Society relies on its healthy people to perform their roles and functions in the community. Our culture is such that men and women have tasks, which contribute to their society’s betterment. Everyone serves a purpose, and all jobs are essential in a grander societal context. However, as demonstrated by the recent pandemic, a breakdown in these roles and general health distress in the global community can cause mass panic for everyone.
Key players who act as significant stakeholders in the public health’s interest are the government, public health workers, and the individuals themselves. When all these entities work together, it is unlikely that public health will be anything other than perfect. Some of the key players, which we might not even give a second thought to, are public health workers. State-appointed and non-profit related public health workers are essential workers fighting against the pandemic and maintaining public health in general. Before, during and after, the pandemic, these individuals will continue to be vital members of the community and likely change public health shortly.
If you are looking to become a public health worker or learn more about their roles in society, this article will benefit you.
Factual knowledge of what they are dealing with
Not only do these workers have to rely on the information given to them by the various state and federal departments, but they have to know a thing or two about the issues and how to manage them. There is no way they would be able to conduct their jobs the way they do without their academic qualifications. If you are looking to move into the field of public health, now would be a fantastic time to do so. Colleges are more likely to conduct online degrees during this time. Therefore, if you are willing and able to pursue a public health career, consider checking out an online program. A masters in public health online might best equip you to deal with some of the recurring and dominant issues in a specific community. From drug abuse, teenage pregnancy to widespread hepatitis, all these domains come under a public health worker’s ambit. Therefore, they would need to know details and up-to-date information about these issues.
Identifying and isolating illnesses, diseases, and viruses
Suppose specific recurring illnesses are identified in a community. In that case, the health department often dispatches public health workers to gather as much information as possible on the newly found issue. Public health workers are often the first to identify these issues and report them back. If there is cause for concern, the government departments will send a team of better-equipped individuals to isolate the problems and conduct research into the illnesses.
Much like in Wuhan, isolation became essential. An isolated disease in a small community might seem irrelevant; however, as the pandemic grows, we realize how fast conditions can spread and how far they can reach. Thus, these public health workers must find issues in communities and report them back to the officials. Hence, the health departments can swiftly take care of the newly found illnesses.
Educating the masses and policymakers
Educating the public regarding the best health practices is one of the most important tenants of a public health worker. Following proper health protocols can help improve many people’s lifestyles, leading to an overall reduction in illnesses. They can provide health education and allow all communities to thrive.
Public health workers don’t just focus on supplying knowledge to the public. Instead, they advocate for better health practices on a policy-making level too. Community health workers interact with an incredibly diverse population. They know the various factors that combine to make these populations vulnerable. They know, first-hand, how these populations are excluded from proper healthcare and can advise policymakers on how to best cater to them. They are the vital link in helping disenfranchised people connect to the appropriate medical channels. Public health workers operate in rural areas and in vulnerable populations where they are often the only medical aid source. By uplifting these vulnerable populations, they can improve the well-being of society as a whole.
Reducing the financial cost of healthcare
Healthcare is one of the most significant expenditures globally. These economic costs of healthcare don’t just impact individuals on the micro-level. Still, they have far-reaching repercussions for national economies too. However, public health workers endeavor to reduce healthcare’s financial burden on both a micro and macro scale.
Informal coping methods can often aggravate illnesses that doctors could otherwise treat quickly. People may resort to such procedures to avoid paying hefty healthcare bills or because they can’t physically access proper healthcare institutions. Total healthcare costs can often equal to the total income of the family at times. The situation can eventually worsen to the point where they need governmental intervention. Public health workers help make healthcare not just physically but financially accessible too. Furthermore, a focus on preventative healthcare can reduce the financial burden of healthcare on a national level. Making healthcare more accessible can improve the well-being of society exponentially.
Public health workers operate in many different capacities to help create a healthier society. They often work with the most vulnerable populations, implementing the best possible approach to healthcare. They act as unsung heroes. They work towards the betterment of the individual, community, and society as a whole. By empowering the weakest links, they remind us that there is hope for all and that public health is of the utmost importance.