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ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF HEALTH EDUCATORS

Rolesand Responsibilities of Health Educators

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Abstract

Asthe landscape of healthcare in the United States moves towardreformation, health promotion and new prevention fundingopportunities is vital for specialists in health education. Accordingto the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (2014), there are over 150 million health educationspecialists. This paper presents the areas of responsibilities ofhealth education specialists.

Asthe landscape of healthcare in the United States moves towardreformation, health promotion and new prevention fundingopportunities is vital for specialists in health education to be anessential part of the public health systems and health care toguarantee optimal health results for all. Since 1989, specialists inhealth education that are academically trained had the chance toobtain their credentials from CHES (McKenzie and Seabert, 2009, p.401).

Accordingto the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (2014), there are over 150 million health educationspecialists (Cdc.gov, 2014). During the middle of 70s, the questionas to what the role of specialists in health education is in theprimary care team has been discussed. From that time until now, therehas not been any significant implementation of the concept intopolicy and practice. New opportunities present themselves as anoutcome of the Affordable Care Act for specialists in healtheducation to widen their influence and involvement in many aspects ofservice delivery.

TheSeven Areas of Responsibility

Theseven areas of responsibility of health education specialist are madeup of comprehensive set of competencies and sub-competencies thatdescribe the role of health educators. These areas of responsibilityinclude the following:

  1. Evaluate needs, capacity for health education, and assets

Inconducting the evaluation process, health education specialist mustdo careful planning by determining the people that are essentialduring the planning stage (NCHEC, 2010). This includes thestakeholders. Health educators must the resources required during theassessment procedures. Theories are applied to create evaluationapproaches (NCHEC, 2010). Health educators also recognize the sourcesof information relative to health. These sources must be valid andare critiqued using evidence and theory (NCHEC, 2010). Healtheducators then develop collaborative agreements and relationshipsthat aid in accessing data. Primary and secondary data are collectedand integrated (NCHEC, 2010). Through the use of research, healtheducators determine the methods and instruments that will be used fordata collection.

  1. Plan health education

Theoutcome of the assessment is used to inform the process of planning.Goals are developed. In establishing goals, health educators ensurethat these goals follow the SMART rule (NCHEC, 2010). Efficacy ofapproaches is then evaluated through the use of varied strategies.Health educators organize the subject into a logical pattern.Further, they develop a timeline for health education delivery.

  1. Health education implementation

Inthe implementation responsibility, health educators recognize theneeds for training. Objectives for training are established andtraining through the use of best approaches is established (NCHEC,2010). In this aspect, health educators ensure that training is inaccordance to the ethical and legal principles. Progress of trainingis monitored based on the timeline developed. Resources are alsomonitored including the needed action plan. Health educators thenassess training and make use of the findings in creating a plan forfurther training in the future (NCHEC, 2010).

  1. Conduct research and assessment related to health education

Healtheducators establish their statement of purpose and develop assessmentof research questions (NCHEC, 2010). Further, health educationspecialists evaluate the feasibility of performing research andevaluation. The research method used and research findings areevaluated and the information gathered is synthesized. In addition,health educators evaluate the advantages and limitations of datacollection – both qualitative and quantitative – for assessmentpurposes. Instruments used for data collection as well as the logicalmodel that served as guidance during the assessment process is alsocarefully evaluated. Health educators then develop their researchplan for data analysis (NCHEC, 2010). After thorough evaluation,health educators determine the new items employed in research fordata collection purposes.

  1. Manage and administer health education

Healtheducators determine the fiscal resources used and prepare proposalsto acquire the needed fiscal resources (NCHEC, 2010). They alsocreate budgets to aid in the efforts of promoting health education.Health educators manage the budget for the program, prepare thereport for the budget used, and show ethical conduct in handlingfiscal resources (NCHEC, 2010). In addition, health educationspecialists make use of communication approaches to acquire supportfor the program. They also facilitate assistance among stakeholdersaccountable for health education (NCHEC, 2010). Health educatorssynthesize the information for reporting and inspire collaborationamong the members of the team including the stakeholders (NCHEC,2010). Conflict resolution approaches are also used. Health educatorscreate approaches to promote volunteer and staff’s careerdevelopment. Further, health educators determine potential partnersand evaluate the capacity of these partners to help achieve the goalsof the programs.

  1. Serve as resource person in health education

Healtheducators provide assistance to other and assess the effectiveness ofthe assistance rendered (NCHEC, 2010). Initially, health careeducators analyze the need for training and determine the resourcesthat can be used to meet the demands of training. Health educatorsalso make use of learning theory to create training programs and toestablish training plan (NCHEC, 2010).

  1. Communicate and support health and health education

Healtheducators develop a plan that is in compliance with the state, local,and federal laws to communicate the effect of health education andhealth on socio-ecological as well as organizational factors (NCHEC,2010). In addition, health educators lead all initiative of engagingthe people in health education. Lastly, health educators influencehealth policies to enhance health status.

Conclusion

Theareas of responsibility of health educators are wide and varied.Health educators are primarily the mover and driver of creatingawareness among the people about the importance of health.

References

Cdc.gov.2014.&nbspCDCCareers, Health Education Specialists.[online] Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/about/opportunities/careers/healthEducators.htm[Accessed: 2 Apr 2014].

McKenzie,J., &amp Seabert, D. (2009). Why do health educators obtain andcontinue to hold the CHES credential?. American Journal of HealthStudies, 24(4), 401-410. Retrieved from Academic Search Premierdatabase.

NCHEC.2010. Areas of Responsibilities, Competencies, and Sub-competenciesfor the Health Education Specialists.&nbspNationalCommission for Health Education Credentialing.

Patterson,S., &amp Vitello, E. (1995). The roles of health educators in an eraof health care reform. Wellness Perspectives, 11(3), 57. Retrievedfrom Academic Search Premier database.

Teixeira,C. (2007). Health educators. Occupational Outlook Quarterly, 51(2),30-36. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.