Everything You Need to Know Before Getting a Public Health Job
The public health system is unique in promoting the well-being of different population groups. It employs care providers with extreme precision. As such, health specialists must be skillful and accomplished in many ways to follow evidence-based practices, educate patients, and improve the system from within. Public health jobs are among the most demanding occupations. Although, they offer immense benefits for individuals on personal and professional levels in terms of realization and contributions to communities.
Public health can be defined as the science and art of advancing services that promote mental and physical health, ensuring control and prevention of diseases, and prolonging the life of individuals within different population groups. Notably, unlike general healthcare professionals who treat people after they tend to show signs of diseases and injuries, public health experts focus more on preventing illness and introducing healthy behaviors.
4 Questions to Ask to Understand Your Potential as a Public Health Provider
Experts who work within the area of public health should know the specifics of their communities, recognize the most prevalent conditions in different groups, and address these matters based on structural and systematic mechanisms. They should also be ready to deal with inequalities and make sure that every person has access to medical services regardless of race, gender, financial, and other factors.
Working in public health can be challenging for students who recently graduated from universities, because it is not just order essay online. This job requires much more, they need to know their community and be its integral part. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), public care providers live in the communities where they offer medical assistance. As such, professionals understand how to meet the health needs of a population in a culturally appropriate and culturally sensitive manner.
People who want to pursue a career in public health should think about several questions before they are ready to commit to their professional goals:
- Do you feel passionate about reducing inequality and making medical assistance available to underserved communities?
- Are you a team player and ready to collaborate with other care providers to maximize the positive effects of interventions?
- Do you look to be employed in a dynamic industry that constantly develops and introduces new solutions?
- Can manage clinical trials, advise policymakers, and influence stakeholders when promoting presentation strategies?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, a career in public health may be the best option for you, provided that you understand its specifics and demands.
7 Main Roles of Public Health Provides
Experts who choose to work as public health providers play different roles within their respective communities. Each role contributes to a systematic approach to helping people improve their well-being through research, analysis, and practical decisions.
- Health Scientist. A health scientist assists in developing national systems to monitor public health capability and performance and serves as a recognized expert for programs. This job involves statistical studies, project development, and analysis. There are also environmental health scientists who assess factors that have the potential to influence people’s health (for instance, they can help reduce asthma symptoms).
- Epidemiologist. Epidemiologists are recognized as experts on critical epidemiology issues nationally or internationally. It involves the design, planning, and initiating of epidemiological studies, surveys, technical reports and investigations. Identifying causes and risk factors for public health threats is the responsibility of epidemiologists, who, in turn, recommend prevention and control measures.
- Public Healthcare Worker. Public care providers are employed at health centers and public organizations such as high schools, nursing houses, and other places. Such experts include, to name a few, nurses, physicians, dentists, and hygienists. They offer medical assistance to patients and guide organizations and businesses in implementing policies, programs, and strategies.
- Public Health Program Planner. As the name suggests, such professionals create and introduce public health programs to educate communities about various issues and prevention measures.
- Health Administrator. In public health and disease prevention, administrators oversee people and organizations. Administrators of social services programs are social workers and community service managers.
- Public Health Consultant. Consultants perform senior managerial roles and are responsible for supervising and managing teams of experts who work on different projects, manage budgets, and assess the performance of care providers.
- Public Health Advisor. The role of a public health advisor includes overseeing a wide range of public health programs. Such specialists gather and interpret data that can be used to improve policies, legislative and regulatory efforts. They also advise medical workers on the benefits and implications of programs, thus helping to decrease the spread of diseases.
People also often choose to work for nonprofit public health organizations. Individuals can realize their potential in the field of nonprofit organizations by advancing health and accepting the roles of epidemiologists, policy researchers and analysts, consultants, and promoters and pursuing other public health jobs.
Degrees and Education Requirements Needed to Get a Job in Public Health
To be hired by a public health employer, candidates should have certain skills and abilities that make them eligible to work with patients. In many cases, care providers are expected to:
- Solve medicals issues effectively;
- Participate in team efforts and coordinate experts;
- Work with diverse groups of patients;
- Stay focused under pressure;
- Meet educational requirements and expectations.
