Prepare for a Variety of Necessary Roles
From case managers to directors to analysts, there are a variety of roles to fill. Most public health workers specialize in a certain area such as behavioral science and health education, biostatistics, international global health, and epidemiology.
Your work may bring you to areas with under-served populations or environmental disasters. Other days, you may be in an office filing paperwork or meeting with colleagues and clients. The role of a public health worker is one with many responsibilities and requires an open mind, flexibility and patience. You have to be prepared to provide help without the expectation of gratitude in many cases.
What Does a Public Health Worker Do?
Vaccinations. Workplace safety. Control of infectious diseases. These are just a few major achievements that occurred in the 20th century. Who was responsible for these advances? Public health workers.
The spectrum of public health careers is wide, but some of the most common jobs are health educators, medical scientists (epidemiologists), social workers, and statisticians. Each role has its own unique responsibilities, so we’ve compiled a list of some of the tasks that exist in all or some of the careers.
What Tasks Can a Public Health Worker Do?
Advocate for patients and clients
Collect and analyze data
Refer patients or clients to assistance programs
Coordinate patients’ discharge from healthcare facility
Plan rehabilitation care
Conduct health studies
Provide individual or group counseling
Respond to environmental disasters or other crisis situations
What Career Paths Can I Take in Public Health?
Public health is a huge field and all types of jobs are necessary to improve the world we live in. This sector offers dozens of opportunities for all types of personalities and skillsets. As you pursue roles in public health, you’ll see the majority are management positions, and most require at least a master’s degree. The Master of Public health (MPH) is the most common. Because of the variety and job demand, there’s also room for advancement as you gain experience in your career. Some of the roles that may interest you include:
Possible Job Titles
Director of Environmental Health
Public Health Officer
Clinical Trials Analyst
Water Quality Investigator
Infection Control Officer