Benefitting Health With a PhD in Health Education

Imagine this real case scenario: In Africa, many people die daily due to malaria. This can be avoided by the use of mosquito netting, which protects the malaria-carrying mosquitoes from biting them. However, people are still ignorant and uneducated about how these nets can save their lives, and go on living without them.

Now, picture this: If the people in Africa were educated from young about the dangers of these deadly insects, they would take precautions to save themselves. If, with that knowledge, they also knew that mosquito netting can reduce the number of incidences, many would be alive today.

As the examples given, the education of living healthily is extremely important. Even without such an extreme case, health education helps us maintain a healthy life. Health education refers to learning about how health can be promoted, restored, and maintained. ‘Health’ does not only refer to the physiological aspect; it also includes the psychological and spiritual aspects.

A profession in this field is where one educates others about health and wellness. Being in this profession demands a big heart and dedication towards helping others live a good life. While many might come in as volunteers, having a PhD equips you with the proper knowledge and credentials to educate others on health and wellness. You will also be able to conduct researches, formulate, implement, and evaluate health interventions, one like the mosquito netting example. Of course, this would mean that you would continuously be monitoring and correcting interventions so that society will be more aware of their health, which on the long-term is beneficial to our future grandchildren as they would have known how to live healthily.

Lastly, with a PhD in Health Education, you are also able to advance your career in the field of health education. This field is never outdated as our society is constantly seeking methods to improve their lives and well being. At the same time, you are also able to discover ways to improve your own mental, physical and spiritual health.

Allied Health Education Trends – The Changing Landscape Behind the Scenes

With more than 500,000 jobs added since the start of the recession, it’s no surprise that allied health fields are forecasted to remain a key source of job growth. Jobs in inpatient and outpatient settings and nurse care facilities will be in high demand and the healthcare support industry (such as medical technicians, physician’s assistants and physical therapist assistants) are slated to experience 48% growth.

Involved with the delivery of health or related services, workers in allied health care fields include a cluster of health professions encompassing as many as 200 health careers. There are 5 million allied health care providers in the United States who work in more than 80 different professions representing approximately 60% of all health care providers. Yet, that number is no match to the number of allied health care workers that are needed to meet current and future needs in America.

Highly regarded as experts in their field, allied health professions fall into two broad categories – technicians (assistants) and therapists/technologists. With education requirements and curriculum varying depending on the chosen field, academic prerequisites range from less than two years for technicians to a more intensive educational process for therapists and technologists that include acquiring procedural skills. With such explosive growth in allied health care career options and so many diverse fields from which to choose, it’s no wonder students preparing for their future are seeking opportunities in allied health fields.

Yet, with more than 5 million current allied health professions in the U.S. and more on the horizon, careful examination of the educational development and environment of emerging students identifies areas of needed improvement to meet the diverse needs of this ever-changing landscape.

A New Path of Education – Trends Affecting Allied Health Education

With student enrollment in allied health education programs gaining momentum, major advancements in technology coupled with shifts in education audiences, learner profiles, campus cultures, campus design and faculty development have spawned a new wave of trends that are dramatically affecting where and how allied health students learn. Understanding the dynamics of allied health trends begins by taking a brief look at a few of the societal and economic factors that have affected the educational landscape as a whole.

Economic Trends:
* With the economy in a recession, the nations’ workforce is being challenged to learn new skills or explore advanced training options.
* The U.S. Labor Department estimates that with the current economic climate, nearly 40% of the workforce will change jobs every year. As a result, the demand for short, accelerated educational programs is on the rise.
* With retirement being delayed until later in life, a “new age” of workers has emerged into the job market creating an older generation of students.

Societal Trends:
* Adult learners are the fastest growing segment in higher education. Approximately 42% of all students in both private and public institutions are age 25 or older.
* This highly competitive learning market allows educational institutions to specialize in meeting particular niches in the market.
* The number of minority learners is increasing.
* More women continue to enter the workforce – 57% of students are women.

Student / Enrollment Trends:
* Students are seeking educational programs that meet their individual demographics, schedule and learning style.
* More students are requiring flexibility in the educational structure to allow more time for other areas of responsibility.
* Students are attending multiple schools to attain degrees – 77% of all students graduating with a baccalaureate degree have attended two or more institutions.

Academic Trends:
* According to the Chronicle of High Education, traditional college campuses are declining as for-profit institutions grow and public and private institutions continue to emerge.
* Instruction is moving more toward diversified learner-centered versus self-directed, traditional classroom instruction.
* Educational partnerships are increasing as institutions share technology and information with other colleges, universities and companies to deliver cooperative educational programs.
* Emphasis is shifting from degrees to competency as employers place more importance on knowledge, performance and skills.

