Getting healthcare professionals involved in public health
The need to get healthcare professionals involved with the conversation is a needed desire for a lot of public health departments. For example, nurses and Emergency Medical Technicians can provide a lot of front-line educational material. The immediate impact might not be seen directly by them; however, it would make a big difference when going to see patients. For example having the opportunity to distribute a pamphlet hosting a series of information would be a great adjunct intervention.
Nurses and Technicians
Nurses are the backbone of hospital care because they deal with a lot of patients in their unique treatment plans. These unique treatment plans often are accompanied by pharmaceuticals or regular check ins. More often than not, they may not include interventions on the social determinants of health. These should and must be included in individual treatment plans because they offer a unique perspective into changing the course of patients. Secondly, these interventions can hold a lot of weight when looking and the economics of health.
Emergency Medical Technicians are the backbone of emergency care because they provide a lot of services at the homes of patients. In fact they may even go as far as to triage patients based off their severity. Lastly, they are the eyes and ears of the community they serve because they see everything that the dispatch center cannot. Both nurses and medical technicians provide a lot of opportunity to get involved with public health issues.
How do we help?
By collaborating with other organizations, and meeting with graduate students looking to fix critical issues, is a great first step into delivering public health the community. Both of these healthcare professionals can take it a step further by chartering and designing health education modules to provide free or subsidized curricula to the public. The focus can be on specific topics that they notice as pain points. If professionals do not wish to charter their own modules, then they can choose to collaborate with organizations and graduate students to review curricula.
The Utility in Partnering
The added layer of utility is that healthcare professionals still requiring additional training could use these opportunities to obtain entrance into graduate degrees. For example, a nurse may want to upskill into a nurse practitioner, doctor or even physician associate. In the same scenario, the medical technician can use opportunities like this to become more well-rounded in their ability to leverage public health into their treatment plans. Unique to nurses, there are even additional public health certifications and specialities that can play out for their career development.
Healthcare professionals should be willing to bridge the gap of health inequity through working with organizations like CTRI, or graduate students like those of Claremont Graduate University. By working together, they obtain added exposure to public health practice and even become more well-rounded in their ability to practice medicine. Albeit under a medical license; however, public health does not always need a medical authority for delivering health education or information of programs already in place. It should be a necessary function of a healthcare professional to engage in public health work.
Current and New Students should contact CTRI to begin their Public Health Journey.