To work in public health, individuals should also correspond to certain educational criteria. For instance, to be considered for an entry-level position, a public care provider should have a bachelor’s degree. To get a senior position or have a more specialized position, an individual is expected to have a master’s degree. As such, individuals who want to be health services administrators should get a BA degree in healthcare administration as well as a MA degree in public health.
The Benefits of a Master’s Degree for a Public Health Career
Even for job offers that do not require a master’s degree, having the degree helps individuals to stand out and makes a resume more appealing. When students wonder whether they should continue their education, it is a good idea to consider a matter from a different perspective with a focus on benefits.
- An advanced degree can increase opportunities and enable an individual to choose between different jobs within the public health sector.
- Having a MA degree helps one pursue jobs that provide better financial security.
- A degree also enables students to develop their skills and gain more experience with various health-related issues.
- A higher degree can help students establish themselves as leaders and make positive changes.
To get a master’s degree, students can take courses in various areas that include:
- Public health research and analysis methods;
- Epidemiological studies;
- Public health and environmental studies;
- Management and leadership strategies;
- Statistics in public health;
- Public health law;
- Information systems and data management.
How to Quit Your Public Health Job: 3 Steps to Follow
A job in the public health system can be extremely demanding, take more time than expected, and take an emotional toll on care providers. At some point, people may realize that their careers are not fulfilling, and they have to quit and find another job. Some of the common reasons for such a decision include a desire to:
- change career completely and leave the public health sector;
- find a job with a better salary;
- leave a place due to an unfavorable working environment;
- improve life-work balance;
- gain more flexibility.
We have gathered the most useful methods that can be used to quit a job gracefully and on good terms. It is important to think the process through and minimize possible negative effects of such a change. There are several steps that should be taken to leave a job with professionalism and move on to better things and opportunities.
STEP 1. When to Leave a Public Health Position?
It can be very tempting to give up before finding a new job when you are unhappy with your public health position. However, the majority of people suggest waiting to leave a job until you have found another one. Surely, in some cases, it is more appropriate not to wait due to different reasons. When in doubt, experts recommend asking yourself a set of questions:
- How secure are you financially, and how much time do you have without a job to feel comfortable?
- Imagine being asked at the next interview about your reason for leaving. Can you explain this situation in a neutral tone with an assurance that such a decision will not have negative effects on your chances of finding a new job?
- A state of unemployment is stressful. Can you handle this pressure?
Apart from these questions, people should consider their situation in detail because every case is different. It may be too risky if you quit your job too soon. However, quitting your job in order to improve your physical or mental health should not be postponed for long.
STEP 2. Think in Advance about Your Notice Period
You may lose your motivation and focus completely after the decision to quit a job. Nevertheless, stay focused and finish all your projects, if possible. This approach requires you to stay engaged and help colleagues continue their work effectively after you have left. After all, working in public health calls for a high level of responsibility to prevent any negative impacts on patients and communities in general. It is recommended to have a document with a list of ongoing projects for others to keep up with all the information and adhere to timelines.
It would help if you also asked for references that can be used to find a new job in the public sphere or other areas. Provided that you quit your job professionally, references can establish a positive background and help you impress future employers.
STEP 3. Inform in Advance and in the Proper Manner
All employees who want to change their jobs should plan a meeting with a manager to inform them about a decision. Speaking about such a matter when having a cup of morning coffee is not considered a professional approach.
During this meeting, you should give a clear explanation and articulate all important details but stay on point (there is no need to add private information). Many people tend to say that they are at a crossroads, cannot stop procrastinating, feel burned out, lack financial resources, and use other reasons. Whatever the case, it is a good idea to thank your manager for all the opportunities you had working as a public health provider and stress all positive moments.
To Sum Up
A public health job is often described as a calling. It requires determination, great theoretical knowledge, and practical skills. If you are ready to gain experience, get an advanced degree and dedicate your time and efforts to changing the lives of others, this job is for you. However, if you feel you are out of place and want to quit your job, we recommend thinking hard to make the best decision.