There are few things more important than the health and well-being of both our families and of the communities we live in. And choosing a career in public health puts you in a position to exert a real, meaningful influence on helping to build and maintain the general welfare of everything from private organizations to entire population centers.
With a Masters degree in Public Health, quite a broad range of careers impacting the overall welfare of cities and institutions of every description lays open before you. Let’s take a look at five of the many options this multifaceted discipline makes available to students who are considering following this challenging, and rewarding field.
- Public Health Inspector – this is a field that deals with something every single one of us engages in; eating. As a Public Health Inspector it will be your job to make sure that the food people purchase for consumption is safe and healthy. Duties include everything from evaluating the food safety standards at restaurants and food service locations, to investigating rabies control, water contamination issues, as well as a host of other environmental issues affect public health. No two days will be alike, and good communication skills are a must in this vitally important field.
- Public Health Educator – these professionals play an important role in helping to raise community awareness of a wide-range of health related issues, from food handling practices, sexual behaviors, immunization issues, and other areas impacting public well-being. Public health inspectors plan and direct educational workshops, community forums, and publicity campaigns aimed at issues such as drug abuse, nutritional awareness, stress management – and just about anything that influences the overall health and well-being of the community at-large.
- Health Data Analyst – this is an area focused on collecting, organizing, and evaluating public health data in order to uncover trends and information that can then be used by everyone from public policy planners, to epidemiologists, and a wide assortment of medical facilities and healthcare organizations for determining policies that impact community health. Health data analysts collaborate with public health organizations and community agencies to help them unravel and understand important information that is then used to guide decisions on how to make public health initiatives more effective.
- Family Health Nutritionist – at the very core of public health is nutrition. As a professional in this field you will assist families with learning about digestion, nutritional balance, the health effects of vitamins, amongst many other subjects central to helping create a beneficial diet. Nutritionists work with public health officials, individuals with special needs, and organizations of every description in helping to design food consumption patterns that lead to healthy outcomes. Both private industry and public health organizations regularly employ family health nutritionists as part of their general approach to maintaining their constituent’s nourishment needs.
- Family Visitor – a specialty focusing on visiting homes and offices in a community to help disseminate important health and nutritional information to people. Typically a public health family visitor will assist people in getting information about areas such as breastfeeding newborns, growth and development issues, basic nutrition, and how to access the community support network in their area. This a particularly important field for helping culturally marginal communities to be less isolated from mainstream health assistance programs.
As a public health professional, you will be on the front lines of the effort to both maintain and enhance the well-being of the communities and organizations that make-up society at-large. And there is no greater, more rewarding calling than serving the public good.