Health Education

Health Education—Taking a closer look into this high-demand field

Health education is a very rewarding field that is a lot more challenging than most realize. According to Janelle Wright, Assistant Professor of Nursing at a private university in Illinois, "[health education] involves more than just informing someone of health related facts and skills...it involves having very strong communication skills and is more of a collaborative or coaching process as we help people make decisions for themselves about any changes they wish to adopt in their lives." Wright continues by saying that the field of health education involves maintaining strong relationship-centered skills and bridging cultural differences.  It also involves honoring another person's worldview and maintaining her or his dignity.  All of these skills are in addition to being resourceful and knowledgeable about new developments in healthcare. Learn more about health education salary. Let's start with some of the common questions people may have regarding this field.

What different settings can a health educator work in?

There's such a wide spectrum of educational opportunities in health care. Some of these areas may include university or college instructor/professor, researcher, clinical educator, patient educator, and public health educator. Let's explore each of these setting

  • Universities or College Instructor:  Instructors or professors at universities and colleges lay out the foundation of their specific healthcare specialty to provide students with the nuts and bolts of skills and knowledge they need in their respective field.
  • Researcher:  Oftentimes professors at universities also serve the dual role of being a researcher, though there are individuals who only conduct research without the teaching aspect. Research universities hire professionals to perform research to advance the field.
  • Clinical Educator:These professionals work in their respective field and serve as a mentor or trainer for students working on clinical rotations to gain hands-one experience.
  • Patient Educator: This title could run the gamut of professionals it applies to from diabetes educator to any health care professional who is explaining a procedure to a patient.
  • Public Health: These professionals can be involved in any type of education that promotes healthy lifestyles and prevents injury and disease for communities as a whole.

Learn more about health education degrees.

What daily tasks does this career entail?

In the university setting, there are a number of different aspects to the job. Some of these include administrative aspects such as advising students, design and implementation of lectures, labs and hands-on instruction, grading papers and exams, and assessment. Assessment involves much more than just grading exams. Healthcare involves ensuring students can display proficiencies in certain tasks through clinical demonstration before they're able to move on. Designing new courses is another task some health educators have. Also, most health programs have to be accredited and securing accreditation or reaccreditation is a huge task with many components. Some educators review and write textbooks and other educational materials.

For professors employed at research universities, grant writing is a major part of their job. Research entails funding for lab time and materials. Organizations have money set aside for studies on specific topics that are pertinent to their field.  Professors involved in research write grant proposals to obtain the necessary money to conduct their research. They are competing against other professors submitting proposals to gain the grant money. Oftentimes professors who research are also educators in their given field. For these individuals part of their job entails guiding and coaching students through research studies and grant writing. 

Health Education Schools

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            4 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among the Best Colleges in the South in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • Ranked the 13th  Best College for Veterans in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
            • A private institution founded in 1977 with a current total undergraduate enrollment of over 15,00.
            • Its student-faculty ratio is 11:1, and 89.3% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
            • Has students attend one class at a time to ensure easy access to faculty and a more hands-on education.
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            5 Program(s) Found
            •  Ranked one of the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
            •  Offers a no-obligation, 3-week trial period where students may determine if the university is right for them before they commit to it.
            •  Strives to be a student’s partner in lifelong learning; committed to helping them achieve their goals.
            •  Serves students of all ages, from first-graders learning to read to professionals seeking postgraduate training.
            •  Provides career-oriented diploma through master’s programs in fields such as healthcare, business, legal and paralegal services, information technology, criminal justice and design.
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            • Each year since 2004, The Princeton Review has included California University in its Best in the Northeast listing, recognizing Cal U as one of the best regional universities in the northeastern United States.
            • Ranked #35 in Best Online Graduate Education Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost.
            • Grants students in its Global Online program the same diploma as graduates from Cal U’s traditional degree programs.
            • Has an student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1.
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            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            4 Program(s) Found
            Pacific Oaks College , Online (campus option available)
            • Founded over 60 years ago on the principles of inclusion and social justice.
            • Offers credit for previous life and work experience.
            • Has 3 semesters and 6 start dates a year.
            • Located in Pasadena, CA, with instructional sites in Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Cruz, and Visalia as well as online options.
            • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
            Good for Working Adults
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            5 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
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            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits