Maternal & Child Health - How to Become a Maternal & Child Health Practitioner

Maternal & Child Health

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Maternal & Child Health Job Description


Maternal and child health professionals are part of the swiftly expanding public health sector in the United States, centered around medical care needed by women, children, and families. They keep women informed about family planning and sexual reproductive medical services, work to make pregnant women healthier, and increase the health and vaccination rates of young children.

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Responsibilities

 

A maternal and child health specialist researches and tests ways to improve the health delivery system for mothers and their children. This involves not only using applied research, but also educating patients and healthcare workers and functioning in an advocacy role as well. They are often at the forefront of developing, analyzing, and implementing maternity-related public health programs, which may be at the local, state, national, or international level.

Common responsibilities of maternal and child health specialists include:

  • Monitoring the local area to assess overall health concerns.

  • Developing and implementing policy changes and plans to meet any health services needs that arise in a given community.

  • Provide outreach services, informing the community about matters of maternal and child health and social services.

  • Gathering information and preparing child and/or family data reports.

  • Attend required meetings, events, or training seminars as necessary.

  • Maintaining effective communication with a wide array of individuals to reach strategic goals.

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Skills

 

Communication

Must effectively communicate with your co-workers to ensure the best care and the proper procedures. Must be able to communicate in high-stress environments.

Active Listening

Offering your full attention to an individual person or group in order to fully understand problems and their nature.

Critical Thinking

Must use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Needs to be able to act autonomously and make difficult decisions that would benefit the patient or make corrections. Must consider all benefits and repercussions of potential actions and choose the appropriate one. 

Complex Problem Solving

Must be able to identify complex problems and develop and evaluate corrective options and implement solutions. 

Stress Management

Must be able to endure intense situations and handle pressure that comes with extreme situations you may encounter.

Trustworthiness

Must be trustworthy because you have people's lives in your hands and what you do could help or hurt them. They are entrusted with a great responsibility and must live up to it. 

Perceptiveness

Gauging how people react and read their body language to decipher their feelings and predict their actions. They must be able to determine if people could be a risk to themselves or others and to distinguish truths from lies.

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Working Conditions

 

Due to the far-flung and growing demand for public health experts, maternal and child health specialists can find careers in both the private and public sectors. Hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working both nationally and abroad need experts in maternal and child health care. The same is true of many government organizations at both the state and federal levels.

Like other public health care managers and researchers, working conditions vary widely for maternal and child health experts. They often work in an administrative or research capacity and may have a regular 40 hour workweek. Working more closely with patients, advocacy, and research may all result in overtime or other alternate scheduling.

 


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How to Become a Child Health Professional:

 

A master's degree in public health is required for the best opportunities in maternal and child health. These programs typically have five core areas in which the student must take a minimum of one course:

  • Behavioral sciences & health education

  • Biostatistics

  • Environmental Health

  • Epidemiology

  • Health services administration

 

1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)

 

The first step to becoming a maternal and child health professional is to earn a bachelor's degree program. However, there is no specific program that must be completed to qualify for a graduate program in public health, popular undergraduate majors include:

  • Premed

  • Public Health

  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Sociology

  • Political Science

  • Anthropology

  • English

 

The preparation timeline below provides an example premed undergraduate curriculum:

 

Grade Level Example Courses

Freshman Year

 

  • Health Care Systems
  • Biology I & Lab
  • Biology II & Lab
  • Calculus I
  • Chemistry I & Lab
  • Chemistry II & Lab
  • English I
  • Psychology 
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Sophomore Year

  • Public Health
  • Anatomy & Physiology I & Lab
  • Anatomy & Physiology II & Lab
  • Statistics
  • Organic Chemistry I & Lab
  • Organic Chemistry II & Lab
  • Basic Skills for Healthcare
  • Nutrition
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Junior Year

 

  • Healthcare Communication
  • Healthcare Professional Writing
  • Genetics & Microbiology I & Lab
  • Physics I & Lab
  • Physics II & Lab
  • Problems in Healthcare
  • Healthcare Research
  • Biochemistry I & Lab
  • Humanities Requirements
  • Electives

Senior Year

  • Health in the US
  • Health Education and Planning
  • Healthcare Management
  • Health Policy
  • Capstone
  • Remaining Requirements
  • Remaining Electives

 

The Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health's (ASPPH) website provides data on schools and universities offering public health degree programs. The Council for Education on Public Health (CEPH) lists every accredited university and program available in the public health field.

 

2. Take the Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE)

 

Most graduate programs revolving around forensic science require the GRE for admittance. It's a 3 hour and 45 minute, standardized, multiple choice exam that covers analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, and verbal reasoning.

