Workforce development and health education competencies: Are we preparing the future public health workforce for success in the field?

Date
2015-05-30
Authors
Holland, Deidre
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Abstract

The purpose of this research study was to measure the competency levels of currently employed, academically trained health educators by identifying which competencies are being met and/or not met by professional public health educators by surveying employing supervisors of U.S. Local Health Departments/Local Health Agencies.

Results from this study will contribute to the assessment of the public health workforce knowledge base by identifying the gaps in KSAs of academically trained health educators, which should prove to contribute to the professional preparation, certification, and continuing education needs of health educators. The findings from this current study have important implications for the field of the health education profession, particularly with regards to curriculum development and the competencies they are guided by and constructed around.

Pearson's chi-squared were conducted to explore the differences between competency levels of academically trained health educators and other public health personnel performing health education. Results included: the ability to determine the range of health education needed to achieve goals and objectives: χ 2 (1) = 5.86, p ≤ .016, Fisher's exact test = .028; the skill to link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable: χ 2 (1) = 6.49, p ≤ .011, Fisher's exact test = .019; and the ability to use strategies to ensure cultural competence in implementing health education plans: χ2 (1) = 5.30, p ≤ .021, Fisher's exact test = .030.

Pearson's chi-squared were conducted to explore for differences between KSA training needs of academically trained health educators and other public health personnel performing health education and related activities. Results included: KSAs needed to employ technology to communicate to priority populations: χ 2 (3) = 9.3126, p ≤ .025, Fisher's exact test = .024; the necessary KSAs to identify potential partner(s): χ 2 (3) = 9.77, p ≤ .021, Fisher's exact test = .022; and KSAs to be more adept at interpreting results of evaluation and research: χ2 (3) = 8.33, p ≤ .040, Fisher's exact test = .039.

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Health and environmental sciences, Education, Competencies, Curriculum, Development, Professional, Services, Workforce
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