Poisoning Prevention Coordinator

Employers across the nation appear to have minimal openings, and many of these are only temporary positions.  Public health careers are not only steady work opportunities, but they also offer competitive salaries for any level of experience.  These jobs also provide a service to the community, and positions such as poisoning prevention coordinator can make a true difference in many lives.

While healthcare is expanding in many sectors, public healthcare is receiving a lot of attention for providing public access to health promoting and life saving services.  The job of poisoning prevention coordinator can offer you an opportunity to advance your own goals, while you are also helping the population to stay safe and healthy.

What Is A Poisoning Prevention Coordinator?

A poisoning prevention coordinator is responsible for identifying hazards within the community and developing strategies to avoid health risks and also address toxicity should it occur.  This will include evaluating natural, household, and industrial risks, as well as educating the public about proper disposal and handling of these substances.  This position also requires knowledge of indigenous species that may cause poisoning, and an understanding of treatment measures that are available in the health services of the community

Poisoning prevention coordinators would have the following tasks as a part of their work:

  •   Identifying common and exotic poisonous agents in the environment.
  •   Monitoring populations of animals that can cause toxicity in humans.
  •   Evaluating household and workplace contaminants and their prevalence in the community.
  •   Outlining interventive and treatment measures in the case of poisoning.
  •   Education the public about possible hazards and how to avoid them.
  •   Overseeing crisis hotlines for emergency information.
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These professional skills can also help poisoning prevention coordinators to excel at the job:

  •   Leadership skills:  As a poison prevention coordinator, you would be guiding other professionals in how to address cases of poisoning and also delegating tasks to individuals who work the hotlines
  •   Communication:  You will need to be able to clearly explain where toxins may be located in the community and how to avoid any form of contact.
  •   Critical thinking:  You will need to be able to formulate prevention plans based on the information that you have gathered about harmful agents in the community and implement these measures..

Nature Of The Work

Poisoning preventions coordinators will usually work out of an office.  They may be located in a public health office, hospital, or community wellness center.  Often you will be in proximity of the poison crisis resource center, so that you can oversee operations and offer advice.  Part of your time will be spent directing the poison control staff, and you may also work cooperatively with EMTs and other health service professionals.  You will also be responsible for conducting public outreach to educate the community about possible hazards and the measures to take if there is exposure.

Education And Training

The educational path for becoming a poisoning prevention coordinator requires at least a two year Associate’s degree, although having a four year Bachelor’s can increase advancement opportunities.  Courses should include biology, physiology, chemistry, and hazardous material management.  Some Associate’s courses are specifically designed to prepare you for this line of work, but if you are working on a general degree, then the above science proficiencies are a necessity.

A minimum of three month of experiential training in crisis management is also necessary, as is certification for poison control and safety.  Training may be done in conjunction with schoolwork, or it may be completed as an independent internship.  Certifications are through state examination, and will need to be maintained through continuing education credits.

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Poisoning prevention coordinators have a fairly average wage range, although higher pay levels are possible through advancement, experience, and higher education levels.  The median pay for this position is around $35,000 per year, and the top end of salaries can be over $55,000 per year.  This position offers a solid pay for entry level candidates and offer the opportunity to enter the public health field quickly and easily.

Job prospects for poisoning prevention coordinators have a very positive outlook.  The projected increase in jobs between the years 2012 and 2022 is expected to be almost 27%.  This translates into an actual 13,000 openings, so the likelihood of finding employment in this field is quite good.  If you are just starting on your career path and are looking for stability and financial comfort, then a job as a poisoning prevention coordinator could be a good start for you.

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