In the current job market, there is a high concern about efficiency and productivity to capitalize on human and financial resources. In the public health sector this is also true, although the desired result is to be able to provide better health and safety services to larger segments of the community. In an effort to achieve this goal, the position of program evaluator offers a career path that helps to monitor results of intervention and treatment plans.
The employment rate in the healthcare industry is above the national average, and this offers good job security as well as highly competitive wages. The job of program evaluator is not only one of the expanding opportunities in public health, but also ensures that public health services can continue to offer community care and employment.
What Is A Program Evaluator?
Program evaluators are administrative personnel within the public health department, and they help to monitor and review community practices, intervention and treatment plan implementations, and the use of resources within the community. This job not only allows the public to have greater access to healthcare and ensure safety in the community, but it also makes sure that health and safety services are sustainable and effective. Program evaluators look at the progress of community health outcomes and weigh goals with obstacles to suggest changes in program structure and management.
If you are interested in a career as a program evaluator, then you can look forward to performing the following tasks:
- Reviewing the results of current health programs.
- Collecting statistical and narrative data within the community.
- Comparing desired and actual program outcomes.
- Assessing the use of resources and funding for health plans in the community.
- Suggesting changes based on the information that is collected.
- Mediating between program planners, healthcare professionals, and the public to meet social needs.
In order to perform the job of program evaluator, you will also need to cultivate these personal skills:
- Diplomacy: You will need to be able to relay information between practitioners and providers as well as program planners, in a manner that is constructively critical.
- Communication skills: You will need to provide clear and concise written and verbal reports that outline your findings and highlight the reasoning behind suggested changes in a community health initiatives.
- Observation skills: Although you will be provided with reports from the program administrators, you will also need to be astute in reviewing this information, and aware of reactions within the community to the implemented health program.
- Critical thinking: In reviewing trends, information, and outcomes, you will need to be able to deduce reasons for these results and consider alternative possibilities for creating more efficient use of resources.
- Understanding of social trends: You will also need to have a working knowledge of social trends for the community that you are working in. This can allow you to understand why a successful program may not be applicable or meet the needs of a particular public, and also offer suggestions for overcoming obstacles.
Nature Of The Work
As a program evaluator, a large amount of your work will be performed in an office setting. This will include a review of reports and status updates that are compared to the expected goals of a public health initiative. You will also need to generate your own documentation of the changes that you observe and suggest any possible changes that can streamline the structure and process of community programs. These results will be presented to local governing agencies and the municipal health department, as well as health team members who are participating in implementation.
You may also be required to gather further data from within the community. This can include conducting surveys of the public, or monitoring statistical data from healthcare facilities. To further review the efficacy of any public health program, you will also need to be aware of specific community needs and demographic trends. The research that you conduct during your evaluation will allow you to better guide these programs towards favorable outcomes.
Education And Training
For an entry level position as a program evaluator, you will need at least a four year degree in social sciences, community health planning, or healthcare administration. A further five years of experience is also needed for this position, so that you are familiar with the process of developing and implementing public health programs. A background in policy making and statics is beneficial as this will allow you to perform better assessments.
While there is no certification that is required for this position, graduate education and management experience are considered when you apply for this job. While many municipalities prefer to hire program evaluators who are from the community, if you are able to form a connection with the public to identify health needs, you will still be able to perform according to expectations.
This particular career addresses the overlap between public health and social management. It is a position with high chances of advancement and good stability. The expectation is that as many as 127,000 openings for this position will need to be filled by the year 2022. With an average salary of almost $60,000 per year, this job offers a good way to manage best practices in public health services. As a program evaluator you will be able to guide healthcare providers to better serve the public, and ensure that the public is able to take advantage of the interventions and treatments that are offered.