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Career Profile: Health Educator - Kate Squire

Career Profile: Health Educator - Kate Squire

Kate Squire, 33 Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation, Madison, WI Health Educator

In Demand: Careers in Health Care, Career Voyages, U.S. Dept. of Labor

What do you do at your job?

I run the First Breath program, which helps pregnant women quit smoking. I travel around the state and meet with the people who counsel pregnant women. They need resources on how to motivate women to make healthy lifestyle choices. One of the challenges our public health nurses and other educators face is how to respond when the client cuts down on smoking but won’t quit or she starts smoking again after delivery. We teach our people how to motivate women to stop smoking and how to recognize their successes,such as cutting down from three packs a day to one pack a day.

Why did you become a health educator?

Health and wellness have always been interests of mine, and this enables me to learn about many different health issues and how to best communicate them to people. You can work on one issue such as smoking, nutrition or exercise, or you can work on a variety of health issues with a specific group of people. You can work for a corporation, a nonprofit organization or for government. This is a part of health care where you can really find your niche.

How did you get your training?

I had never heard about health educator careers until after I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. After three years of working as a lab biologist at a brewery, I went back to school to get my master’s degree.

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