By the mid s it was clear that reducing illness, death, and rising health care costs could best be achieved through a focus on health promotion and disease prevention. At the heart of the new approach was the role of a health educator  A health educator is "a professionally prepared individual who serves in a variety of roles and is specifically trained to use appropriate educational strategies and methods to facilitate the development of policies, procedures, interventions, and systems conducive to the health of individuals, groups, and communities" Joint Committee on Terminology, , p.
In January the Role Delineation Project was put into place, in order to define the basic roles and responsibilities for the health educator. These documents outlined the seven areas of responsibilities which are shown below. Education for health begins with people.
It hopes to motivate them with whatever interests they may have in improving their living conditions. Its aim come is to develop in them a sense of responsibility for health conditions for themselves as individuals, as members of families, and as communities. In communicable disease control, health education commonly includes an appraisal of what is known by a population about a disease, an assessment of habits and attitudes of the people as they relate to spread and frequency of the disease, and the presentation of specific means to remedy observed deficiencies. Health education is also an effective tool that helps improve health in developing nations.
It not only teaches prevention and basic health knowledge but also conditions ideas that re-shape everyday habits of people with unhealthy lifestyles in developing countries. This type of conditioning not only affects the immediate recipients of such education but also future generations will benefit from an improved and properly cultivated ideas about health that will eventually be ingrained with widely spread health education. Moreover, besides physical health prevention, health education can also provide more aid and help people deal healthier with situations of extreme stress, anxiety, depression or other emotional disturbances to lessen the impact of these sorts of mental and emotional constituents, which can consequently lead to detrimental physical effects.
Credentialing is the process by which the qualifications of licensed professionals, organizational members or an organization are determined by assessing the individuals or group background and legitimacy through a standardized process. Accreditation, licensure, or certifications are all forms of credentialing.
Prior to this, there was no certification for individual health educators, with exception to the licensing for school health educators. The only accreditation available in this field was for school health and public health professional preparation programs. Her initial response was to incorporate experts in the field and to promote funding for the process. To ensure that the commonalities between health educators across the spectrum of professions would be sufficient enough to create a set of standards, Dr.
Cleary spent a great amount of time to create the first conference called the Bethesda Conference. In attendance were interested professionals who covered the possibility of creating credentialing within the profession.
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With the success of the conference and the consensus that the standardization of the profession was vital, those who organized the conference created the National Task Force in the Preparation and Practice of Health Educators. Funding for this endeavor became available in January , and role delineation became a realistic vision for the future.
They presented the framework for the system in and published entry-level criteria in Seven areas of responsibility, 29 areas of competency and 79 sub-competencies were required of health education professionals for approximately 20 years for entry-level educators. In a second conference was held in Bethesda, Maryland to further the credentialing process. Their mission was to improve development of the field by promoting, preparing and certifying health education specialists.
The NCHEC has three division boards that included preparation, professional development and certification of health educator professionals. An initial certification process allowed 1, individuals to be chartered into the program through a recommendation and application process.
The first exam was given in In order for a candidate to sit for an exam they must have either a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an accredited institution, and an official transcript that shows a major in health education, Community Health Education, Public Health Education, or School Health Education , etc. The transcript will be accepted if it reflects 25 semester hours or 37 quarter hours in health education preparation and covers the 7 responsibilities covered in the framework.
The purpose of the CUP project was to up-date entry-level requirements and to develop advanced-level competences. In order to be eligible to take the MCHES exam you must have at least a master's degree in health education or related discipline along with a least 25 credit hours related to health education. Many health educators felt that the current CHES credential was an entry-level exam.
In the United States some forty states require the teaching of health education. A comprehensive health education curriculum consists of planned learning experiences which will help students achieve desirable attitudes and practices related to critical health issues. Some of these are: emotional health and a positive self image ; appreciation, respect for, and care of the human body and its vital organs ; physical fitness ; health issues of alcohol , tobacco , drug use and abuse ; health misconceptions and myths; effects of exercise on the body systems and on general well being; nutrition and weight control ; sexual relationships and sexuality , the scientific, social, and economic aspects of community and ecological health; communicable and degenerative diseases including sexually transmitted diseases ; disaster preparedness ; safety and driver education; factors in the environment and how those factors affect an individual's or population's Environmental health ex: air quality, water quality, food sanitation ; life skills ; choosing professional medical and health services; and choices of health careers.
