Community Health Workers

Community health workers, also known as health promoters and agents, welfare educators, community health aides, and health volunteers, organize public health programs, identify at-risk populations, administer some preventative healthcare treatments, assist impoverished individuals, and work with healthcare administrators and elected officials to ensure uninsured people have access to medical care.

The following are typical services provided by community health workers:

  • Basic first aid
  • Medical tool sterilization
  • Surgery assistance
  • Minor medical treatments
  • Teaching women about pre and postnatal nutrition
  • Teaching families about proper childcare methods
  • Leading workshops about good nutrition
  • Organizing community immunization programs
  • Increasing the accessibility of contraceptives and other forms of birth control
  • Providing education about the importance of sanitation
  • Disease screening services
  • Managing community health centers
  • Referring sick or injured people to doctors
  • Serving as school nurses
  • Data collection
  • Keeping records and writing reports
  • Visiting patients in their homes
  • Organizing community health meetings

Education and Training

Community health worker job qualifications differ by city, state, and employer. Organizations that hire these specialists usually have specific qualities they seek in candidates. In certain states, community health workers must complete state mandated licensing requirements.

It’s possible to obtain a community health worker job with a high school degree, but most government agencies only hire candidates with college training. Many organizations provide on-the-job training. To stay up to date with current healthcare trends, many organizations that staff community health workers require them to complete continuing education. In fact, community health worker certification programs are available in some states.

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