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What Does A Community Health Worker Do?

A community health worker is a health professional who is a lay member of the community that provides health care in both urban and rural environments. Community health workers offer the health needs of the community they serve and provide some direct services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. They help people understand their health conditions and deliver health information by using appropriate cultural terms and concepts. Community health workers also make home visits to patients who are clinically ill, pregnant women, and individuals at high risk of health problems.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real community health worker resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Manage large databases, analyze records, perform literature reviews, prepare PowerPoint presentations, and interpret data for publication.
  • Staff daily referrals with hospital staff to discuss medical conditions and reviewing medical charts for need Medicaid and disability applications.
  • Supervise 1-4 RNs , 1 LPN and 1 clerk.
  • Complete vitals on all patients and record vitals in EMR.
  • Train and educate professionals on HIV prevention and testing in the community.
  • Provide culturally appropriate support to outreach disease management services and community base RN's.
  • Assess asthma control by completing questionnaires during home visits and communicating this information via EMR.
  • Provide information and education to the program for CHW's as well as the medical teams as requested.
  • Coordinate and monitor the scheduling, performance measures, training, and service provision of the CHW program.
  • Assist with administering medications for tuberculosis patients, both latent and active (via directly observe therapy).
Community Health Worker Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Instructional skills involve providing a clear way to teach someone a new skill or process.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Community Health Worker Overview

When it comes to understanding what a community health worker does, you may be wondering, "should I become a community health worker?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, community health workers have a growth rate described as "much faster than average" at 11% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of community health worker opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 14,100.

Community health workers average about $15.06 an hour, which makes the community health worker annual salary $31,324. Additionally, community health workers are known to earn anywhere from $22,000 to $44,000 a year. This means that the top-earning community health workers make $22,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a community health worker. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include an assistant director of nutrition and wellness programs, health educator, lay health advocate, and health outreach worker.

Community Health Worker Jobs You Might Like

Community Health Worker Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 14% of Community Health Workers are proficient in Community Health, Patient Care, and Community Resources. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Instructional skills, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Community Health Workers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Community Health, 14%

    Created partnerships with community organizations, represented the Community Health Worker program and Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network at community events and meetings.

  • Patient Care, 8%

    Created patient care records that documents services rendered to include advice, education and/or treatment recommendations.

  • Community Resources, 8%

    Provided relevant crisis intervention, advocacy and referrals when appropriate and assist clients in identification and coordination of appropriate community resources.

  • Health Care, 8%

    Assisted uninsured ER patients with acquiring state assistance; assessed eligibility and navigated through state/county/city health care programs.

  • Social Workers, 6%

    Assisted teachers and Social Workers in developing and implementing behavioral modification systems.

  • CHW, 6%

    Helped develop CHW policies and procedures for approval by the Center for Disease Control.

"community health," "patient care," and "community resources" aren't the only skills we found community health workers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of community health worker responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a community health worker to have happens to be analytical skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "health educators collect and analyze data in order to evaluate programs and to determine the needs of the people they serve." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that community health workers can use analytical skills to "maintain databases, mailing lists, telephone networks, and other information to facilitate the functioning of health education programs. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling community health worker duties is instructional skills. According to a community health worker resume, "health educators and community health workers should be comfortable with public speaking so that they can lead programs, teach classes, and facilitate discussion with clients and families." Here's an example of how community health workers are able to utilize instructional skills: "led individual and group therapy sessions, and one-hour instructional courses on numerous psychology topics. "
  • Community health workers are also known for interpersonal skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a community health worker resume: "health educators and community health workers interact with many people from a variety of backgrounds" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "utilized interpersonal skills to build positive relationships with health education center visitors. "
  • A community health worker responsibilities sometimes require "problem-solving skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "health educators and community health workers must think creatively about how to improve the health of the community through health education programs" This resume example shows how this skill is used by community health workers: "assist with daily living skills, conflict resolution, substance abuse issues, and dual diagnosis disorders. "
  • As part of the community health worker description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "writing skills." A community health worker resume included this snippet: "health educators and community health workers develop written materials to convey health-related information" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "coordinated health fairs/community outreach / presentations/trainings business writing reports / evaluations / surveys special events planning strategic planning team lead"
  • See the full list of community health worker skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a community health worker. We found that 51.0% of community health workers have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 10.0% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While most community health workers have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every six community health workers were not college graduates.

    The community health workers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied psychology and social work, while a small population of community health workers studied human services and public relations.

