Partners’ Free Community Health Worker Training Classes

This training program is ideal for anyone, including those in the social care field seeking to expand their knowledge in one or more subject areas. Available online in English and Spanish (by mid-2024), and it is asynchronous, with required in-person zoom discussion groups and deep dives, which allow for flexibility to learn on your own schedule, within a defined timeframe.

Lesson Modules to Choose From

MODULE 1—INTRODUCTION TO COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER

1-1: Who are Community Health Workers?

1-2: Community Health in Context

1-3: Insurance, Benefits and Resources

1-4: Community Health Worker Care Coordination Process

MODULE 2—COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE BASE

2-1: Health and Chronic Conditions

2-2: Medication Adherence

2-3: Social Risks and Social Needs 

2-4: Caregiving

2-5: Stress and Trauma 

2-6: Mental Health and Substance Use 

2-7: Memory Loss

2-8: Grief and Resilience

MODULE 3—COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER FOUNDATIONAL SKILLS

3-1: Education Skills

3-2: Advocacy Skills

3-3: Communication and Engagement 

3-4: Boundaries and Self-Care Skills 

3-5: Conflict Resolution Skills

3-6: Crisis Intervention Skills

MODULE 4—COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKER BEST PRACTICES 

4-1: Care Team Dynamics

4-2: Field Work and Home Visits

4-3: Telephonic Care

4-4: Community Health Workers’ Code of Ethics

4-5: Safety, Risk and Privacy

CHW Training Course Descriptions

Community health worker (CHW) is an umbrella term describing public health and/or social service workers who are close to and serve members of the community by helping them to adopt healthy behaviors. CHWs share similarities with the community members they serve such as ethnicity, language, culture, socioeconomic status, values, and life experiences.

These 23 training courses will help learners enhance their knowledge and improve occupational skills to prepare them for the workforce.

Who are Community Health Workers?

This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing overarching background information regarding the variety of roles and responsibilities of CHWs.

Advocacy Skills

A key component of the work that CHWs engage in is providing advocacy for the individuals they work with. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by exploring the various approaches to advocacy on the individual level (advocating for an individual’s preferences or needs, helping to navigate barriers within healthcare systems, and referring to legal services, etc.) and on a systems level (leveraging research, lobbying, community organizing, providing outreach towards policy change and strengthening local advocacy efforts).

Caregivers

In addition to working with individuals who have complex healthcare needs, Community Health Workers often work with the individuals’ family caregivers. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing an overview of the role of the family caregivers and how the CHW can provide the caregivers with support in order to better support the client.

Care Team Dynamics

Advocates for the increased use of Community Health Workers in the health care continuum generally believe that CHWs are most effective when they are fully integrated into multidisciplinary care teams, have access to their patients’ health records, take part in case conferencing, and actively participating in the development care plans. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by discussing how CHWs can be integrated into and interact with the larger care team.

Communication & Engagement Skills

Throughout the course of their work, Community Health Workers must utilize effective communication and engagement skills. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by describing the three main skills required to achieve effective communication and engagement with patients: building rapport, active listening, and responding to challenging statements.

Community Health Worker Care Coordination Process

This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing a basic overview of the typical care coordination process a Community Health Worker engages in as they manage a case that has been assigned to them—from the initial engagement with the patient, through the care coordination process, and the termination of a case.

Community Health Workers’ Code of Ethics

Due to the importance and seriousness of the work that they engage in, it is crucial for CHWs to have a working understanding of the ethical issues that will arise during the course of their work and the ethical guidelines that they are expected to follow. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by discussing the Community Health Worker Code of Ethics which is based on and supported by the core values adopted by the American Association of Community Health Workers and provides a framework for CHWs, their supervisors, and the care team to discuss ethical issues that arise in the course of work. It is the responsibility of all CHWs to strive for excellence by providing quality service and the most accurate information available to individuals, families, and communities.

Community Health in Context

This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by introducing foundational information regarding the various systems within the United States’ health care system that influence health outcomes and quality of life of diverse communities.

