What does a Community Health Worker do?

Assist individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors. Conduct outreach for medical personnel or health organizations to implement programs in the community that promote, maintain, and improve individual and community health. May provide information on available resources, provide social support and informal counseling, advocate for individuals and community health needs, and provide services such as first aid and blood pressure screening. May collect data to help identify community health needs.

Jobs Roles

  • Administer immunizations or other basic preventive treatments.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to diagnostic screenings, such as breast cancer screening, pap smears, glaucoma tests, or diabetes screenings.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to improving general health, such as diet or exercise.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to risk or prevention of conditions such as lead poisoning, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), prenatal substance abuse, or domestic violence.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to sanitation or hygiene, such as flossing or hand washing.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to self-care, such as diabetes management.
  • Advise clients or community groups on issues related to social or intellectual development, such as education, childcare, or problem solving.
  • Advise clients or community groups to ensure parental understanding of the importance of childhood immunizations and how to access immunization services.
  • Advocate for individual or community health needs with government agencies or health service providers.
  • Attend community meetings or health fairs to understand community issues or build relationships with community members.
  • Conduct home visits for pregnant women, newborn infants, or other high-risk individuals to monitor their progress or assess their needs.
  • Contact clients in person, by phone, or in writing to ensure they have completed required or recommended actions.
  • Distribute flyers, brochures, or other informational or educational documents to inform members of a targeted community.
  • Identify or contact members of high-risk or otherwise targeted groups, such as members of minority populations, low-income populations, or pregnant women.
  • Identify the particular health care needs of individuals in a community or target area.
  • Interpret, translate, or provide cultural mediation related to health services or information for community members.
  • Maintain updated client records with plans, notes, appropriate forms, or related information.
  • Monitor nutrition of children, elderly, or other high-risk groups.
  • Perform basic diagnostic procedures, such as blood pressure screening, breast cancer screening, or communicable disease screening.
  • Provide basic health services, such as first aid.
  • Provide feedback to health service providers regarding improving service accessibility or acceptability.
  • Refer community members to needed health services.
  • Teach appropriate parenting behaviors to individuals or families.
  • Teach classes or otherwise disseminate medical or dental health information to school groups, community groups, or targeted families or individuals, in a manner consistent with cultural norms.
  • Assist families to apply for social services, including Medicaid or Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
  • Collect information from individuals to compile vital statistics about the general health of community members.
  • Develop plans or formal contracts for individuals, families, or community groups to improve overall health.
  • Report incidences of child or elder abuse, neglect, or threats of harm to authorities, as required.
  • Transport or accompany clients to scheduled health appointments or referral sites.
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