What Topics Are Covered in a Community Health Assessment Course?

A community health assessment course is usually part of the curriculum of a formal program related to community or public health. In this course, students might learn how to analyze and mitigate a community's health problems. Read on for information about the topics covered in a community health assessment course. Schools offering Medical Social Work degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of a Community Health Assessment Course

A community health assessment course is designed to teach students how to identify the health needs of a community, prioritize problems within the group, and use the community's strengths and resources to help resolve those concerns. Topics that might be covered in the course are discussed below.

Important Information About This Field of Study

Certificates/Degrees Certificate in Community Health Assessment, Certificate in Public Health, Master of Public Health
Prerequisites Undergraduate programs require high school diploma/equivalent and possibly a minimum number of postsecondary credits; bachelor's degree for graduate programs
Online Availability Fully online coursework available
Possible Careers Health outreach representative, social worker, health services administrator (additional education may be required)
Median Salary (2018)$49,470 (social workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)16% (social workers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Resources for Data Gathering

Community health assessments are guided by questions. What are the primary diseases affecting people in a specific community? What facilities in the community provide healthcare? How many doctors, nurses, and dentists exist within the community? Community health assessment courses describe the kinds of methods and resources that are used to answer questions such as these.

Windshield Surveys

Direct observation of a community is another important resource for data gathering that students of a community health assessment course could learn about. One method of observation is the windshield survey, in which the person doing the community assessment drives a car or rides public transportation through the community and makes observations about the environment. A windshield survey looks at components such as housing and zoning, open spaces, service centers, transportation, stores, media and population make up.

Establishing Goals and Objectives

The process of community health assessment results in the identification of community health problems. Students might learn methods for evaluating these problems and ranking them. After community health problems are prioritized, goals and objectives are developed to address them. Students learn to formulate measurable and achievable objectives. They also learn to identify strategies that might be used to meet these objectives.

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