Community Health Worker Job Description
A community health worker is a lay person who serves an important function of connecting the community’s underserved people with education, and medical screening, treatment.Create this Resume
Community Health Worker Skills/Duties
A community health worker is a lay practitioner who provides basic, low cost / free medical care to those who do not have usual admittance to conventional physicians, medicines and medical facilities.
The chief duties of community health workers includes: handling minor diseases and ailments, taking care of pregnant women and looking after children. They also help with family planning, endorsement and encouragement of cleanliness and hygiene, investigating for infectious diseases, carries out health education programs, collects health related data, maintain records and provide healthcare referrals.
The commonest duty of a community health worker is providing care for women’s and children’s health and nutrition. He will also teach people about self care, hygiene and habits that have an impact on health, such as: information about food, diet and nutrition, stopping smoking and medicine compliance.
Community health workers (CHW) are in charge of the health of the people of the community, who may not be looked after by the medical institutions. These people comprise of: the uninsured, migrant workers and immigrants. The CHW serves people of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
Community health workers assist in locating resources within the community, when required. They conduct screenings of high risk populations for signs of present or imminent diseases; this includes diabetes testing, cholesterol screening, sexually transmitted disease and HIV/AIDS testing, etc. They provide referrals, provide transport for the appointments and help patients acquire medicines and medical devices.
Trained community health workers may even act as first responders in an emergency / disaster situation. Isolated areas may not have fire departments or ambulances, thus, a CHW could practice emergency care before the patient gets to the hospital. A CHW may conduct: CPR, stopping bleeding or using a defibrillator. This may prevent further damage / even death.
Community Health Worker Education and Training
• The education requirements vary, depending on the employer. Some need a high school diploma, while, others look for a bachelor’s degree. Occasionally, community health workers need to undertake post hire coaching of about 9 to 100 hours. Typically, CHW are given up to 100 hours of supplementary coaching on the job, through class room training, job mentoring or a combination of both.
• The training and education includes the following modules:
Being a Community Health Worker
Environmental Health Care
Primary Health Care Concept
The District Health System
Acute and Chronic Diseases and their management at home
T.B. and DOTS
HIV and AIDS counseling and support
Maternal and Child Health
Health Education and Promotion
Integrated management of childhood illnesses
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT)
• A few states have synchronized education for community health workers by having a consistent and regular curriculum.
• Some states have college based education and coursework, whilst others have community based ‘hands on’ training experience.
• A CHW is not licensed, but continuing training and education may be set by the employer. Also, various states have started developing credentialing programs for CHWs.
• Importantly, employers more often than not, look for those who can speak the language of the community they will serve.
Community Health Worker Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job prospects for community health workers are excellent.
Community Health Worker Salary
The average annual salary of a community health worker is about 35,000 – $60,000.