Recently, the author of this paper had a practicum at Cobb and Douglass County Public Health Department in Atlanta, Georgia, participating in the programs related to tobacco use prevention (Cobb & Douglas Public Health n.pag.). Thus, the author’s activities were related to smoking, tobacco prevention, and tobacco quitting. In this paper, the experience that the author obtained will be described, and the changes in her competencies will be discussed; it will also be explained how the participation in the program has assisted the author in supporting her ASPH MPH competencies, and how her knowledge gained during the coursework was implemented throughout the practicum.
We will write a custom Essay on Tobacco Use Prevention Programs in Atlanta specifically for you
807 certified writers online
The Practicum Experience
During the practicum, the author of this paper accomplished several tasks on smoking and tobacco prevention. In particular, a PowerPoint presentation explaining the nature, risks, and benefits of electronic cigarettes was created; the presentation proved useful in meetings and various events dedicated to tobacco prevention. The author also designed flyers on the Georgia tobacco quitline. These flyers were then given to people; this activity was aimed at permitting them to gather information about the use of tobacco more efficiently, as well as to find out better how they can stop smoking, and receive assistance while doing so.
Also, several youth tobacco prevention meetings and coalition meetings and health fairs were participated in. Participation in these events allowed the author to carry out several practical activities that involved direct communication with individuals to whom the information about the adverse consequences of tobacco smoking and the ways of quitting smoking could be helpful. Such experiences will be of use in the author’s future career as a public health specialist.
Changes in the Author’s Competency
The practicum at Cobb and Douglass County Public Health Department was rather fruitful for this paper’s author. While doing the practicum, she was able to obtain a large amount of experience, which will undoubtedly help her future professional activities. The significant value of this experience comes from the fact that academic studies are often aimed at permitting one to gain theoretical knowledge, whereas doing the practicum allows them to apply this knowledge in real-life situations.
This is also the case for the author; the live communication with smokers of various ages, including the youth, allowed her to understand better the needs of these categories of the population and the complications that they face, simultaneously letting her apply her theoretical knowledge to provide them with assistance which may be helpful in either allowing them to stop smoking or safeguarding them from gaining this harmful habit in the future. The value of the obtained practical skills and knowledge for the author can hardly be overestimated.
Learning Information to Support the Mastery of the ASPH MPH Competencies
ASPH provides several requirements on the knowledge and skills that individuals who desire to become a Master of Public Health need to learn. For instance, it is stated that an MPH needs to be competent in health policy and management, which includes applying “the principles of program planning, development,… management… in organizational and community initiatives” (Association of Schools of Public Health 15).
Participation in youth tobacco prevention meetings and health fairs allowed the author to gain practical knowledge of planning and managing such initiatives and events. Also, an MPH has to be able to “gather, process, and present information to different audiences in-person, [and] through information technologies” (Association of Schools of Public Health 17), which is what was done by the author of this paper while designing the flyers on Georgia tobacco quitline, as well as while creating the PowerPoint presentations and communicating the information to the individuals attending the tobacco prevention meetings and health fairs.
The Use of Skills Gained in the Coursework during the Practicum
The author actively implemented the knowledge and skills learned during the coursework while doing the Cobb and Douglass County Public Health Department practicum. In particular, while making the PowerPoint presentation, it was necessary to possess a deep understanding of the hazards that the tobacco smoking poses to the health of an individual, as well as of how the addiction to cigarettes develops and exists, so the studies in nursing proved helpful indeed; the process of the creation of the presentation itself also required a certain amount of creativity, as well as the skill to present information concisely and clearly, which was also gained during the studies.
While participating in the tobacco prevention meetings and health fairs, the author had to communicate the importance of not starting or quitting smoking, which required, apart from the knowledge about the mechanism in which smoking harms the health, an in-depth understanding of the needs and psychological peculiarities of the target audience. Therefore, the author’s knowledge and skills in academia were of significant use during the practicum.
Therefore, it should be stressed that during the practicum, the author participated in several events and created a PowerPoint presentation and flyers related to the issue of tobacco smoking. These experiences were of significant use to the author, allowing her to obtain real-life experience and implement the theoretical knowledge and further develop the skills gained during her studies in academia.
Association of Schools of Public Health. Master’s Degree in Public Health: Core Competency Development Project. 2006. Web.
Cobb & Douglas Public Health. Asthma Awareness and Tobacco Use Prevention. n.d. Web.