Master’s Degree and Knowledge in Public Health

To succeed in the field of public health medicine, one needs to master a variety of skills and competencies. Particularly, the foundational abilities outlined by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) are crucial for the future public health nurses. The present paper aims to perform the self-assessment and discussion of competencies and knowledge set up by the Chamberlain University (CU) for the Master’s degree in public health (MPH). Also, the evaluation of foundational competencies relative to public health assurance and system management essentials will be offered. The conclusion will summarize the major points reflected in the paper.

Discussion of MPH Foundational Competencies Relative to Public Health Assurance and System Management Essentials

There are eight main MPH foundational groups of competencies regarded as vital to master by public health nurses. These categories include public health and healthcare systems, evidence-based practice, public health, planning and management of health promotion, public health policies, communication, leadership, interprofessional practice, and systems management (CEPH, 2016). In regard to public health assurance and systems management, the following groups of competencies seem to be the most important: public health policies, management and planning, leadership, communication, and interprofessional practice.

Prior to this reflection, I felt that I lacked proficiency in leadership and interprofessional collaboration. Since the time of the last self-observation, I have gained much more confidence in the mentioned spheres due to analyzing scholarly literature on the required topics and performing various professional tasks that required collaborative practice. When I worked on the development of a health campaign, I had an opportunity to see how specialists from different healthcare fields operate.

I paid particular attention to their skills, as well as to how dedicated they were to their duties. Probably the most valuable lesson I learned was that misunderstandings in a healthcare team could lead to dramatic outcomes for patients. Therefore, I realized that being able to cooperate with various colleagues was the goal towards which I should aim.

Another aspect of my future professional activity that I had to improve was leadership. To learn more about the application of this competency, I tried to spend more time with the team leader and observe her traits and her approaches to gaining people’s attention and respect. Besides practical support, I learned many important insights concerning foundational skills from scholarly literature.

For instance, the book chapter by Currie and Anderson (2016) taught me how to successfully arrange collaborative practice in public health and how to benefit from such cooperation. The book by Rowitz (2018) was rather helpful for the investigation of leadership in public health. Overall, by analyzing academic literature and observing my senior colleagues’ skills in practice, I was able to overcome the barriers that I used to have.

Discussion of CU MPH Concentration Competencies Relative to Public Health Assurance and System Management Essentials

While the categories of skills established by the CEPH are generally accepted, there are also some additional competencies defined by CU as particularly crucial for students engaged in the university’s MPH program. These features include caring, service, integrity, professionalism, and excellence (CU, 2018). I received an opportunity to evaluate the mastery of these skills in the course of working on the public health campaign and during other assignments.

The most crucial issues that I would like to discuss in this reflection are caring, excellence, and integrity. I find these aspects to be the most closely connected with systems management and public health assurance. In their book focused on public health, Riegelman and Kirkwood (2018) remark that successful management of public health presupposes the excellence of professionals involved and the integrity between them.

The importance of caring is depicted in Stanhope and Lancaster (2016) who remark that public health practice should be based on patient-centered approach, which presupposes attention and due consideration on the part of public health professionals. I can say that I have gained sufficient knowledge and experience in all CU MPH concentration competencies, but I am determined to continue developing them in my future practice.

Application of Public Health Assurance and System Management Essentials to Public Health Practice

I am convinced that the acquired foundational skills and concentration competencies will be rather useful in the process of selecting job opportunities. The course, its assignments, tasks, and the analysis of a variety of sources prepared me to participate in the competitive job market and let feel confident about my opportunities. I consider my prospects of finding a good job as highly positive. During the work spent on a few last assignments, I was able to identify my weaknesses and overcome them through hard work and also due to the help from my colleagues and peers. I think that I will be able to apply my competencies to reach the appropriate level of public health in the community.

Conclusion

The reflection had a highly positive impact on my understanding of the competencies necessary for the future professional practice. I was able to assess which of the skills set by the CEPH and CU I have acquired well, and on which ones I need to work more. In general, I feel quite confident about my readiness level and competency acquisition. In my opinion, the main groups of foundational competencies involved in public health assurance and systems management are communication, public health policies, leadership, management and planning, and interprofessional practice. The major concentration skills are integrity, excellence, and caring. I believe that my level of knowledge is enough to help me receive excellent job opportunities.

References

Chamberlain University: College of Health Professions (CU). (2018). Master of public health (MPH) capstone project and fieldwork practicum handbook. Web.

Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). (2016). Accreditation criteria: Schools of public health & public health programs. Web.

Currie, J., & Anderson, L. (2016). Collaborative practice for public health: Opportunities and reflections from primary care. In D. Gurbutt (Ed.), Collaborative practice for public health (pp. 77-88). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.

Riegelman, R., & Kirkwood, B. (2018). Public health 101: Improving community health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

Rowitz, L. (2018). Essentials of leadership in public health. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.