4 Rewarding careers in the field of public health

Public health is all about empowering individuals, communities and societies to lead healthy and productive lives. It is a multifaceted discipline that requires educating people, guiding them towards healthy choices, ensuring they have access to essential health services, and minimising the impacts resulting from pandemics and natural disasters.

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, with public health being foremost in many peoples’ minds, there are growing numbers of career opportunities for people who have obtained expertise in this field. The following are 4 of the most rewarding career opportunities that are commonly available in the field of public health:

  1. Public Health Nurse

Public health nurses are responsible for providing care and information as needed in public settings such as schools, correctional facilities, community health centers, senior centers, government agencies and clinics. They are both educators and healthcare providers; one of their most important tasks is dissemination of health-related information to the public. They also frequently provide screening services and preventive care.

In the United States and Australia, public health nurses generally need to hold at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some also obtain an advanced degree in nursing or a closely related field such as a master of public health. In the UK, nurses might enter this career via either a university course or apprenticeship.

  1. Medical Administrator

Medical administrators are the managers who oversee the operations at healthcare facilities such as hospitals, outpatient care centers, group practices and nursing homes. They frequently allocate budgets, recruit and train staff and make administrative decisions on behalf of the healthcare facilities they manage.

The credentials needed for becoming a medical administrator tend to vary by location. In the UK, becoming a GP practice manager typically requires a Certificate in Health Service Administration, a Level 3 Certificate in Medical Terminology, a Level 3 Diploma in Medical Administration or a Level 5 qualification in Primary Care and Health Management.

 In the United States, requirements vary by state. It’s typically most useful to hold a bachelor’s degree in a field such as medical administration, public health administration or health management. Since work experience is extremely important for securing these jobs, it is also common for medical administrators to have worked as doctors, nurses or other healthcare professionals. It is quite common for medical administrators to hold MD degrees and nursing degrees.

In Australia, VET training or university credentials are both common pathways for careers in medical administration.

  1. Epidemiologist

 Epidemiologists are researchers and educators working in the field of public health. They investigate broad-scale patterns and causes of illness and disease in human populations. Many epidemiologists work for state and local governments.

A master’s degree in public health is a common requirement for obtaining work as an epidemiologist.

  1. Biostatistician

A biostatistician is a statistician who specialises in statistics that relate to the fields of medicine or biology. These professionals are typically employed by governments, academic institutions, technology companies or the media

In the United States, biostatisticians typically hold an undergraduate degree in statistics as well as a master’s degree in statistics or a related field – perhaps biostatistics, public health, biology or sociology. In the UK, it is possible to enter this field by obtaining an apprenticeship, university degree or graduate training.

These 4 careers are all viable ways to enter the field of public health. Since the onset of COVID-19, public health has been an issue at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The Coronavirus crisis brought public health awareness to an unprecedented level of prominence and paved the way for a new generation of public health experts to enjoy a spectacular variety of career opportunities.

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