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Public Health

Public health promotes and protects the health of people and the communities where they live, learn, work and play.

It helps people to stay healthy and improves the health of the population with the aim of prolonging life and preventing disease.

There are a variety of professions in Public Health to explore such as…

Health Visitor

A Health Visitor is a qualified nurse or midwife who has gone on to do further additional training. Health Visitor’s specialise in working with families with children under 5 to help people to learn about being a parent, how to identify health needs and support you to raise a healthy, happy child. Health Visitors work closely with midwives, practice nurses and GPs.

School Nurse

School nurses are public health nurses who will work with 5 to 19 year olds. Their primary aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of this age group, and identify those who need early help. They can assist in managing interaction between health and education.

Occupational Health Nurse

Occupational health nurses protect and promote the health of people at work. Occupational health nurses are employed by businesses and organisations to provide health services and programs to workers. Their focus is on preventing work-related injury or illness and promoting healthy conditions in the workplace.

Environmental Health Professions

Environmental health is a branch of public health that addresses all aspects of the broader environment that can affect human health. It’s a broad and complex subject area which seeks to understand interactions of environmental factors with biological systems. Roles such an Environmental Health Officer may explore environmentally influenced health outcomes for example.

Entry Requirements

To become a Health Visitor, School Nurse or Occupational Health Nurse you would need to be a registered nurse or midwife and then undertake an additional 12 months training at Masters level in:

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – Health Visiting. To work as an Occupational Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – Occupational Health Nursing.

Specialist Community Public Health Nursing – School Nurse

Degree Apprenticeship

You can train through a degree apprenticeship. This involves a combination of academic study and practical, paid employment, and typically lasts around four years.

There are different entry requirements for environmental health roles depending on the nature and level of seniority of the role. If you have GCSEs and considerable experience of working in environmental health activity, you may be able to secure an entry-level role. More senior roles, are likely to require some form of training or further qualification. Environmental health practitioner must first obtain a degree or higher degree level qualification.

Useful Resources

Public Health England (opens in a new window)