The term “public health practitioner” is used to describe members of the core public health workforce who work in various areas of public health, including health improvement, health protection, and health and social care quality (often called “healthcare public health”). They may work in the public, private and voluntary and community sectors. Although they work in different areas of public health, public health practitioners all contribute to public health outcomes and improving health and wellbeing. For example, they may support healthy lifestyle programmes, helping individuals and groups to stop smoking and take more exercise. To take another example, they may work on immunization programmes and screening, based in local communities or in public health teams specializing in health protection. Some public health practitioners may play an important role in national and local health campaigns. In this article we have listed over 10 things a public health practitioner must never do
Never Pose as a Medical Doctor if you are not one
Many Medical doctors are public health specialists especially those specializing in community medicine, however not all public health specialists are medical doctors. Sometimes it is quite easy for the public to confuse a PhD Holder in public health for a medical doctor. Once this happens, politely correct the wrong assumption. This attitude will cement your integrity and increase the worth the public places on you.
Never take photos of patients especially nude Pictures
This applies to public health specialists involve in mental health settings and those working in hospital environment. Do not take nude pictures of fellow employees, patients or clients. A woman unit secretary in the operating room of a hospital in Greene County, Pennsylvania said while she was anesthetized for an incisional hernia repair, an operating room nurse took photographs of her naked body and later showed them to several coworkers. The patient, known only as Jane Doe, has filed suit against the hospital, several of its employees, and the surgeon who operated on her because he did not report the nurse who took the pictures to hospital administration. These are some of the avoidable conflicts in a health care setting,
Never go beyond your boundaries
The reasons medical practitioners are licensed is because there are boundaries in every field involved in the management of human life. A Mental health specialist is a public health personnel who works under the supervision of a licensed mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or psychiatric nurse, and assist in providing mental health care to patients. In a situation where such a person does not hold a license to practice psychiatry he or she must never delve into such practice.
Fail to Consider Ethical issues in Public health
Public health professionals operate in an ethically complex environment. Ethical issues include paternalism and honesty, conflicting responsibilities, pressures on decision making, and uncomfortable relations with the related industries. Balancing ethical issues in public health is not without risks for practitioners and sometimes poses ethical dilemmas. Issues about privacy, autonomy, equity, and the common good need to be considered and balanced, and knowing how to do so can be challenging in practice.
Fail To Respect Human Rights And Right To Life
Public health practice involves interaction with the larger population. In the process of discharging their responsibility to the community, public health specialists must not fail to respect the rights of the citizens they serve. This has been reported in several instances especially in cases involving drug addiction and contraception that health care personnel often violate these rights.
Not Participate In Activities That Conflicts With Caring And Healing
Public health specialists have the right to decline participation in any activity that conflicts with health promotion, caring and healing. Public health practitioners must not fail to use this right when the need arises. For instance promoting tobacco brand is an example of an activity that conflicts with the goals of public health practice. The tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, killing more than 8 million people a year around the world. More than 7 million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while around 1.2 million are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Never Confront a Colleague Publicly
As torch bearers in the health sector, public health practitioners must comport themselves with dignity and always act professionally. Keeping tempers in check is one of the hallmarks of the health profession. Losing your temper in the community hall, clinic, school, or in front of the public you serve could significantly undermine your efforts in the community or population.
Never lie to the Population you serve.
Public health is concerned with preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health. The value of good health and the responsibilities of governments to safeguard the health of their citizens are widely accepted. When a population cannot trust you, they will never believe you. This is why a public health specialist must strive at all times to provide truthful and accurate information devoid of exaggeration, assumptions and hear say.
Don’t Disrespect the Community you serve
Without the population it will be impossible for you to effectively carry out your duty as a public health specialist. Showing disrespect (in words or actions) to the community you operate in could short circuit your career as a public health practitioner
Don’t Impose Personal or Religious Beliefs on the Community
Serving as a public health practitioner is an opportunity to meet health needs and must never be used as a platform for promoting the personal ideology or religious leanings under whatever circumstance. In the discharge of their duties, public health specialist must be professional at all times.
Never undermine the need for work- life balance
Public health practice can take a significant amount of your time and energy. The stress and the demands of the job could sometimes put a strain on your family or relationship. This is why it is important to maintain a healthy work life balance. Finding a unique way to unwind is an excellent way to relive stress and regain lost energy. See WHO Definition of Health