    Once you're ready to become a community health worker, you should explore the companies that typically hire community health workers. According to community health worker resumes that we searched through, community health workers are hired the most by UnitedHealth Group, Anthem, and Oak Street Health. Currently, UnitedHealth Group has 87 community health worker job openings, while there are 83 at Anthem and 10 at Oak Street Health.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, community health workers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Martin Luther King Middle Schl, Livingston County, and Lake County. Take Martin Luther King Middle Schl for example. The median community health worker salary is $38,099. At Livingston County, community health workers earn an average of $36,408, while the average at Lake County is $36,272. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on community health worker salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious community health workers are:

      What Assistant Director Of Nutrition And Wellness Programss Do

      We looked at the average community health worker annual salary and compared it with the average of an assistant director of nutrition and wellness programs. Generally speaking, assistant directors of nutrition and wellness programs receive $40,859 higher pay than community health workers per year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both community health workers and assistant directors of nutrition and wellness programs positions are skilled in health education, community outreach, and community members.

      There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a community health worker responsibilities require skills like "community health," "patient care," "community resources," and "health care." Meanwhile a typical assistant director of nutrition and wellness programs has skills in areas such as "new programs," "wellness programs," "needs assessments," and "nutrition programs." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

      Assistant directors of nutrition and wellness programs tend to reach higher levels of education than community health workers. In fact, assistant directors of nutrition and wellness programs are 23.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.1% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Health Educator?

      A health educator is responsible for promoting a healthy lifestyle and wellness by developing programs and practices to improve an individual's physical, emotional, and mental condition, recommending a various approach to deal with stress and anxiety, and other situations affecting the clients' behaviors. Health educators record the clients' progress, educate them about healthy strategies and approaches, and coordinate with other health specialists and medical professionals on disseminating health information. A health educator must have excellent communication skills, especially during public speaking and seminars for health education programs.

      Next up, we have the health educator profession to look over. This career brings along a higher average salary when compared to a community health worker annual salary. In fact, health educators salary difference is $11,938 higher than the salary of community health workers per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Community health workers and health educators both include similar skills like "community health," "patient care," and "community resources" on their resumes.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, community health worker responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "social workers," "chw," "community services," and "emergency." Meanwhile, a health educator might be skilled in areas such as "health promotion," "weight loss," "powerpoint," and "wellness programs." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      It's been discovered that health educators earn higher salaries compared to community health workers, but we wanted to find out where health educators earned the most pay. The answer? The health care industry. The average salary in the industry is $45,052. Additionally, community health workers earn the highest paychecks in the health care with an average salary of $27,763.

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, health educators tend to reach higher levels of education than community health workers. In fact, they're 15.3% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 1.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Lay Health Advocate Compares

      A lay health advocate helps the patients prepare for medical appointments, update and organize physicians' information. After the medical appointments, a lay health advocate offers follow-up care services by monitoring patient conditions and ensuring they follow all treatment recommendations. They assist patients in scheduling additional appointments and arrange their medications. These professionals advise patients on the best ways to maintain control over medical care and prevent more medical issues like fall injuries.

      The lay health advocate profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of community health workers. The difference in salaries is lay health advocates making $2,197 lower than community health workers.

      While looking through the resumes of several community health workers and lay health advocates we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "patient care," "community resources," and "health care," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from community health workers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "community health," "chw," "community services," and "social support." But a lay health advocate might have skills like "hipaa," "outbound calls," "health promotion," and "insurance companies."

      Lay health advocates make a very good living in the finance industry with an average annual salary of $33,572. Whereas community health workers are paid the highest salary in the health care industry with the average being $27,763.

      Lay health advocates are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to community health workers. Additionally, they're 2.2% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 2.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Health Outreach Worker

      Community health workers are health care professionals who are responsible for assisting individuals and communities in adopting health behaviors by outreaching health organizations to implement health programs. These health workers are required to provide basic health care services and perform basic diagnostic procedures such as screening of blood pressure, breast cancer, or communicable disease. They must also identify the particular health care needs of individuals in the community and as well as visit their homes to provide support or information. Community health workers must also arrange transportation to clients who have health appointments or referral sites.

      Health outreach workers tend to earn a lower pay than community health workers by about $2,877 per year.

      While both community health workers and health outreach workers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like community health, patient care, and community resources, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Each job requires different skills like "chw," "community services," "emergency," and "social support," which might show up on a community health worker resume. Whereas health outreach worker might include skills like "independent living," "health system," "special events," and "child abuse."

      In general, health outreach workers make a higher salary in the non profits industry with an average of $33,904. The highest community health worker annual salary stems from the health care industry.

      In general, health outreach workers reach similar levels of education when compared to community health workers resumes. Health outreach workers are 1.6% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 1.5% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.