Health and Work: Characterization of the Work Process of the Community Health Workers and the Impacts Upon Their Health

Health and Work: Characterization of the Work Process of the Community Health Workers and the Impacts Upon Their Health


Federal University of Sergipe1

Research Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacy-2d Code

The Health and Work Project has been developed in the field of both the National Program for the Reorientation of the formation of Higher Education Professionals (Pró-Saúde) and the Education Program for the Health Work (Pet-Saúde). The focus was on the Community Health Workers (CHW) that act by means of visits to the families, mediating processes among the Basic Health Unit, the health professionals and the community itself, involving even farther risky areas where the access to the health actions and services is restrict. This study aimed at characterizing the work process of the CHW and the impacts of their actions upon the health of the town of Lagarto-SE. Exploratory, cross-sectional, descriptive study of quantitative and qualitative approaches performed with the CHW, CHW both sexes, of the town of Lagarto-SE. Walton´s questionnaire was applied over the work life quality and a semi-structured interview was conducted. 120 CHW were interviewed, being (77.5 %) female. Regarding educational background, (68.3 %) completed Middle School and (49.2 %) commuted on foot from their houses to their work places. On an average, every CHW was responsible for following up 156 families and (70 %) was rather dissatisfied with the work conditions. Their main complaint was the lack of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and the tiredness the work caused in them (88.3 % and 60.8 %, respectively). Regarding the weekly work load, 27.5 % showed dissatisfaction, once it may interfere in the family life, in the emotional health and in their life quality per se. The CHW made it clear in their speech that their access to health is similar to that of any health system user. The CHW is known as a worker, who plays an important role in the organization of the health actions and is the fundamental element in the management of orientations to the health user, but in their everyday routine, the agents lack professional recognition and structures for a good development, what may lead to professional dissatisfaction and personal interference. The results point to the need of analyzing the CHW´s work process and intervene in the impacts of the actions upon their health, in an attempt to search for life quality at work, what is associated to the effectivity in the offering of actions and services to the community.

Keywords: Community Health Worker, Health Basic Unit, Life Quality

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