5 Tips For A Prolific Career In Public Health

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Living in a community is all about supporting one another. No society can function in an isolated fashion. Therefore it is necessary to help each other regarding health, wellness, and education. To find this empowerment, people turn to public health officials. These professionals work directly with communities to prevent illnesses from festering, teaching about healthy mindsets and ensuring the environment is optimal to support human lives. 

So if you’re part of this sector or plan on joining, there is a lot you can explore and work on to flourish as a public health worker. Your role is pivotal in bridging the gap between people and the knowledge they need to get better. However, before you can be of assistance to others, you need to build a reputation for yourself. Here’s how you can do this:

Focus on your education

There is a lot for you to learn regarding public health. The focus of your degree is not on preventing diseases alone but also on understanding the social and economic factors that make healthcare difficult. As a public health official, you need to know how delicate topics like racial disparities, social inequalities, and outbreaks of diseases can encompass an entire population. This is possible when you get a degree in public health. 

So once you acquire your bachelor’s degree, you should start making your way to a master’s program. Generally, some programs require an entrance exam such as a GRE. But online channels make it possible for you to find MPH programs no GRE-required, which can help you get started on your advanced education right away. A masters in public health is a massive stepping stone for your career. You will get the opportunity to diversify your portfolio and even participate in drafting research papers. Additionally, the skills and training you acquire help you connect to the community more.

Explore your options

There are several careers to choose from once you get your degree in public health. Each profession will take you down a different trajectory. Depending on which sector you decide to go for, you can help the community differently. For instance, if you wish to go into healthcare, you can become a registered public health nurse by taking the licensing exam. Or you could become a healthcare administrator and oversee research work, manage a hospital’s operational aspect, and design lucrative budgets. 

On the research side, you can become an epidemiologist and study the patterns of disease, expected trends, and how to counter illnesses when they strike. You can even choose your hand in social services by becoming a community manager. You can deal with issues like substance abuse, work in mental health facilities or help people with homelessness. 

Put yourself out there

Working among the community is the best way to build up experience. Awareness and education are an essential part of public health. You can start by educating school children on basic hygiene while demonstrating how something as minor as hand washing can keep many infections at bay. While working with adults, you can address common illnesses the community faces, such as common flu, infectious diseases, and the importance of getting medicated. 

Vaccine centers and smaller clinics can always use assistance in providing primary health care checkups and documenting patient information. You can help nurses transfer patients to more extensive facilities and help patients get the necessary vaccine shots. Similarly, you can support social services in tackling sensitive and difficult situations requiring utmost empathy and care. These can be helping children and vulnerable families out of abusive situations or addressing racism and bias in healthcare and facilities preventing much of the US population from getting adequate medical care.

Network as much as you can

Every sector thrives on networking. This is a process where you get to meet trailblazers and pioneers within your niche who can help you accomplish your primary goals in promoting public health. Therefore, to network, ensure you email influential organizations such as humanitarian bodies, activities, and even philanthropists on what obstacles you feel public health is facing and how they can help. Senate bills and policies make a massive difference in society. All it takes is one law to pass that can give the population access to better resources, affordable healthcare, and even make medical treatments that are deemed illegal possible and accessible. So, don’t hesitate to sign a petition, arrange for meetings and present your arguments to represent the people. 

Don’t let go of opportunities to attend public events and charity galas. These attract socialites and those interested in making a change from everywhere. It is an excellent idea to meet them and use the platforms to spread awareness. Work conferences and public health meetings are other great places to make contacts. This hard work is not only helping you boost your career and helps the community flourish since you’re making it easier for them to tap into resources. 

Work on interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills help you navigate through your profession better. These include learning effective ways to communicate, such as the language to use, body language to adopt, and knowing how to talk to people hailing from different backgrounds. Public health needs strong leaders, especially those who understand the importance of wellness, achieving community goals, and looking for collaborative opportunities. 

Therefore, always put your best foot forward, guide the people you work with and don’t be afraid to tackle projects headfirst. Empathy training and workshops on recognizing abuse and learning about infectious diseases should also be on your plan. You should attend these sessions to build up your knowledge of the latest outbreaks, ensure the information online is accurate, and polish your people skills. The best you can rise to the ranks as a public health professional is when you take the time to work on yourself and keep yourself updated about your field. 

Conclusion

The core of public health is community wellness and safety. This is a multifaceted profession allowing you to work in different sectors, all aimed toward benefitting the population. To be a successful public health professional, you can do much. The first step is to get a masters in the field, which allows you to extend your expertise in healthcare, research, and even social work. You may even look for subfields within public health to make a career following a specific route, such as working as a nurse, going to epidemiology, or being a community manager. Don’t hesitate to lend your services to those who need you, whether it’s education, healthcare, or tackling complex cases. Your interpersonal skills and interest in networking can elevate your position and push you to reach new heights.