Health Education Job Steps
Steps to become a health educator
There are a number of different steps one can take to a health education careerdepending on the specific employment setting they are seeking. The following are steps based on a career as a health educator at a college or university:
- The most important thing in moving to a career in health education is obtaining an appropriate entry-level degree in your specific area.
- Earn an advanced degree (master's or master's and then doctorate).
- Take the appropriate board exams to become certified and licensed in your respective area of expertise.
- Work in your area of expertise for a number of years prior to moving to health education. It is so important for health educators to be able to give their students examples based on their experience working in their given field.
- While working in your given field, keep your hands in some aspect of teaching in the profession no matter how small it may seem. For example, you could be involved in guest lecturing for a class.
Learn more about health education careers.
Another new trend in health care education involves health literacy and patient self-managed support. With decreases in insurance coverage and higher co-payments for health service occurring frequently, healthcare providers are teaching patients to assume
Why is health education "the" field to pursue?
It is important to realize that there's a demonstrated and viable need for healthcare practitioners and professionals. Because baby boomers are starting to retire, there's a huge void in the healthcare field creating a tremendous need for doctors, nurses, and many other healthcare professionals. Health education schools are ramping up to educate more individuals.
Besides just educating healthcare practitioners, it's recognized that also educating patients on preventative medicine and early detection is very important. ?Educating the general public is the first step towards prevention. For example, 15 years ago there was not nearly as much discussion with students in schools about how to stay in shape and make healthy eating choices. Today, resources are being poured into helping people live healthier lives and preventing illness. There is a need for educators in these roles.
What are current "hot topics" in this field?
One of the major hot topics in health education is evidence-based practice. For so long the medicine and healthcare fields have adopted the mantra: "We continue to do things this way because that's how we've always done it." Evidence based practice involves targeted research to direct the health educator's practice. For example, if the healthcare practitioner wants to use a specific treatment for a certain condition they should be able to find studies to show that method is effective. "There has been a great shift to remove the 'home remedy' approach out of health care and instead use solid, well designed empirical research that establishes what is and is not effective," according to Tom Hayden.