The field of public health promotes wellness by encouraging healthy behaviors and choices. Whereas doctors and nurses are charged with treating sick and injured patients, professionals in the focus on preventive measures such as vaccinations, research and public education.
Public health officials set guidelines for workplace safety standards and consult with elected officials to draft public policies that regulate everything from tobacco use in public areas to school nutrition. They are also tasked with tracking and aiding in the response to disease outbreaks like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public health researchers study the short-term and long-term impacts of adverse conditions like pollution on health. By publishing research, advising government officials and educating the public, public health workers improve the quality of life in their communities while cutting down on excessive healthcare costs.
Careers for Public Health Professionals
The public health profession represents dozens of careers that regulate the quality of our food supply, mitigate the spread of infectious diseases and educate the public on the newest scientific findings for prolonging lifespans and improving quality of life. These behind-the-scenes efforts are supported by health inspectors, nutritionists, epidemiologists and public health physicians and nurses.
The community’s most vulnerable populations — such as underprivileged children, single parents and the elderly — may be eligible to receive direct healthcare services, often at little or no direct cost to the patient. However, in many cases, these individuals are either not aware or do not know how to access those important services. Public health workers can serve as the link between health, quality of life and access to medical care, particularly for our most vulnerable populations.
More than 125,000 individuals work in health education and community health, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Public health workers interact with people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds. Some of the more familiar professions include first responders, part of emergency medical services or EMS. First responders transport patients in ambulances and provide out-of-hospital treatments. The paramedic services are a crucial step in providing life-saving care following car accidents and other life-threatening events. Once checked in to a hospital, patients continue to receive help from public health workers. Lifestyle or behavioral health specialists may consult with the patient, providing advice on how eating habits can lower the risk of a heart attack or aid in the treatment of chronic diseases.
Although a bachelor’s degree in public health is not mandatory for a first responder, a (BSPH) program provides you with multiple opportunities to gain critical knowledge, skills and abilities that will give you broad understanding of population health. This can provide you with a strong background to enter the healthcare workforce as a first responder.
As part of the healthcare industry, public health officials work in one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. According to BLS, the United States is projected to add about 2.6 million new healthcare positions between 2020 and 2030, more than any other occupational group.
A BSPH can help people explore and develop careers in public health fields such as environmental health, disease prevention, health inspection, epidemiology research and public health policy analysis, among others. The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) offers an online BSPH that students can complete in as few as 22 months. The online program utilizes recent scientific findings and practices to give degree holders a solid foundation in medical science.
Public health workers share a passion for healthy lifestyles and use their knowledge to create healthy workspaces and environments. Earning an online BSPH degree can be an excellent first step toward making a positive change in your community.
Learn more about The UTA Bachelor of Science in Public Health online program.