The contemporary healthcare sector offers professionals many more options beyond traditional nursing and medical roles. One of these avenues is public health.
The extensive field of public health is a new and unique area of study, with ample opportunities for people who want to help others outside of clinical settings. There is a huge need for public health workers, especially post-pandemic.
From job security to working on projects for building community solutions, public health workers enjoy many perks and are often involved in diverse health policy initiatives—especially in executive positions. Their work influences international programs that aim to improve public health in developing nations. Public health workers are also the first line of defense against emerging outbreaks and are called first in case of any public health emergency.
There is a lot of competition in this field. If you wish to work for a public health organization, you will need a master’s degree in public health. Healthcare providers like doctors and nurses can also benefit greatly by combining their professional license with this degree, as it opens doors to new career opportunities. Healthcare professionals who cannot afford to spend time away from their practice can opt for an online MPH no GRE required, so they can study while working. This degree will teach you a lot of new things about the healthcare sector, some of which are given below.
This branch of study deals with the statistical aspect of public health. People specializing in this field set up surveys, tests, and experiments to collect data. They analyze the data and statistics to determine trends and help develop plans to tackle health problems arising in certain geographical regions or populations. The reports based on data collected by biostatisticians help create changes in policy through local and international organizations. They also help design, implement, and analyze new public health initiatives based on the insight collected from the data. These initiatives bring about permanent improvement in the health of many communities and societies.
Community Health Promotion
The pandemic has brought to light the many disparities between different communities regarding medical access. As a public health professional, you will learn how to improve neglected communities’ health and reduce health inequity.
Statistical data obtained from these communities can give you valuable insight into the health problems they face. You can develop solutions and advocate for them locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to statistical data, you will have the chance to interact personally with people, listen to their concerns and introduce programs that empower them to take action themselves.
Epidemiology is another branch of public health. Epidemiologists played a very important role during the pandemic by investigating the origins of the many variants of COVID-19, which helped researchers understand the disease better. Epidemiologists are like disease detectives as they investigate the causes and spread of diseases within communities.
If you choose to specialize in this area, you will work to find out how a certain disease spreads by interviewing patients about their symptoms and possible routes of exposure. You will also identify the different factors that increase or decrease the spread of the disease and thus inform policies about safety and containment measures.
Environmental Health Science
The study of environmental health sciences looks at environmental factors that adversely affect a community’s health. Public health workers in this field investigate the physical, biological, and chemical elements that may compromise a community’s health. For example, they may investigate the health issues faced by the people of a small town near a factory that emits chemicals in the air or dumps their waste in a nearby river. They also investigate occupational health concerns like industrial hygiene and workplace safety. If you choose to study in this field of public health, you will have ample job opportunities because of the many rising environmental and workplace health concerns.
Public Health Nutrition
A person’s health depends on the nutrition their body receives, and a community’s overall health depends on their eating habits. Public health officials learn how diet and nutrition shape individuals’ lives and communities’ health. They work to promote good health practices and work to prevent diseases through nutritional choices. They perform nutritional assessments and encourage behavior change to adopt healthier food choices.
Public Health Policy and Administrations
Specializing in this field of public health will train you to become an effective leader who serves in public health administration roles. You will build on the work from all other branches of public health and use their insight to introduce new health policies and change old ones to improve overall public health.
The focus is usually on administration and management, and so you will find yourself managing hospitals, healthcare facilities, and even national health programs and organizations.
A public health degree allows you to combine multiple health-related subjects into one program. While it may not enable you to work in an ambulance or perform surgery, getting a master’s in public health will give you the chance to make a real difference in people’s lives.
You may choose to work in a hospital as an administrator, behind a desk as a public health data scientist, or in the field as an epidemiologist. Whatever role you choose, you will learn about the lives of people in different communities, their health problems, and how their environment and occupation contribute to them. You will also collect and analyze data regarding public health by designing surveys and conducting interviews, and the information you collect will form the basis of new local and international health policies. Public health professionals also educate communities about how diet and nutrition affect their health and how to adopt better habits to improve their well-being.
You may also be required to work to understand new diseases, how they spread, and how best to keep people from being infected. Hence, a degree in public health will teach you a lot about healthcare and enable you to help many communities and individuals all over the world.