Technology Trends:
* Technology competency is becoming a requirement.
* Immense growth in Internet and technological devices.
* Institutional instruction will involve more computerized programs.
* Colleges will be required to offer the best technological equipment to remain competitive.

Classroom Environment Trends:
* Classroom environments are being designed to mirror real-life career settings.
* Flexible classroom settings geared for multi-instructional learning.
* Color, lighting, acoustics, furniture and design capitalize on comfortable learner-centered environments.

The Application of Knowledge – A Move Toward Lifelong Learning Concepts

To meet the ever-changing educational needs of students entering allied health fields, classrooms, curricula and teaching philosophies are becoming more responsive to the diverse settings in which varied populations are served. Educators and administrators are seeking educational environments that engage and connect students with their learning space to capitalize and foster knowledge, growth and learning.

Flexible Classrooms and Lab Space:
Adaptable learning environments that provide versatility to shift from classroom to lab space and the flexibility for plenty of future growth are the driving force behind allied health classrooms of the future. Modern allied health classrooms will provide flexible, multi-functional, comfortable classroom environments that encourage a sense of community, essentially inviting the students and instructors to work together and interrelate. Studies reflect that students are better able to actively process information when sensory, stimulation, information exchange and application opportunities are available. Flexible classroom spaces encourage students to share what they know and build on this shared base.

Student Areas:
Connecting students with the “center of gravity” core spaces for studying and socializing further enhances the new wave of allied health campuses. Flexible student areas that foster circulation, interaction, collaboration and learning enhance various learning styles and further reinforce students’ abilities to harmoniously blend learning with discovery and collaboration.

Integrating Advanced Technology:
The use of technology in the classroom plays a vital role in how students learn and the long-term effect of knowledge gained. When students are using technology as an educational tool they are in an active role rather than a passive role in a typical teacher-led lesson. The integration of advanced technology in an allied health classroom allows students to actively engage in generating, obtaining manipulating or displaying information. Through this process, students become empowered to define their goals, make decisions and evaluate their progress. Coupled with student applied technology, classrooms are being equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and tools to prepare students for the transition from classroom to career.

Lecture / Laboratory and Classroom Models:
High Performing Buildings: As allied health programs shift to incorporate collaborative, interdisciplinary classrooms and clinical experiences that mirror real-life settings, students are empowered to move beyond mastery of skill to lifelong learning concepts. By creating classroom models that take students directly into their chosen field and allow them to “step into” their chosen career in a classroom setting, students are essentially provided a “business internship” that prepares them for their careers far beyond traditional text book curriculum. Bridging the gap between textbook knowledge and the application of “real world” experiences is the foundation of the new allied health classrooms settings.

Each school day 50 million children and 6 million adults enter our schools nationwide; each of whom is directly affected by the physical environment. And, while most people have heard about the benefits of sustainable design from an energy savings standpoint, few truly understand the benefits gained from a student performance perspective. High performance schools have several distinct advantages:

* Higher Test Scores. Studies are confirming the relationship between a school’s physical condition and student performance. Factors such as increased day light, indoor thermal comfort and indoor air quality will enhance learning which equates to improved test results.

* Increased Average Daily Attendance. Indoor air quality plays a vital role in the health of students. By controlling sources of contaminants, providing adequate ventilation and preventing moisture – all designed to reduce sources of health problems and inhibit the spread of airborne infections – students and teachers will experience fewer sick days, especially for those suffering from respiratory or asthma problems.

* Reduced Operating Costs. High performance schools are specifically designed, using life-cycle cost methods, to minimize long-term costs of facility ownership. Using less energy and water than standard schools, means lower operating costs. Savings can then be redirected to supplement other budgets such as computers, books, classrooms and salaries.

* Increased Teacher Satisfaction and Retention. Designed to be pleasant and effective places to work and learn, high performance classrooms are visually pleasing, provide the appropriate thermal comfort and capitalize on effective acoustics for teaching. A positive and inviting place to work and learn improves overall satisfaction for teachers and sets the foundation for improved learning and retention of students.

* Reduced Environmental Impact. High performance buildings are specifically designed to have low environmental impact. They are energy and water efficient, use durable, non-toxic materials that are high in recycled content and they use non-polluting renewable energy to the greatest extent possible.
In short, we have an obligation to equip our students to do the hard work ahead of them.

A Vision for the Future
With the rapidly changing landscape of education as whole, taking on the challenge of designing multi-functional educational facilities means more than just designing a building. From technology to curriculums, campus structure to classroom environments, those involved in the planning, design and construction must be dedicated to providing solutions that meet the distinct needs of today’s students.

