Nowadays, people rarely think about public health until a global health crisis like COVID-19 strikes, wreaking havoc. However, it is essential to note that public health officials work daily to protect people from illnesses or injuries.
Public health is about improving life expectancy and ensuring the community’s well-being. While we have touched little upon what public health is about, let’s discuss why it is crucial.
Importance of Public Health
Public health is critical in promoting health and empowers individuals to manage illnesses. New scientific findings, policies, and awareness campaigns positively impact millions. The field of public health brings people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to find the cause of a health issue. Besides that, they also work hard to develop innovative solutions that improve every person’s quality of life.
Since so much of the work occurs behind the scenes, it might seem public health is a small component of the healthcare system. That is not the case; public health helps the system function effectively.
Focusing on community-wide prevention saves the community money and reduces human suffering. Another reason why public health matters are because it bridges the inequality gap between people. In addition to that, it also encourages equal health opportunities for all ethnicities and genders.
So, if you are interested in pursuing a role that ensures the health and safety of every community member, registering for an MSPH degree would be ideal. Besides working towards improving individual health, the field of public health has various career advancement opportunities you can look into.
Those working as biostatisticians strive to answer pressing questions in medicine and public health through statistical analysis. They take on the role of analyzing the statistical aspect of clinical and preclinical research studies. Their research work varies; it could be thoroughly evaluating the root cause of cancer, how a new drug works, or how long a pandemic is likely to last.
Contrary to the common misconception, a biostatistician’s role is not limited to only analyzing the data. They play a significant role in dealing with concerns that might impede a clinical trial’s progress—for instance, investigating whether the sample selected reflects the population or works on reducing errors in reporting.
Biostatisticians are part of the process as they are the key contributors to clinical research success. From case report form development to statistical data analysis and interpretation, these individuals are essential to the research that might procure groundbreaking results.
As a biostatistician, you can expect to earn an above-average salary. As per Bureau of Labor statistics, biostatisticians can expect job growth of 33 percent until 2030.
- Health Service Manager
As a health service manager, you oversee the planning and coordination of services within healthcare facilities. To ensure that an organization follows the rules and regulations, health service managers must stay up-to-date with the changes in the laws and regulations.
Living up to the role means training staff, monitoring the organization’s performance, and budgeting. Depending on their experience and expertise, a manager might work in various settings, from an office to a facility, or they might have to oversee the entire healthcare network.
With the adoption of the digital medical record system, health service managers specializing in health information ensure that the facility secures patient data. Before managing an entire department, individuals must have an entry-level experience in the healthcare position. Employers prefer candidates with relevant work experience.
If you are interested in understanding the root causes of diseases and disorders in society, consider becoming an epidemiologist. Analyzing a disease offers insight into how to work towards finding solutions and reducing the occurrence rate. That is efficiently done with research and education. An epidemiologist works with government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private healthcare sectors.
The primary goal of an epidemiologist is to find health disparities within populations. As mentioned earlier, finding health disparities leads to the development of solutions. These solutions help shape the population’s lives.
As an epidemiologist, your role is not limited to studying diseases; you can also specialize in environmental and mental health. You won’t get far in epidemiology by analyzing data using traditional methods.
You must have an advanced understanding of statistics and logic. Additionally, you must also possess critical thinking skills.
- Environmental health specialist
Sometimes also known as a health inspector or sanitarian, an environmental specialist’s role is vital in the public health field. These specialists ensure the environment people work in is free of health risks.
These professionals simultaneously ensure environmental protection along with maintaining the well-being of people. Certain personal attributes enhance one’s ability to do the job well. Though the field is rewarding, the job is for some.
As an environmental specialist, you work in various places overseeing different tasks. These tasks include gathering data and charting the conditions of particular areas regarding health safety. The responsibility entails having good organizational skills, solid communication skills, and the ability to work indoors/outdoors.
Part of working as an environmental specialist is dedicating your hours in the lab to analyze information and samples gathered. The work varies depending on the type of setup they work at. Compared to the national average, the job growth rate is expected to be 15% over the next decade, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Healthcare Consultant
Hired by healthcare facilities, healthcare consultants are considered the specialized version of management or business associates. Their roles are similar, except that they oversee health department matters.
What sets apart a healthcare consultant’s role is their business-focused perspective. These matters are diving into the inner workings of a pharmaceutical company to boost production, enhance the supply chain, and ensure the facility is operating efficiently. Despite patient flow in a facility, consultants help providers tackle the challenge in various ways.
A few ways are implementing a patient intake and onboarding system, identifying areas where better service can be delivered, and coordinating with directors to improve patient management.
Besides focusing on effective care delivery, healthcare consultants are also considered productivity stimulators. They maintain the workflow by regularly performing staff assessments to ensure everyone carries out their responsibilities.
Jobs in the field of healthcare management are likely to grow 11% up until 2030, making it an ideal career choice.
The recent global health crisis highlighted the importance of public health. It matters because communities cannot work towards a brighter tomorrow if health issues frequently arise. Combining scientific research and educational outreach programs can improve individuals’ lives which is what public health is all about.
Ensuring public health is fundamental to building and sustaining healthy societies. Healthier individuals are economically productive; they take fewer sick days and perform better at work. If your interest lies in promoting health in every society member, consider a career in public health, like becoming a healthcare consultant or environmental specialist.