Community Health Worker
NC Community Health Workers act as liaisons in their local communities to promote, advocate, and help navigate health care systems in urban and rural environments.
What is a Community Health Worker (CHW)?
A CHW is a public health worker with the trust and a close understanding of the community they serve. This relationship allows a CHW to act as a link between their community and health and social services to facilitate access to services through quality and culturally competent service delivery. A CHW will usually have ethnicity, language, socioeconomic status, and life experiences in common with the community members they serve. They are a lay person within their community who works in association with a local health care system and the public health care system, either for pay or as a volunteer.
A CHW works on both the individual and community levels to increase health knowledge and self-sufficiency through the following types of activities:
- Interpretation and translation services
- Assistance to people in receiving the care they need
- Informal counseling and guidance on health behaviors
- Advocacy for individuals and community health needs
- some direct services such as first aid and blood pressure screening
This course provides students with the required knowledge, tools, and resources to apply to become a certified Community Health Worker and listed in the NC Certified CHW Registry. This will qualify students to work in a variety of settings, such as health departments, hospitals, clinics, federally qualified health centers, and faith-based organizations.
Instruction will cover the nine core competencies:
- Communication skills
- Capacity Building skills
- Service Coordination skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Advocacy skills
- Knowledge base
- Outreach skills
- Personal skills and development
- Educational and facilitation skills
The knowledge base competencies will cover health and social issues that impact clients disproportionately. These topics include, but are not limited to, diabetes, asthma, and cancer. Social issues covered will include:
- Emergency preparedness
- Social isolation
- Adverse childhood experiences (ACES)
Students will also cover topics about the changing North Carolina health care landscape and to connect their clients with resources through NCCARE360 and other programs.
This program includes 96-course hours for certification.