Health Education Certification Available Online

Personal health has become a high priority in today’s society for multiple reasons. Achieving overall health has a positive impact on the life of an individual. Online schools offer the chance to become certified as a health educator through a number of degrees. These degree programs teach students how to educate and promote health in all areas that relate to a person’s body.

In general, health educators give awareness and provide options on how to improve on health related issues. These issues include tobacco prevention, AIDS, disease, teenage pregnancy, childbirth, exercise, diet, and more. The process of schooling enables a student to handle the intricacies of physical health and overcome the challenges of promoting awareness to communities. The foundation of education is biology, health communication, human development, public health, and psychology of health. Through this foundation students will apply practical and real world experience to step into the profession confidently.

Students have many options when it comes to deciding on a learning program. Gaining a certificate in the field is possible, but most students and professionals earn a degree. Putting the work into obtaining a degree benefits students by opening more career options and widening their knowledge. The highest level of education for a student to enter is the PhD level. Students should determine what area of the industry they want to work in. This decision helps when it comes time to choose a degree program to enroll in. Each level of education provides a different level of career preparation. For example, working within the private sector or conducting research in the field requires a master’s degree or a PhD. Choosing the correct education path is essential to reach personal career goals.

An associate’s degree is generally a two-year degree that quickly launches students into the industry. This level of degree is highly effective when a student wants to enter a full-time job as a health educator in clinical, corporate, or community settings. Associate programs provide initial science knowledge that can be applied to entry-level careers or further education at a later time. Topics introduced include how to develop a fitness program, sex education, drug education, and nutrition. To enter an associate’s degree students need to have a high school diploma and at least a 2.0 grade point average in math and science.

To enter a wider choice of careers a bachelor’s degree program supplies a more in depth and rigorous education experience. Specialized training begins at this level of education. Specific course subjects include health theory, computer technology, and leadership. Understanding existing trends in health and diet along with the best health practices are at the top of the list for must have knowledge upon graduation. This information is gained through studying the most pressing health concerns, causation factors of current issues, and following through on solutions. Continuing education to become a health educator is for students who want to work in the top careers of the industry.

Enter a fast growing field and work with people to improve their lives by educating them about important health issues. The occupation growth is estimated to rise 26 percent over the next six years. This projected increase from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that no matter what level of education a student decides to complete a career is obtainable. Choose an accredited program today and work towards becoming certified as a health educator.

DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at PETAP.org.

Copyright 2010 – All rights reserved by PETAP.org.

You, Your Health and the Whole Health Education

Did you ever stop to think why you are not able to take complete control of your health? The answer to the question can be found in the fact that most of us are, so to say, “health illiterate”. In spite of the wealth of information available about the ways to improve our health by changing our present lifestyles, we do not know how to put them to our use. Plainly speaking, most of us do not even know that such information is available.

It has been established that approximately 70% of the deaths attributed to cancer could have been avoided by some simple changes in our life style and that the main cause of our illness or disease (dis-ease) is due to stress, junk food, the environment and our very attitudes. Even those of us who are aware of these facts choose to ignore them and continue to lead a lifestyle destined to send us to the vagaries and ravages of disease.

The situation is such that, in a world bursting at its seams with health related information, we are caught in a dilemma of not knowing how to use it for our personal health. But there seems to be a ray of hope. Whole Health Education is now providing us with a perspective on all aspects of our bodies from the physical to the mental and the spiritual to help us to stay healthy.

For instance, diabetes affects nearly 18 million Americans; there are 240 million people suffering from diabetes all over the world and one person is dying every ten seconds due to diabetes. This is a leading health concern. Health education can restore the health of people with such chronic diseases.

On the Physical and Structural aspects, Whole Health Education educates on what organs and what physical processes in our bodies fail that causes the onset of diabetes. It tells that it is the inability of the body to convert the sugar intake into energy required by the body and other related information.

Diabetes can cause Emotional and Social problems. This is what the Emotional and Social aspect of Whole Health Education teaches us. In what way does diabetes effect our emotion? Most often it results in a case of poor self esteem. The effects of the ups and downs of the sugar in the blood stream can destabilize our sense of security and make us anxiety prone and fearful.

Whole Health Education provides information on the nutritional side of the disease and tell us what foods we should take and what foods we should avoid when we are suffering from diabetes. It tells us to eat less and to eat right. That vegetables are the best bet in combination with lean meat and proteins from the likes of fish and chicken. In a situation where your blood sugar has fallen below the normal level it is not wise to eat grain or sugar but sprouted grain bread etc. which can be satisfying.

Whole Health Education transforms the way we look after ourselves providing you an understanding of our health concerns. And by giving us the information in a way that helps us to understand our disease helps us to not only resolve the problem but also understand the care we choose the have. We, then, become the core of our healing process.