Community Health Worker
Do you want to make a difference in the community?
A Community Health Worker (CHW) is defined by the American Public Health Association as “a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.”
Community Health Workers work collaboratively with patients to help them access essential community resources and resolve challenges they may face in the community. They may work in various settings like community health centers, non-profit organizations, public health clinics, private clinics, public housing organizations, hospitals, client’s homes, faith-based organizations, employer or sponsoring agencies, and etc.
Community Health Workers have many titles, depending on where they work, who they work for and what they do. In Ohio, CHWs are known by many titles which include but are not limited to:
- Community Health Worker
- Community Care Coordinator (Connector)
- Community Health Advisor (Advocate, Educator, Promoter)
- Community Resource Navigation Specialist
- Community Health Representative
- Community Integrator (Navigator)
- Health Coach (Navigator)
- Home Visitor
- Lifestyle Change Worker
- Maternal/Infant Health Outreach Specialist
- Neighborhood Health Advisor
- Outreach Worker/Specialist
- Patient Navigator
- Peer Counselor/Educator
The overall job outlook for Community Health Workers is positive with continued growth. According to PayScale the total pay range for a Community Health Worker is $26,377 - $45,616 (payscale.com, updated July 29 2018).
In order to obtain certification, students must complete 100 hours of classroom training, 130 hours of clinical/field service work, pass a successful background check clearance and complete an online Ohio Board of Nursing application ($35 fee). The background check fee and application fee is not included in program cost. The classroom training may be offered during the day, in the evenings or even on the weekends. Clinicals/field service work are available during the day mostly and limited availability in the evenings and weekends.
If you want to educate people about the importance and availability of healthcare services and work directly with people to address barriers to care, then you may want to be a Community Health Worker. Certification can help you find a career or get a promotion. Register for the next Community Health Worker class at Tri-C.