For each grade from kindergarten through eighth, 50 percent or more of all schools have district or state requirements for students to receive nutrition education. However, only 40 percent have these requirements for ninth and tenth grades; and about 20 percent for eleventh and twelfth grades. The issue still lies with the content and thoroughness that is being taught.see
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Topics taught in a most all of the schools are: the relationship between diet and health, finding and choosing healthy foods, nutrients and their food sources, the Food Guide Pyramid, and the Dietary Guidelines and goals. However, with the exception of the Food Guide Pyramid, less than half of schools cover these topics thoroughly.
Four of the five topics covered by more than 90 percent of all schools are related to knowledge. With the exception of finding and choosing healthy foods, less than one-third of schools provide thorough coverage of topics related to motivation, attitudes, and eating behaviors. Not often are there teachers specific for nutrition. Most of the time the nutrition content is taught by the primary teacher.
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The National Health Education Standards NHES are written expectations for what students should know and be able to do by grades 2, 5, 8, and 12 to promote personal, family, and community health. The standards provide a framework for curriculum development and selection, instruction, and student assessment in health education. The performance indicators articulate specifically what students should know or be able to do in support of each standard by the conclusion of each of the following grade spans: Pre-K—Grade The performance indicators serve as a blueprint for organizing student assessment.
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Post-conference, an ethics task force was developed with the purpose of solidifying and unifying proposed ethical standards. The document was eventually unanimously approved and ratified by all involved organizations in November and has since then been used as the standard for practicing health educators. Rather, it is envisioned as a living document that will continue to evolve as the practice of Health Education changes to meet the challenges of the new millennium.
The Code of Ethics provides a framework of shared values within which Health Education is practiced. The responsibility of each Health Educator is to aspire to the highest possible standards of conduct and to encourage the ethical behavior of all those with whom they work.
Article I: Responsibility to the Public A Health Educator's ultimate responsibility is to educate people for the purpose of promoting, maintaining, and improving individual, family, and community health. When a conflict of issues arises among individuals, groups, organizations, agencies, or institutions, health educators must consider all issues and give priority to those that promote wellness and quality of living through principles of self-determination and freedom of choice for the individual.
Article II: Responsibility to the Profession Health Educators are responsible for their professional behavior, for the reputation of their profession, and for promoting ethical conduct among their colleagues.
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Article III: Responsibility to Employers Health Educators recognize the boundaries of their professional competence and are accountable for their professional activities and actions. They respect the rights, dignity, confidentiality, and worth of all people by adapting strategies and methods to the needs of diverse populations and communities.
Article V: Responsibility in Research and Evaluation Health Educators contribute to the health of the population and to the profession through research and evaluation activities. When planning and conducting research or evaluation, health educators do so in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, organizational and institutional policies, and professional standards.
Article VI: Responsibility in Professional Preparation Those involved in the preparation and training of Health Educators have an obligation to accord learners the same respect and treatment given other groups by providing quality education that benefits the profession and the public. Society for Public Health Education SOPHE The mission of SOPHE is to provide global leadership to the profession of health education and health promotion and to promote the health of society through advances in health education theory and research, excellence in professional preparation and practice, and advocacy for public policies conducive to health, and the achievement of health equity for all.
This group specializes in school-aged health specifically. Over the years it has snowballed and now includes any person that can be a part of a child's life, from dentists, to counselors and school nurses. That is only a few; this incorporates all that is physical movement.
This organization is an alliance with five national associations and six districts and is there to provide a comprehensive and coordinated array of resources to help support practitioners to improve their skills and always be learning new things. This organization was first stated in November William Gilbert Anderson had been out of medical school for two years and was working with many other people that were in the gymnastic field. He wanted them to get together to discuss their field and this organization was created. The mission of ESG is to promote public health education by improving the standards, ideals, capability, and ethics of public health education professionals.
The three key points of the organization are to teach, research, and provide service to the members of the public health professionals. Some of the goals that the Eta Stigma Gamma targets are support planning and evaluation of future and existing health education programs, support and promote scientific research, support advocacy of health education issues, and promote professional ethics. The principal interest of the ACHA is to promote advocacy and leadership to colleges and universities around the country. Other part of the mission's association is to encourage education, communication, and services to students and campus community in general.
The association also promotes advocacy and research.
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