Why is Health Education Important?
Health education programs help empower individuals and communities to live healthier lives by improving their physical, mental, emotional and social health by increasing their knowledge and influencing their attitudes about caring for their well-being.
Health education focuses on prevention, increasing health equity, and decreasing negative health outcomes such as availability and accessibility of health services, benefiting all stakeholders.
What is Health Education?
Health education employs health professionals to teach individuals and communities about how to live healthier lives.
Blending knowledge from the biological, environmental, psychological, and medical sciences, health education professionals implement, develop, and evaluate programs designed to keep people healthy in their daily lives. Health Educators are trained to assess health needs and plan, develop, and implement health programs as well as communication strategies across environments.
The Benefits are Far-Reaching
While it is especially important for vulnerable communities, the work of health educators is beneficial across all sectors.
The Rural Health Information Hub is an online source of information that describes community needs in an attempt to help bridge the gap for traditionally underserved communities.
Health educators examine case studies and programs to develop and implement toolkits that achieve positive health outcomes in various communities. Many times, health educators are responsible for culturally sensitive resources not available in rural communities.
In a hospital setting, health educators may be responsible for helping the aging U.S. population remain active longer and avoid disease. On college campuses, health educators help students make healthy life choices, provide guidance on nutritional and sexual health, and help maintain a healthy campus community. Private companies may provide health education to workers to avoid injuries and ensure a healthy work environment. Targeted outreach encourages the use of available services for at-risk populations
Government and community-wide programs coordinate resources, identify needs, and help secure funding to implement strategies to improve the health of a region or community.
Whatever the context, to have an effective health education program it must be based on theory and evidence and tailored to the target population based on specific risk factors, available resources, and cultural sensibilities.
A Career in Health Education
Health science professionals who specialize in health education are certified, highly trained practitioners in the field. They have the knowledge, skills, and training to plan and implement effective, targeted programs for communities and individuals.
The online Bachelor in Health Science Degree program from Touro University Worldwide offers a concentration in Health Education. The Health Science program prepares dedicated students to assess, identify, organize, and implement individual and community-focused health education programs. While TUW does not offer certification, students can prepare to sit for the CHES exam.
Health education is a key component to ensuring a healthy, thriving population. As costs mount and trends drive accelerating change, professionals with this healthcare expertise are needed to help shape the future of healthcare in the United States and across the globe.
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