Conflict Resolution Skills

Due to the nature of the work, CHWs often find themselves in situations where conflict arises; This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by addressing conflict through the role of a CHW and discuss concrete skills for dealing with conflict when it arises, either when working with patients or with colleagues.

Crisis Intervention

One of the challenges CHWs may encounter is the need for crisis intervention. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by reviewing types of crises CHWs are likely to encounter and providing the best practices and appropriate ways to respond to a crisis within the scope of the CHW work.

Education Skills

A key component of the work that CHWs engage in is providing patient education to the individuals they work with. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by exploring the informational resources that are available to CHWs and specific techniques CHWs use to disseminate health education to their clients without overstepping the bounds of the patient-CHW relationship.

Field Work and Home Visits  

A common, and important, aspect of the work that Community Health workers engage in involves fieldwork and conducting home visits. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing an overview of the typical processes and protocols that CHWs follow while conducting field work and home visits as a community health worker. These processes and protocols are important, both for providing patients with the best care possible and for keeping the CHW safe while in the field.

Grief and Resilience

While working with individuals who are experiencing complex medical conditions and all of the stress that comes along with navigating the health care systems, it is important for Community Health Workers to understand the grief process and the internal resilience that individuals use to persevere. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by exploring the concept of resilience and techniques CHWs can use to help their clients understand their own grief and build their own resilience.

Health and Chronic Conditions

Community Health Workers often work with individuals who have healthcare needs and/or chronic conditions that require either short-term or on-going care management. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing very basic information regarding some of a the more common conditions, their causes and more importantly, what interventions CHWs use to help address their clients’ needs.

Insurance, Government Funded Benefits and Programs, and Community Resources 

In their roles across the care continuum, Community Health Workers often assist clients in navigating various healthcare and social services. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing an overview of health insurance, government-funded benefits and programs, and other community resources that are important to be aware of in order to effectively help people of all ages navigate care and to increase access to resources.

Medication Adherence

Community Health Workers often work with individuals who have complex healthcare needs and/or chronic conditions and need assistance with medication management. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing background information regarding medication adherence and the risks involved in non-adherence.

Memory Loss

Due to a myriad of reasons, individuals that CHWs work may experience memory loss which can result in the individual having difficulties with managing their health and can impact health care outcomes and quality of life. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing general information regarding the causes and signs of memory loss as well as how the CHW can provide support around memory loss.

Mental Health and Substance Use

The individuals that CHWs work may have a history of mental health or substance use issues which can impact both their emotional and healthcare outcomes. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing general information regarding mental health and substance use, exploring the role mental health and substance use plays in health care.

Privacy, Safety, and Risk Management

Unfortunately, privacy, safety, and risk issues do occur in the field of healthcare, including in community health work. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by discussing the expectations for reducing, mitigating, and addressing these risks and occurrences within the scope of the CHW work.

Professional Boundaries and Self Care

The work that CHWs engage in can be challenging for many reasons and in order to provide the best care possible, it is crucial for CHWs to understand these challenges and practice effective “self-care.”  This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by exploring the personal rules or limits that CHWs follows in order to maintain reasonable, safe, and permissible relationships with their clients as well as how to respond when a client pushes those limits.

Social Risk Factors and Social Needs

This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing foundational information on how an individual’s social context, living conditions and social determinants of health can impact their healthcare outcomes and quality of life. 

Stress and Trauma

The individuals that CHWs work with often have a history of experiencing stressors such as trauma and grief which can impact both their emotional and physical well-being. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by providing foundational information regarding the impact that stress can have on the individual, how to identify when a client is experiencing undue stress and how the CHW can provide their clients with support in order to help improve their healthcare outcomes and quality of life.

Telephonic Care

Traditionally, CHWs have worked with their patients primarily within in-person settings (home visits, at hospitals, in clinics, etc.); however, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many CHW programs have adapted to include telehealth visits to help address the challenges raised by the pandemic. This on-line course will help prepare the learner for work as an entry level Community Health Worker by discussing the techniques CHWs use to provide services appropriately, effectively, and ethically via telehealth as well as the specific challenges that are likely to arise while using telehealth.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please email our team at trainingsupport@picf.org.