How Does a Master in Public Health Work?

Working in an industry like public health gives you the opportunity to help others lead safe, healthy, and happy lives. As a public health worker you provide care and improvement within your community, and sometimes on a global scale through the promotion of healthy habits, research, and the education of the public on issues relating to the prevention of injuries and infection. Through this position you have the ability to reduce the spread of infectious disease, create a better understanding of healthy living from sexual health to nutrition, and to increase the rate of life expectancy not just locally, but on an international level as well. This career path can take you on a journey both rewarding and intellectually stimulating, to begin ridding the world of STDs, HIV, Tuberculosis, and even pollution and waste, but in order to develop your skills in this field, first you need a better understanding of what it is public health workers do, and how an MPH degree program can help you accomplish these things.

Defining Public Health

Public health is the science and efforts behind the improvement and protection of communities through the promotion of healthy living, education in regards to disease and how you can prevent it’s spreading, and research on the subject of injury prevention and disease control. Public health helps to improve the well being and lives of billions of people worldwide, as it works to prevent health problems from occurring before they become a problem. With an MPH Degree you can find a position in this vastly growing industry and lend a hand in the battle against poor health and ignorance.

The Impact That Public Health Has On Society

A master’s degree in public health gives you the opportunity to make an impact on not just your own community, but many communities worldwide by working to eliminate and slow down the spreading of transferable viruses and diseases. Within this role people help increase the life expectancy of humans on a large scale level; in fact, within the last century, the rate of life expectancy has expanded to thirty extra years, 25 of which are due to public health efforts alone. There has also been a huge reduction in the mortality rates of infants and children due to infection and disease, which can be accounted for by proper education, vaccinations, and improvements in the public healthcare system.

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Achievements In The World Of Public Health

Over time there have been many advancements in the public health industry, and by completing an MPH program, you have the opportunity to be part of these achievements. Population wide advancements in vaccinations, for example, has completely irradiated the smallpox virus, prevented further contamination of North America with polio, and found a way to control and prevent measles, diphtheria, tetanus, and other diseases that spread around the globe at an alarming rate. Improvements in the field of motor vehicle safety have also been a huge benchmark in public health, as there has been a large decrease in deaths related to vehicle use. This is due to better highways and vehicle safety through the efforts of engineers and educators, which have changed not only physical aspects of this area of focus, but also behavioral issues such as child car seats and seat belt safety. Public health has also reduced the rate of occupational injuries by roughly 40% by educating organizations and corporations on public safety issues and health hazards in the workplace. Other areas that have been touched on by public health include better family planning, healthier mothers and babies, safer and more nutritious food choices, and fluoridation of water for drinking.

The Future of Public Health

There has never been a more exciting time to join the public health team and the fight against injury, disease and death as now because of all the new breakthroughs in this field, and the growth rate that will continue to occur over the next few years. Over the next forty to fifty years a broader development of prevention programs will be put into place on a population level, and by applying these programs, major advancements will follow. The promotion of disease prevention and promotion of better health both locally and globally means new opportunities for professionals in the public health field, and a better understanding of what this field represents. There is also a growing demand for professionals in the role of industrial hygiene and environmental health as communities become better educated on topics like toxic waste and pollution. Finally, women’s health will have a growth in research developments, as well as subjects like substance abuse and child abuse. Behavioral changes are being promoted to stop the spread of STDs and to increase public school health.

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Education and Salary Outlook

The government has made the prediction that this industry will see a growth of over two million new jobs by the year 2016 and those positions that interact directly with patients, such as nurses and health technicians will have the highest calling for new recruits. Within this field student seeking employment in the role of nutritionist can expect a salary anywhere from $31,500 to $70,875, while those entering a biomedical laboratory can reach levels of $78,750. Each position provides a different outlook on salary, such as epidemiologists, which enter at a rate of $38,175 and can advance to levels of $136,237. One of the highest paying positions in the industry is actually in health services administration which can reach anywhere from $37,050 to $161,400. In order to succeed in this career path you need to be properly educated and this means enrolling in a program like master of public health, master or science in public health, or another relevant educational path.

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Careers In Public Health

With a master’s degree in public health you open yourself up to a wide assortment of positions within this field of study, such as careers in bio-statistics, which identifies health trends that lead to higher rates of success in the application of techniques and medical procedures. This position would encourage you to speculate on how many drunken driving injuries occur each year based on mathematics and factual data. This position works closely with that of Epidemiology, which is the investigation of what causes disease and how to slow and eventually stop it from spreading. You could also work in health services administration or management and oversee budgets, policies, insurance claims, and some marketing tasks. Other popular career choices fall into categories like maternal and child health, nutrition, public health practice and public health policy, environmental health, behavioral science, health education, and emergency medical services or EMS.

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