Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Public Health: The Nature and Scope!
By Chris Cornell
Public health looks into activities which ensure that public health is maintained and that health of members of the public is not affected in any way. It deals more with preventative rather than curative aspects of health. Therefore, it addresses various issues related to the country's entire population and does not confine itself to individual health alone. Various sub-fields are behavioral,occupational, social, environmental, biostatistics and also epidemiology.
The role of a public health professional is to examine its levels in various aspects of society, thereby understanding different arenas of personal choice in the community and also look into environmental factors that affect and govern general health to develop proper programs can properly protect family and community health.
Public health professionals can come from varying fields such as teaching, journalism, lab science, social workers, and attorneys and not only do they serve the local community, they also serve the national and international community. Job opportunities for a professional are varied ranging from being food inspectors to health educators to epidemiologists.
Many people consider public health professionals to be the same as clinical professionals such as doctors and nurses. It should be noted that there is a definite difference between them. Professionals are more concerned with implementing educational programs, administering services and carrying out research activities that deal with maintaining health, while clinical professionals deal with the prospect of coping with disparities.
Health professionals play a large role in maintaining and improving the state of health and this can be seen in the kind of achievements that society has witnessed in the 20th century. For example, around life expectancy has increased, child mortality has decreased and the spread of communicable diseases has certainly come down.
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