What Is a Certified Community Health Worker and How Can They Help You?

In the world of healthcare, a strong force often ignored are certified community health workers (CHW). These professionals are making amazing steps in improving community health. But, their power is sometimes unnoticed by decision-makers within healthcare organizations.

Read on to explore the deep impacts of CHWs. You can use these insights to view their effect and develop better healthcare outcomes. Another reason you should understand their roles, appreciate their effect and explore certification requirements across states is that you can tap into the power of CHWs to improve healthcare and community well-being. You’ll be one step closer to hiring community health workers for your agency.

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The Important Role of Community Health Workers

At the heart of healthcare stands the CHW—a guide who works with friends, neighbors, and clients towards healthier lives. Armed with knowledge about healthy living and managing chronic illnesses, CHWs partner with healthcare and community agencies to bridge gaps. Above all their mission is to connect patients, providers, insurance information, and important resources, all in the pursuit of managing and improving health.

Community-Centric Approach

The defining aspect of CHWs is their unique position within communities. Often coming from the very areas they serve, CHWs help grow and understanding with clients, building relationships that drive empathetic engagement.

Various Work Settings

CHWs operate in a wide spectrum of environments, including local health departments, community-based organizations, clinics, health centers, and hospitals. They have a deep influence in other countries, particularly in regions like Africa and Latin America, where they play an even bigger role than in the United States. Read more about where community health workers work.

Certification in the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has spotlighted CHWs as central players in addressing healthcare disparities. CHWs have emerged in service gaps as essential navigators for underserved communities. They offer guidance on vaccinations, illness support, and access to important services. As organizations change a little and get better, the issue of certifying teams as CHWs is becoming more important. They should have a variety of soft skills like these too.

Rising Demand and Impact

Forecasts from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics project an impressive 11% growth in CHW and health educator employment by 2028, exceeding growth rates of other occupations. This increasing demand, possibly caused or increased by the pandemic, highlights the necessary role CHWs play in reshaping healthcare services.

Bringing CHWs into Healthcare Teams

If you’re in charge of healthcare decisions, you can make your team better by including CHWs. It’s important to understand what CHWs do, how they connect with communities, and how they work with others.

In fact, mastering CHW core competencies, including role definitions and boundaries, provides a solid foundation that anyone on your team should know.

Exploring CHW Roles and Certifications Across States

CHWs training and certification are a big part of how they do their job. CHWs usually go through a detailed training that teaches them about healthcare, reaching out to communities, and speaking up for them. Above all, this training helps them learn what they need to know and do to connect well with people and communities, take care of their health needs, and give them the right help and resources.

Want to know more about what CHWs do and how they get certified in different states? Explore our easy-to-follow training that dives deep into the world of CHWs, including the differences in certification from state to state. This training covers, for example:

  • What makes CHWs community-focused
  • The many things CHWs handle
  • Where CHWs work and what they do
  • Important skills for CHWs to grow

The certification process for CHWs changes depending on the state or area, but it generally involves completing a specified number of training hours and passing a certification exam. As a result, it means CHWs have met the necessary requirements and have the knowledge and skills to carry out their role effectively.

In addition to initial training and certification, CHWs often follow professional development to stay updated on the latest healthcare practices and policies. This allows them to provide the most current and relevant information to the community.

Boosting Effectiveness

CHWs have the ability to strengthen high-risk patients, connect healthcare gaps, and reduce unnecessary medical procedures. Their influence spreads widely. As a result, they give power to people to manage their health and make the most of available resources.

To conclude, community health workers play an important, often ignored role in reshaping healthcare. They spark positive changes within communities. You can use these workers to boost healthcare results, boost community engagement, and lay the foundation for healthier lives. Recognizing their contribution and supporting their development isn’t just an option. It’s also a smart move for a healthier future. Moreover, exploring certification differences among states emphasizes their significance and draws attention the valuable role they play in healthcare systems.