The Community Health Worker curriculum provides study in chronic disease knowledge, patient resources, and teaching skills. The goal of the program is to provide care coordination skills to assist at risk patients with managing their care, locating resources, and communicating with their healthcare provider. In the rural healthcare environment, the community health worker will focus on building culturally competent lesson plans, interpersonal skills, and serving as the frontline health worker in the community. At the completion of the program, graduates are qualified to obtain the Department of State Health Services Community Health Worker certification.
The 8 Core Competencies as specified by DSHS are:
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Service coordination skills
- Capacity-building skills
- Advocacy skills
- Teaching skills
- Organizational skills
- Knowledge base on specific health issues
All community health worker students will undergo 160 hours of training; 36 of which will occur in a clinical community setting. Courses will consist of face to face lectures, online activities, and community-based training. This immersion in the community pulls together theoretical and applied learning, and also enhances the role of interdisciplinary teamwork into the community health worker profession.
Northeast Texas Community College has an innovative learning laboratory and simulation lab, which leaves students better prepared to provide community health practice in rural clinical settings. Students will practice the skills of capacity building, service coordination, communication, and advocacy.