Keys to Successful Community Health Worker Supervision
Authors: Duthie, Patricia; Hahn, Janet S; Philippi, Evelyn; Sanchez, Celeste
Source: American Journal of Health Education, 1 January 2012, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 62-64(3)
Abstract:For many years community health workers (CHW) have been important to the implementation of many of our health system's community health interventions. Through this experience, we have recognized some unique challenges in community health worker supervision and have highlighted what we have learned in order to help other organizations effectively employ CHWs. We have identified seven keys to successful community health worker supervision: (1) Advocate for CHWs; (2) Recruit thoughtfully; (3) Develop field sensitivity; (4) Trust and respect the CHW; (5) Clarify boundaries and scope of practice; (6) Develop structure, but be flexible; and (7) Encourage continued learning. Effective supervision can improve and support the abilities of the CHW as he or she helps clients cope with life's challenges. When the CHW's cultural and interpersonal strengths are combined with effective supervision and support, they become a vital member of the health care team.
Document Type: Short Communication