Community Health Worker Training
As health policy, research, and clinical work is increasingly becoming more focused on addressing social determinants of health and improving the health of populations, we recognize the need for expanding the Community Health Worker (CHW) workforce. With strong ties to their local communities, CHWs are invaluable members of the public health workforce.
In this course, the University of Virginia Cancer Center will help participants to develop skills and knowledge to become a Community Health Worker. This course provides essential information and strategies to enhancing communication and implementing Community Health Worker competencies set by the Virginia Department of Health. Learning outcomes are based on key knowledge and skills necessary for CHWs to provide quality services to diverse individuals and communities.
The goal of this Community Health Worker course is to prepare and train individuals for assignments in community settings that emphasize health education, information sharing and referrals, and encourage healthy habits and goal-setting to underserved and isolated communities. Using the information provided in this course along with additional resources provided, you will increase your ability to work effectively and confidently as a CHW in your community.
Disclaimer: This course does not provide you with a CHW certification for the State of Virginia. In addition, completion of this course does not guarantee any additional employment opportunities.
In order to receive your completion certificate and 0.3 CEU credit/ 3 credit hour for this course, all learning outcome conditions must be met including a score of at least 80% on all quizzes and completion of the course evaluation.
If you have questions about this course or the material that is presented, please contact:
Outreach and Engagement Manager
University of Virginia Cancer Center
1300 Jefferson Park Avenue
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
Overall Program Learning Outcomes:
- Identify the impact of community health workers (CHWs) on health outcomes
- Describe how to bridge the gap between communities and available health and human services by increasing people’s health knowledge and ability to be self-reliant
- Identify methods to teach community members how to refer and link to preventative services and healthcare information
- Identify skills recommended to become a confident and knowledgeable community health worker
- Recall methods of promoting wellness through culturally appropriate health information at the community level
Individual Lesson Lesson Learning Outcomes:
Lesson 1: What is a CHW?
- Define a CHW
- Describe the timeline of the CHW role
- Identify the core competencies of a CHW
- Identify community health worker roles, responsibilities and skills
- Describe the differences and overlap in roles between CHWs and other healthcare professionals
Lesson 2: Communication
- Identify the difference between verbal and nonverbal communication
- Identify the difference between passive, aggressive, and assertive communication
- Describe methods to practice strategies for communicating effectively
- Identify the traits of active listening
Lesson 3: Culture
- Define culture and cultural competency
- Recognize how different cultural beliefs may have an impact on health
- Describe how assumptions can lead to stereotypes and unfair judgements about individuals and groups
- List ways to practice building cultural competency skills
Lesson 4: Health Disparities
- Define health disparities
- Describe contributing factors to health disparities
- Identify how CHWs help people with health disparities overcome healthcare barriers
Lesson 5: Fostering Change
- Describe how behavior change can be cyclical
- Identify what stage of change and readiness individuals are in
- Describe methods that can be utilized to motivate individuals to move towards positive and healthy behavior change
- Identify how to practice Motivational Interviewing (MI) strategies for making behavior change
Lesson 6: Preparing for a Visit
- Describe ways to keep yourself safe while out in the community
- Recall tools needed to have a successful encounter with community members
- Identify types of workplace violence and steps to remove yourself from violent situations
- Describe how to establish methods of communication to foster trusting and collaborative relationships
- Define confidentiality
- Recall reasons why establishing trust in a community is important as a CHW
Lesson 7: Referrals and Links to Services
- Describe how health literacy can impact a person’s health
- Identify credible sources of information
- Describe the process to evaluating health sources
- Identify the role of follow-up when making a referral
- Recall how to increase health literacy through storytelling
Learning Outcome Standard
This program is based on core competencies of a Community Health Worker as set by the Virginia Department of Health and research completed by the University of Virginia Cancer Control Population Health Program.
Learning Outcome Conditions
- Complete course in its entirety.
- Complete course within 30 days.
- Pass all assessments with a 80% or better.
- Complete Online Course Evaluation.
- Handouts provided in the Digital Library.
- Definitions for this course terms are included digital library document "Glossary".
Minimum technological requirements: click Online Course Tech Requirements