What is a health educator? According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, a professional in this field:
- Promotes, maintains, and improves individual and community health by assisting individuals and communities to adopt healthy behaviors.
- Collects and analyzes data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies and environments. For example, they may hold programs on self-examinations for breast cancer to women who are at higher risk or may teach classes on the effects of binge drinking to college students.
- May also serve as a resource to assist individuals, other professionals, or the community, and may administer fiscal resources for health education programs.
- Health educators work to encourage healthy lifestyles and wellness through educating individuals and communities about behaviors that promote healthy living and prevent diseases and other health problems.
- Attempts to prevent illnesses by informing and educating individuals and communities about health-related topics, such as proper nutrition, the importance of exercise, how to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, and the habits and behaviors necessary to avoid illness.
- Takes the cultural norms of their audience into account. For example, programs targeted at the elderly need to be drastically different from those aimed at a college-aged population.