The areas of public health is a wide area of specialization considering that the profession has about 7 competencies, each with sub-competencies. As a result, it is important that the public health students has to have had exposure with the existing competencies in order to effectively discern what areas they are interested in and what they are going to pursue in their college education. This paper is analysis of these three and a response to questions on the introduction to the public health course.
Being much of an academic, the public health area has often interested me because of the ability to apply my critical thinking and decision making skills within the sector. To me, such decisions affect many lives and I am at a position of influence where there is much dependent on the quality of the decisions I make. As a result, I would choose the competency of assessing existing information and data related to the health situation. In this particular sector, I would focus on the identification of data sources related to health, critiquing this sources and validating sources of information related to public health. These competencies and sub-competencies are important in the line of work that I plan to do because of their close affinity to the strengths that I have, that is analytical skills that are going to be important to the conducting of my work duties (Heinzelmann & Bagley, 1970).
Furthermore, this is going to ensure that within the four years of the pursuit of my education is going to be fruitful. With the focus on the identification of data sources for health, this course would be in line with my interests in that I have a liking for research. This would enable me to become a competent student in this area with the capabilities of being able to look at research and using a set number of standards, be able to determine if a source is a health source or otherwise. Studies have shown that it is not really necessary for the student of this area to have any special knowledge apart from that of health. However, the identification process involves a significant number of other components such as the ability to discern the accuracy of health sources, which is one of the key indicators in this sector.
The ability to critique sources of health is closely related to the first function where I would be able to identify the sources. These sub-competencies work together to ensure the quality of sources of health information by comparing with the accurate facts on the ground concerning the health issue in question. Critiquing is going to put my critical thinking skills to the test, where I will be able to compare and contrast accurate information on the health topic with the source that is in question. Based on the methods of critiquing health sources that have been developed, this area will be properly done as this is an area of interest (Caldwell, Henshaw, & Taylor, 2005). Ensuring that people have the best sources for their health information is what is key for me in this sector.
Finally with regards to being able to validate sources of health information, this would be the culmination of my interests by being able to provide people with trustworthy sources of information on how to maintain their health and general well-being (Committee on Health and Behavior, 2001).
Determinants of health include social factors, health services, individual factors, and biology and genetics. With regards to social factors, this is the consideration of factors where the person generally lives and the prevailing circumstances of their normal daily activities. Some of the social determinants include the ability to obtain resources capable of meeting needs, trends such as discrimination, social support services and structures, economic conditions such as chronic poverty, quality of education on matters pertaining to health and so on (Cohen & Scribner, 2000). Physical environment can also form part of this, such as the existence of plants and animals within ones physical environment, housing and neighborhoods which factors in phenomena like drainage and aesthetic elements such as exposure to light. Health services on the other hand focus on the availability of health services including factors such as cost and insurance. Individual behavior covers things in the area of diet, physical activity and handwashing while biology and genetics covers other determinants such as age, sex and inherited conditions such as ones HIV status (Jessor, Turbin, & Costa, 1998).
Some of the health enhancing and compromising can be seen in the lifestyle choices of the people. The can be classified into social factors and individual factors. Some health enhancing behaviors with regards to social factors include the avoidance of flooding areas and proper drainage, socio-economic factors such as ensuring the eating of a balanced diet. With regards to individual factors, eating a balanced diet is one of the factors regarding health enhancement. Physical activity and handwashing are some of the health promoting practices under these factors. The failure to implement these practices could mean behavior detrimental to the maintenance of health in the person.
Caldwell, K., Henshaw, L., & Taylor, G. (2005). Developing a framework for critiquing health research. Journal of Health, Social and Environmental Issues.
Cohen, D., & Scribner, R. (2000). A structural model of health behavior: a pragmatic approach to explain and influence health behaviors at the population level. Preventive Medicine.
Committee on Health and Behavior. (2001). Health and Behavior: the interplay between biological, behavioral and societal influences. Washington D.C.: National Academic Press.
Heinzelmann, F., & Bagley, R. (1970). Response to physcial activity programs and their effects on health behavior. Public Health Reports.
Jessor, R., Turbin, M., & Costa, F. (1998). Protective behavior in adolescent health behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
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