Example Career: Community Health Workers
Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. May collect data to help identify community health needs.
What Job Titles Community Health Workers Might Have
- Community Health Outreach Worker
- Community Health Program Coordinator
- Community Health Promoter
- Community Nutrition Educator
What Community Health Workers Do
- Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise.
- Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
- Contact clients in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions.
- Distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community.
- Refer community members to needed health services.
- Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues or build relationships with community members.
- Perform basic diagnostic procedures, such as blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicable disease screening.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to diagnostic screenings, such as breast cancer screening, pap smears, glaucoma tests, or diabetes screenings.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to risk or prevention of conditions such as lead poisoning, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prenatal substance abuse, or domestic violence.
- Administer immunizations or other basic preventive treatments.
- Identify the particular health care needs of individuals in a community or target area.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to self-care, such as diabetes management.
- Conduct home visits for pregnant women, newborn infants, or other high-risk individuals to monitor their progress or assess their needs.
- Transport or accompany clients to scheduled health appointments or referral sites.
- Advocate for individual or community health needs with government agencies or health service providers.
- Teach appropriate parenting behaviors to individuals or families.
- Report incidences of child or elder abuse, neglect, or threats of harm to authorities, as required.
- Teach classes or otherwise disseminate medical or dental health information to school groups, community groups, or targeted families or individuals, in a manner consistent with cultural norms.
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to sanitation or hygiene, such as flossing or hand washing.
- Collect information from individuals to compile vital statistics about the general health of community members.
- Assist families to apply for social services, including Medicaid or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
- Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
- Provide basic health services, such as first aid.
- Interpret, translate, or provide cultural mediation related to health services or information for community members.
- Monitor nutrition of children, elderly, or other high-risk groups.
- Advise clients or community groups to ensure parental understanding of the importance of childhood immunizations and how to access immunization services.
- Develop plans or formal contracts for individuals, families, or community groups to improve overall health.
What Community Health Workers Should Be Good At
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
What Community Health Workers Need to Learn
- Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
- Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
- Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.