, stress management and safety. 

If I could talk to any epidemiologist and health educator, I would like to ask them about what make them inspired in their respective careers? Why have they chosen careers in public health and what would it takes to be a great epidemiologist or health educator.



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