New England Public Health Training Center

Professional Skills and Ethics for Community Health Workers

This is an introductory course offering CPH — Free
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Time to Start

< 3 minutes


1.00 hour


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A Community Health Worker (CHW) is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served.

Part of the role of a CHW is to help address legal and social challenges facing their clients and the communities they serve. In doing so, it is common to run into a situation that poses an ethical dilemma. CHWs must learn to develop their professional skill of handling these ethical dilemmas. CHWs must become comfortable consulting with supervisors, colleagues, and partners to act decisively in these difficult situations. They must observe the policies and rules of their agency, protect client's privacy rights, and meet legal reporting requirements, while also exercising creativity in helping community members meet their individual and family needs.

This self-paced training will outline the code of ethics CHWs are expected to abide by, address ethical dilemmas that CHWs may face in the field, and summarize the guidelines covered by HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996).

What You'll Learn

  • Recognize components of a code of ethics
  • Identify conditions for a situation to be considered an ethical dilemma
  • Explain the importance of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

Competency Terms

Maternal Child Family Health
Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
Community Health Improvement Planning
External Policies, Programs, & Services
Community Dimensions of Practice Skills
Community Programs & Services
Community Engagement

Related Occupations

Community Health Worker

Related Job Tasks

Ensure competent public and personal health care workforce