Health professionals' perceptions of health educators: A pilot study
The purpose of this dissertation was to evaluate the perceptions that health professionals may have of health educators, specifically in regards to role and educational preparation, which will allow for correction of misperceptions and promote a stronger, more effective collaboration. A qualitative approach to data collection was employed, in which health professionals who attended pharmaceutical dinners or professional organization meetings were asked to complete an open-ended survey questionnaire. Twenty-four health professionals, representing a variety of ages, professions, and years of experience, voluntarily participated in this research study. Data was analyzed for common themes. Results from this research study indicated that health professionals have generally positive impressions of health educators. However, data analysis also illustrated that health professionals' knowledge of the responsibilities of the health educator are severely limited. Based on the data collected during this research project, it is apparent that the health education profession must step up its role promotion attempts. Increased awareness campaigns are necessary to promote the roles and responsibilities of health educators. More research into health professionals' perceptions of the health educator is also warranted.