Outreach Education

Outreach Education Careers

Many people are in search of a rewarding career that still offers stability and financial chances to grow.  Public health services is a continually growing field, and as new perspectives in treatment and intervention are developed, so are new methods of providing this information to the public.  One of the larger problems that many communities face is the lack of knowledge of public services that can aid in wellness promotion, and outreach educators help to inform communities and promote public health programs.

This career path offers you the ability to both teach and be a part of the healthcare field.  Opportunities for this job choice are increasing as more initiatives to utilize education and prevention measures are being seen as economically and feasibly viable for a number of communities.  If you are interested in helping people learn how to empower their own health, then this position could be ideal for you.

What Is An Outreach Educator?

Outreach educators provide information about healthcare concerns, community health programs, and preventive and treatment measures to the general public.  This job combines aspects of teaching as well as raising awareness to promote healthier lifestyles and public wellness.  Outreach educators may focus on topics that are specific to the demographic of the community, but will also cover general wellness plans and guidelines for health.  This position will also allow you to act as a mediator between healthcare professionals and the public, to convey concerns, answer questions, and offer support and guidance to both groups.

As an outreach educator, you will be expected to:

  •   Develop methods of disseminating health and wellness information to the community.
  •   Organize and promote workshops, lectures, and interactive teaching modules.
  •   Raise awareness as to community health issues.
  •   Educate the public in methods of preventing illness and addressing issues that are prevalent in the community.
  •   Act as a liaison between healthcare professionals and the public.
  •   Promote any current wellness programs and health initiatives within the community.

Characteristics

Since outreach educators combine healthcare knowledge with dissemination techniques, the following qualities will aid you in performing your job:

  •   Teaching skills: You will need to be proficient as a teacher and be able to address a number of diverse public needs.  This will include the ability to connect with and relate with large segments of the population.
  •   Good communication:  Strong communication skills are highly important, not just for the teaching aspect but also for communicating between care providers, public health officials, and the community.  You will also need to be able offer written and verbal information to the public in a clear and concise manner  
  •   Initiative:  One big aspect of this job is identifying and further addressing public concerns, even if they are not a part of the current health services or programs.  This will require that you are inspired to connect with the community and come up with new strategies to meet needs. 
  •   Promotional techniques:  This will include promoting health and wellbeing through teaching, but also promoting care services, public health programs, and your own efforts to educate.  You may need to for partnerships with local media and advertising outlets to further awareness of health topics and workshops. 
  •   Professional conduct:  As an educator and health professional you will need to adhere to the code of professional and ethical conduct when addressing community needs.  This will include being respectful and culturally sensitive, as well as respecting privacy.

Nature Of The Work

Outreach educators will generally work in a number of facilities within the community.  This can be events that are held at care facilities, schools, community centers, or even clinics.  Your intent will be to reach as large of a constituent of the public as possible in addressing current health issues and specific wellness concerns within that demographic.  This can include safety and prevention techniques as well as raising awareness as to access and affordability of services or the ability to participate in public health programs.

You may also be required to both lecture and be available within the public school systems as a means of promoting wellness for individuals of all ages within the community.  Since you will be in constant contact with the public, you can also relay behavioral trends and social concerns from the public to healthcare professionals.  Your interactions will play a large part in the further development of special services for public health and in the development and success of future healthcare programs.

Education And Training

Outreach educators require a four year degree in order to qualify for employment.  This may be in education, health and wellness, healthcare administration, or a combination of similar subjects.  While experience in the field is not always a requirement, you will also need to have your certification in health education in order to perform this job.

As with most jobs in public health, this career option has amazing growth potential, with the projected creation of over 21,000 positions within the next decade.  Median salaries for outreach educators are around $42,000 annually, and this figure is expected to rise as the demand for qualified applicants increases.  If you are interested in working in public health, and enjoy interacting with the public, then a career as an outreach educator offers you a creative outlet to find job satisfaction and stability.   


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