 

The GRE is broken down into six primary sections:

 

1 Analytical Writing Section
  • 2 writing assignments
  • 60 minutes
  • Tests student's abilities to assess arguments and communicate ideas
2 Quantitative Reasoning Sections
  • ~20 multiple-choice questions
  • 35 minutes per section
  • Tests student's abilities to solve mathematical problems and interpret data

2 Verbal Reasoning Sections

  • ~20 questions per section
  • 30 minutes per section
  • Tests the ability to understand and analyze written material
1 Unscored Section
  • A duplicate of one of the above sections

 

You can find study materials, GRE registration, and your test scores on the GRE website.

 

3. Earn a Master's Degree in Public Health (2 Years)

 

Earning a master's degree is standard for public health professionals who want to specialize in maternal and child health. These programs emphasize analytical and quantitative research, combining statistical analyses with public health program development and implementation.

 

The preparation timeline below provides an example maternal and child health master's curriculum:

 

Year Example Courses

Year I

 

  • Probability & Statistics in Public Health
  • Maternal and Child Health 
  • Epidemiological Methods
  • Maternal and Child Health Data Analysis I
  • Adolescent Health
  • Seminar
  • Electives

Year II

  • Applied Linear Models
  • Program Planing, Development, and Evaluation
  • Evaluation of Health & Social Services
  • Maternal and Child Health Data Analysis II
  • Independent Study
  • Electives

 

Find an Accredited Master of Public Health Program

 

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Salary Outlook

Title Company Location Posted
09.08.2016
Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
01.16.2017
Clinical Nurse Specialist Maternal Child Health must have clinical expertise in Labor and Delivery; Mother/Baby experience preferred and 3-5 years in staff education or related field. NRP and BLS certification required. Masters degree required....
09.26.2016
Provides direct and indirect patient care. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patients clinical condition including results of fetal monitoring, diagnostic studies and...
01.16.2017
SOCIAL SERVICES PRN/SUPPORT/8A-5P WEEKENDS AND AS NEEDED/8 HOURS PER PAY Provides direct and indirect clinical social work and discharge planning services for patients and their families in various inpatient and outpatient settings....
01.16.2017
JOB DESCRIPTION: Provides direct patient care in the Labor and Delivery setting. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patient's clinical condition including: fetal...
01.16.2017
JOB DESCRIPTION: Provides direct patient care in the Labor and Delivery setting. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patient's clinical condition including: fetal...
09.01.2016
The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
01.13.2017
The Unit Manager is a nurse leader who performs the primary functions of assessing, planning, implementing, directing, and evaluating patient care on a 24 hour basis for his/her designated unit(s). He/She manages all personnel, supplies and...
11.29.2016
Provides direct and indirect patient care. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patients clinical condition including results of fetal monitoring, diagnostic studies and...
  1. Senior Director/Associate Chief Nursing Officer Maternal Child Health Boston, MA Boston Medical Center
    Boston Medical Center (BMC) is more than a hospital. Its a network of support and care that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in need each year. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New...
  2. Clinical Nurse Specialist Cambridge, MA Mount Auburn Hospital
    Clinical Nurse Specialist Maternal Child Health must have clinical expertise in Labor and Delivery; Mother/Baby experience preferred and 3-5 years in staff education or related field. NRP and BLS certification required. Masters degree required....
  3. Registered Nurse Washington, IN Daviess Community Hospital
    Provides direct and indirect patient care. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patients clinical condition including results of fetal monitoring, diagnostic studies and...
  4. MED SOCIAL WORKER-MSW-SUPP Middletown, OH Premier Health - Atrium Medical Center
    SOCIAL SERVICES PRN/SUPPORT/8A-5P WEEKENDS AND AS NEEDED/8 HOURS PER PAY Provides direct and indirect clinical social work and discharge planning services for patients and their families in various inpatient and outpatient settings....
  5. Registered Nurse (RN) - Labor and Delivery - Clarendon (PRN) Florence, SC McLeod Health
    JOB DESCRIPTION: Provides direct patient care in the Labor and Delivery setting. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patient's clinical condition including: fetal...
  6. Registered Nurse (RN) - Labor and Delivery - Clarendon (Nights) Florence, SC McLeod Health
    JOB DESCRIPTION: Provides direct patient care in the Labor and Delivery setting. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patient's clinical condition including: fetal...
  7. Home Visiting Nurse Winston-Salem, NC Novant Health
    The team member's number one job responsibility is to deliver the most remarkable patient experience, in every dimension, every time, and understand how he or she contributes to the health systems vision of achieving that commitment to patients...
  8. MANAGER OB/LABOR/DELIVERY Lumberton, NC Southeastern Regional Medical Center
    The Unit Manager is a nurse leader who performs the primary functions of assessing, planning, implementing, directing, and evaluating patient care on a 24 hour basis for his/her designated unit(s). He/She manages all personnel, supplies and...
  9. Registered Nurse Washington, IN Daviess Community Hospital
    Provides direct and indirect patient care. Provides assessment and planning for individualized patient care. Communicates with physicians about changes in patients clinical condition including results of fetal monitoring, diagnostic studies and...