There are a number of public health positions that lend themselves to travel, some more than others. You may need to get a little creative, as the marketing for public health travel jobs is not as organized or visible as the field of traditional nursing or other medical health professions, but, rest assured, there are indeed positions within public health for those who have caught the travel bug. Here at MPHonline, we researched current 2018 public health job postings, and felt the three following public health focuses provided the most flexibility in concern to career mobility:
1. Public Health Nursing
A public health nurse works to serve communities by communicating information that will help residents avoid illnesses and disease. In fact, one of the main goals of an organization hiring public health nurses is to assist the government in staving off health crises. These professionals strive to create safer work and home environments for populations affected by contagions, and they often work within underserved areas. Many public health nurses spend entire shifts administering vaccines in remote areas within the US or across the globe.
Public health nurses will also often help people who are dealing with violence at home, are pregnant, or are battling substance abuse. They may work for a business or a school, and they can conduct workshops on smoking cessation or proper hygiene. These workers can also find employment within the military, navigating health plans for those enlisted as well as their families.
Many public health nurses begin their tenure as RNs and from there, they will often receive promotions and move into specialized settings. The average salary for a public health nurse is $68,450, and interested persons will need a diploma from a nursing program in addition to their associate’s and bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students will benefit from studying biostatistics, environmental health, and epidemiology, and to qualify for positions in management, they must obtain their master’s degree. After two years’ experience working as a public health nurse, you can receive your certification, enabling you to make further advancements. Those holding an MPH in addition to the BSN will earn a much higher salary.
2. Public Health Nutritionist
Currently, there is special demand for health professionals holding an MPH in addition to the credentials of an RD (Registered Dietician). Students of RD/MPH programs have options of focusing within the area of preventing childhood obesity are of particular use for government organizations working to reverse rural America’s obesity epidemic. The practice of public health and nutrition science can serve communities both locally and globally. Research shows proper evidence-based nutrition can prevent a host of diseases ranging from cancer, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Educating populations on proper prenatal care in regards to human nutrition and food science can prevent common nutritional deficiency related complications like anemia (low iron), neural development issues in an infant due to low folate, or gestational diabetes in the mother (insulin-related).
Epidemiology is the study of factors related to diseases and can include researching the rate at which they occur, where they crop up, and their possible causes. An epidemiologist will need a strong knowledge of biology and biostatistics, and they will need to determine the risk posed by epidemics. Epidemiology public health travel jobs will also require the deployment of action steps to prevent illness, and they will assist the medical community in this endeavor. An epidemiologist will help inform the public of health hazards, and they may find employment at universities and in governmental organizations, such as the World Health Organization.
An epidemiologist will often be required to be on location in areas hard-hit by pandemics, and they will often conduct research into emerging ailments. They will often be responsible for the composition of grant letters and for providing oversight regarding contracts and government programs. In addition, an epidemiologist will need to adhere to all ethical guidelines that govern the collection of data, test results, and the conducting of epidemiological studies.
Undergraduate programs for epidemiology largely do not exist, and so most people interested in this field will pursue studies in medicine or subjects related to health science before obtaining their master’s in public health with a focus on epidemiology. Students will learn how to investigate the factors that contribute to the spread of illness, and an internship of at least a year is generally required. You have the option of choosing a specialty, such as infectious disease, aging, and cardiovascular disease, and your doctoral program will be composed of three years of instruction, followed by your doctoral dissertation.