Studying the trend of diseases and how they interact with humans, their lifestyle, or health is important in making the environment safer for people of all ages. Epidemiologists are amongst the team of medical professionals who study and understand patterns of diseases
Job Profile For Epidemiologists
Epidemiologists are usually individuals who carry out investigations on the patterns and possible causative agents of diseases and injuries which occur in humans. Through their research, they hope to mitigate the occurrence of these infections which may be a potential risk to individuals living in a community.
In making their work effective, demographic data might be obtained to determine who is at a higher risk of a disease/ infection within a community or to determine the effectiveness of treatment. Some might even be required to travel to rural areas for a better understanding of how people with limited access to medical care adapt to certain conditions. Some of the areas of specializations in epidemiology include;
- Infectious diseases
- Chronic diseases
- Maternal and child health
- Public health (preparedness and emergency response)
- Environmental health
- Occupational health
- Oral health
- Substance abuse
- Mental health
Job Description Of Epidemiologists
- Conduct extensive research on public health problems within your community
- Collect and analyze data using biological samples or data gotten from a survey
- Organize sensitization programs which would teach members of the public on safety measures towards diseases
- Supervise the work of all team members involved in sample collection and data processing
- Give detailed advice to governmental agencies with respect to managing diseases
- Present data obtained in an organized and easily understandable format to health practitioners and policymakers
What Skill Should I Have As An Epidemiologist?
Some of the relevant skills required of you as an epidemiologist includes;
- Critical thinking
- Great presentation and analytical skills
- Good communication skills especially with a large audience
- Knowledge of statistical procedures
- Paying attention to detail
- Ability to work for long hours and work well under pressure.
Who Are The Employers Of Epidemiologists?
Epidemiologists are needed mostly within health-related organizations, they usually enjoy successful careers in the following places;
- Government organizations
- Centers for disease control and prevention within your country
- Research Laboratories
- Non-governmental organizations (e.g W.H.O)
- Universities (as an academic)
What Steps Can I Take To Become An Epidemiologist?
Becoming an epidemiologist requires that you have a master’s degree in public health with a focus on epidemiology, some people even go on to obtain a Ph.D. with a focus in a particular area of epidemiology. Students from biological sciences, Nursing, and medicine are eligible to pursue a master’s degree in epidemiology. Furthermore, Volunteering in relevant organizations gives you the opportunity to have hands-on experience with research and data collection.