Allied Health Profession: Environmental Health Officer (EHO) School Allied Health Profession: Environmental Health Officer (EHO) Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) assume the responsibility of taking measures for the protection of public health through enforcement and administration of the legislation about the environmental health…
EHOs prevent, investigate, consult, and spread awareness in the community about the importance of maintaining a safe and healthy environment and avoiding health risks. EHOs display a firm understanding of risk assessment, microbiology, food science, environmental technology and science, knowledge and skills about tracing the communicable diseases and controlling them, and study and implementation of legislation associated with environment and public health. EHOs work together with the ministries of government like the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Health, businesses, local municipalities, community agencies and individual community members. The main role of an EHO is to protect the health and safety of the public. EHOs have been traditionally known as sanitary inspectors and inspectors of nuisances. Titles for this job that exist presently include public health officer, and health official. State health authorities or local governments employ the environmental health professionals to help them enforce the standards of public health. Many EHOs are also employed in the military as well as in the private sector. Jobs related to EHOs that can be found in the advertisements include services of inspection and enforcement, investigation of communicable disease, community planning, environmental health consulting, training in the course of food safety, planning of sewage disposal system, pest control, air quality monitoring, and noise control. EHOs work in a variety of settings. For example, when they have to work as Navy Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), they are required to have a bachelor’s degree at minimum. They are required to prevent and achieve control over the diseases in the populations of Navy and Marine Corps. They are expected to conduct the investigation of ongoing diseases, identify useful methods for the assessment of health-threat, and recognize potential dangers along with developing the countermeasures for the threats. In the job of Navy, an EHO may be “[p]roviding guidance to Commanding Officers, Operational/Joint/Coalition Force Commanders and Installation Commanders on food safety, water and wastewater safety, communicable disease control, risk communication, and epidemiological/biostatistic methods of assessing threats” (Navy, n.d.). They have to do considerable amount of fieldwork and many of them are required to travel frequently. Working hours for EHOs are long and irregular. They have to inspect the places and equipment with respect to the standards of health and safety. In the US, the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) offers the environmental health credentials. “Founded in 1937 by practitioners who wanted to establish a standard of excellence for the profession, that standard has come to be known as the Registered Environmental Health Specialist or Registered Sanitarian (REHS/RS) credential” (NEHA, 2013). Recently, NEHA has added a computer testing along with a process of online continuing education submission. Numerous professional organizations are conducting research and contributing to the development of the EHOs and through them, the whole society. The Environmental Health Officers’ Association (EHOA) is one of such professional organizations whose objective is promotion of the environmental health and education of the public regarding the issues of ...
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