The Link Between Public Health and Environmental and Occupational Health

Individuals are significantly impacted by their natural and occupational spaces, and public health professionals must consider the various elements that affect public well-being. Therefore, Environmental and workplace health combined is a public health research, policy and practice subcategory.

According to Research Gate, these elements included in this field include “urbanization, the extraction of natural resources, industrial manufacture, the physical separation of home and workplace, and the transportation systems needed to support this mode of economy and pattern of living.”

Environmental and Occupational Health Concerns

By definition, environmental and occupational health is the “multidisciplinary approach to the recognition, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illnesses, injuries, and other adverse health conditions resulting from hazardous environmental exposures in the workplace, the home, and the community,” according to an article from Academia.

Public health relates to environmental and occupational health because anything involving an individual’s well-being is considered a public health issue.

As the years go by, more individuals are being diagnosed with diseases or illnesses that result from the environment in which they live or the occupation they have chosen for themselves. The

occupational health concerns many individuals are exposed to include working conditions, the built environment and chemical, biological, physical and psychosocial hazards.

Through research and healthcare practice, doctors and nurses find that many individuals are negatively affected by the conditions they are living or working in, causing them multiple health problems at once. These health problems often do not appear in other areas around the nation.

For example, smog is a significant problem in many urban areas — whereas it might not affect those living in rural or suburban communities. However, many small towns across the U.S. employ individuals in factory jobs, many of which present occupational hazards — even if they adhere to standards upheld by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Patients should not be treated poorly because of the environmental or occupational health concerns they are suffering from. Unfortunately, they often cannot help the situation they are faced with and may depend on keeping a certain job in order to provide for themselves and their family. Public health professionals ensure that no one is being mistreated and work to advocate for the communities they serve.

Environmental Insults on Human Health

Environmental and occupational factors can drastically harm humans and their overall health. Many individuals cannot recover from the changes instilled upon their health because of the severity of the condition.

Healthcare professionals and facilities need to build up their knowledge regarding environmental and occupational health concerns. Awareness brings about change for those who have suffered in the past and allows recent cases to find the answers they need.

Regardless of the type of environmental or occupational insult, public health officials are responsible for ensuring everyone receives the same amount of care in order to minimize the impact of the human health condition.

Maximize Your Public Health Degree With a Master’s Program

One way to become a better public health advocate regarding environmental and occupational health issues is to further your career by earning your Master of Public Health (MPH) degree. Those who enroll in the MPH online program at William Paterson University are taking active steps to address public health challenges and solutions from the local to the global level.

In as few as 14 months, you will cultivate the skills necessary to transform your healthcare career by recognizing the value of a social justice perspective in addressing health inequities. Graduates from this program will learn how to alleviate the social, environmental and behavioral factors that lead to communal wellness challenges. This program explores social justice, ethical practice, diversity and community collaboration to promote the well-being of all. For example, the program’s Environmental and Occupational Health course provides a framework for students to better understand how human health may be affected by environmental insults.

Each future public health advocate will obtain the knowledge required to become an outstanding practitioner in the field while also being a compassionate individual.

Learn more about William Paterson University’s Master of Public Health online program.

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