What Can You Do with a Health and Human Services Degree?

“Health and human services” encompass programs and services offering assistance in individual health, public health, and human services to all individuals, particularly those in disadvantaged groups. This profession is ideal for individuals who find satisfaction in caring for others and enhancing the quality of life in entire communities through prevention, education, and remediation. The healthcare field currently demands competent health and human service professionals, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in health and human services is the initial step toward success in this impactful career.

Key Insights in a Health and Human Services Degree Program

This degree is designed for individuals in the healthcare field, holding medical certificates or licenses, having earned an associate degree, or those aspiring to enter the medical field. Students will acquire expertise in collaborating with healthcare providers, patients, caregivers, and medical services to enhance the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of an increasingly intricate healthcare system. The degree program covers areas such as patient-focused healthcare, leadership, communication, cultural awareness, person-centered care coordination, and more.

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WGU’s Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Services degree will equip you to instigate positive change for communities in need. You will gain proficiency in patient advocacy in various settings, with comprehensive knowledge of contemporary theories on:

1. Promotion of client-centered holistic care.
2. Strategies on how to be a change agent for integrated care management.
3. Community and public health strategies.
4. Communication of health plan information to patients.
5. Value-based care systems.

Health and Human Services Careers

The field of health and human services offers diverse career opportunities, catering to various interests. With a bachelor’s degree in health and human services, you can apply for entry-level roles and progress to higher-level positions with accumulated work experience. Explore some promising health and human services roles achievable after completing this degree.

Community Health Worker

Community health workers (CHWs) are public health professionals with an in-depth understanding of the communities they serve. Building relationships with community members enables them to act as intermediaries between health and social services and the community. They facilitate access to services designed to enhance the quality of life in the community, often working in low-income areas where quality healthcare services are less accessible. Community health workers’ main responsibilities include:

1. Assisting individuals, families, and groups in accessing health resources such as insurance, food, housing, quality care, and information.
2. Facilitating communication and empowering clients in interactions with healthcare/social service systems.
3. Assisting healthcare and social service systems in becoming culturally relevant to their local population.
4. Educating community members about health conditions and developing strategies to prevent substance abuse and improve well-being.
5. Sharing health information using culturally relevant language.
6. Linking individuals on probation to healthcare.
7. Connecting people to healthcare and social service resources.
8. Advocating for local health needs.
9. Providing basic health services such as monitoring blood pressure and providing first aid.

Nursing Informatics: Job Description, Salary, and How to Become One

The field of community health work is expanding, indicating a continual growth in job opportunities in the coming years. Salaries in this profession are subject to variations based on factors such as local economies, wage scales, and demand. In major cities, individuals starting their careers in community health work can anticipate annual salaries ranging from $35,000 to $42,000. Senior-level professionals may earn between $42,000 and $52,000, while supervisors could receive salaries in the range of $52,000 to $60,000. Managers at the community health level typically command salaries exceeding $60,000.

Patient Care Coordinator

A patient care coordinator is a trained health professional aiding in the management of a patient’s care. They monitor and coordinate treatment plans, educate patients and their families on health conditions, link patients with healthcare providers, and track their progress. Health services coordinators’ daily responsibilities include:

1. Consulting with patients and their families about their health conditions.
2. Educating patients about medications and rehabilitation instructions.
3. Assisting in developing care plans according to specific health needs.
4. Collaborating with other healthcare professionals to set up appointments and treatment plans.
5. Checking in on patients’ progress throughout the healing process.
6. Assisting the care team with developing health interventions.
7. Attending training and courses to stay current on new developments in healthcare.
8. Treating patients with compassion and respect throughout the care process.

The average annual pay for patient care coordinators is $35,533, with wages ranging from $20,000 to $53,000 based on geographical location, job demand, and experience.

Health Services Coordinator

Health services coordinators act as liaisons between healthcare providers, insurance companies, and patients to ensure everyone understands the requirements of a patient’s care. These healthcare professionals are akin to patient care coordinators but are more involved in direct patient care situations. Health services coordinators are generally responsible for:

1. Discussing health problems with patients and their families.
2. Educating about medication, conditions, and care instructions.
3. Providing basic medical care.
4. Executing a care plan created by physicians according to patient needs.
5. Being familiar and complying with healthcare guidelines and laws.
6. Administering medication to patients.
7. Ensuring patients understand the services available to them.
8. Providing ongoing case management for individuals with special needs.

A health services coordinator’s annual salary averages $49,148, though it varies depending on factors such as geographical location and experience. these professionals can earn upwards of $69,000 a year.

Health Educator

A health educator is someone who works with groups in the community or with individuals to teach them about leading a healthy life. They figure out what the community needs and create programs to meet those needs. They also teach the community how to change habits that aren’t healthy, like smoking or drinking too much alcohol. Health educators do a lot of different things, but some of the main things they do are:

1. Finding out what the community needs.
2. Helping people get important health information.
3. Assisting people with their current health problems.
4. Making and running workshops and programs to deal with health issues.
5. Sharing information about the health and well-being of the community.
6. Giving one-on-one help to those who need it most.
7. Working together with teachers, doctors, and medical centers.
8. Collecting and looking at data on a community to plan future programs and services.

On average, a health educator makes about $69,063 a year, but the salary can range from $60,338 to $77,617. The range is different based on things like education, certifications, extra skills, and how many years of experience someone has.

Steps to Start a Career in Health and Human Services

People working in health and human services usually need to have a relevant bachelor’s degree. Having this degree tells employers that you know how to take care of patients well and with kindness.

After finishing your bachelor’s degree, you can start applying for jobs and gaining work experience. You can also get certifications in the area you’re interested in to make yourself more competitive in the job market.

Sometimes, you might want to keep learning and get a master’s degree in a specific part of healthcare, like healthcare management or health leadership.

There is a high demand for health and human services professionals, and it’s expected to grow by 28% from 2021 to 2031. That means there will be around 56,600 new job openings each year, on average, for the next ten years.

Some employers might want health and human services managers to have some work experience in an administrative role in a hospital or another healthcare place before applying for manager jobs.

Bachelor’s Degree in Health and Human Services

People who are skilled in health and human services are really wanted by employers. If you have a bachelor’s degree in health and human services, you can join this in-demand workforce and focus your career on helping people and communities live better and healthier lives.

A Bachelor of Science in Health and Human Services degree will teach you how to bring about positive change in the healthcare field and build a stronger, healthier community. You’ll learn how to speak up for patients and clients to make big changes in different places, creating a better life for people.

In this degree program, you’ll take interesting and engaging courses like History of Healthcare in America, Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health, Care for Individuals and Families, Community Relations and Leadership, Human Growth and Development, and more. All these are designed to prepare you for success in your career.

Why choose WGU? There are several reasons WGU students begin their career journey with one of our degrees:

1. Our programs are affordable. Tuition is charged for each six-month term, not per credit. So, if you work faster through the online health and human services program, you can end up paying less.
2. You can fit your education into your schedule. At WGU, you don’t have to log in to classes at a certain time, and your assignments don’t have set deadlines. This means you can do your schoolwork anytime, anywhere. Keep working at your job and take care of your family responsibilities while earning a degree.
3. Our programs are fast. At WGU, what you already know can help you finish your degree faster. Our model allows you to move through your courses as quickly as you show you understand the material. So, you don’t have to wait to start your career.

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