The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to play havoc with the lives of the masses. The outbreak is leaving many lessons behind, things that we need to learn from it. Primarily, those lessons relate to valuing life and make the most of every moment. The situation also teaches us to look after our health and of our loved ones. One of the lessons it has given us is to prevent diseases and make communities stronger.
From a larger perspective, prevention and ensuring public health can help tackle any pandemic. If the focus remains on preventing disease, we can minimise it as well. Then, we can have a strategy to employ preemptive measures and ways to avoid significant illnesses.
Likewise, engaging with the communities concerning their health can make a significant difference. It is essential, especially for healthcare workers, to be knowledgeable about their communities. That is particularly true for underdeveloped and marginalised countries and groups battling a lack of facilities.
So, a public health professional has a huge responsibility to fulfill. They include the said components in their approach to strategise collective healthcare. They can play a valuable role in uplifting the communities and reaching out to them with significant help. That makes their job crucial.
Are you wondering how you can take up the job? The first step would be to gain academic strength, meaning that you must have a substantial qualification for the role. Earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the field will put you on a track for success. You can begin by choosing a comprehensive bachelor’s degree and then opt for an MPH online program from a reputed institution.
The question is what to expect and how to be of service to your community when you become a public health professional. Let’s find out the details below.
Raising awareness levels
Everyone in the community needs some knowledge and information. It has to relate to whatever they are going through. So, raising the awareness level of the masses regarding the threats they face is the prerequisite of the job. But it is a gradual and phased process requiring great skill and planning.
An individual may begin by reaching out to the marginalised group and assess their problems. He or she may then proceed to identify the resources to resolve their issues. Ultimately, such individuals work with the community leaders to bring solutions to the fore.
Providing the equipment
An individual with public health responsibility will reach out to the secluded groups to know their equipment needs. Such a person will find out exactly what facilities are missing on the ground. He would then proceed to estimating the cost and comparing the price with different vendors.
Later on, one looking after public health will step ahead and buy the required equipment. It is also essential to ensure adequate means to enable the communities to benefit from the facilities. It also means that the groups should be aware of the facilities’ proper use to gain long-term benefits.
Preparing for pandemics
A calamity or unseen occurrence happens by surprise, and it always stuns society by and large. So, preparing for such a situation can be difficult. But that’s where the role of the public health worker comes into play. They help people realise the extent of the calamity and begin to prepare for it.
A public healthcare worker works side by side and shoulder to shoulder with the local community to fulfill their needs. They make sure that there are no causes for a disease to spread or spiral out of control. They make sure that there are ample isolation centers within the community, and so on.
If we look at the current situation of COVID-19, we can understand how preventing diseases could minimise the damage. So, preparing for a pandemic holds the answer to any such case.
Changing the Lifestyles
Healthcare does not come at once or with the help of just a few steps. It is the result of a consistent, resilient approach towards wellbeing. Public health workers are aware of this fact. So they work closely with the masses to change lifestyles, habits, and behaviors.
The workers are aware that it can be a testing and challenging phase, and they remain patient. It is essential to receive adequate and relevant training to survive difficult times in the field. Over time, community workers begin to witness a change in their groups towards good collective health.
Society is facing the task of overcoming the infections due to COVID-19. Healthcare workers have immense pressure to deal with the situation and provide solace to the patients. They are working towards it, every single day and night. The role of a public health worker goes a step forward.
The professionals, in addition to their efforts for disease prevention, work within communities. They ensure adequate measures to bring about public health by changing lifestyles, approaches, and choices. Over time, the efforts bear fruit, bringing wellness to the marginalised groups. That’s the achievement every healthcare worker looks forward to significantly.
Elena Deeley did her degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. She has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.