Bakersfield College

Public Health Sciences

Health Navigator Certificate of Achievement

Health Navigator is a health care professional who works as part of a team or health care system to reduce barriers to accessing health care and promoting prevention services. This includes linking patients with a primary health care provider, providing information and resources, helping providers communicate with patients, and providing health education and promoting health behaviors. The Patient Navigator Certificate is a two semester, 24 credit certificate of achievement, which includes a directed learning internship. Coursework is specific to public health field.

There are no prerequisite skills needed prior to enrollment. Embedded in the course work of the certificate of achievement is a directed experience internship. This internship will provide a capstone experience and placement in a public health worksite. The public health field is competitive and requires that participants have a track record of success and can demonstrate knowledge and skills. Positions include but are not limited to patient navigator, community health outreach worker, and non-profit work to working in a school health environment. Salary is often based on years of experience and college units completed.

As a member of the healthcare team, navigators act as a bridge between the team, patients, family and community to improve health outcomes. There are many different roles that a navigator can become the following are examples:

  • Assisting with enrolling individuals into heath care
  • Helping people access health care and services
  • Under supervision of a health care team, increase health education and understanding on how to stay healthy
  • Acting as a Patient Advocate to ensure they are receiving services
  • Promoting the importance of preventive health care and when to use urgent and emergency care
  • Provide case management to ensure individuals are following up with care and receiving services.
  • Provide home visits to access social determinants of health
  • Teach and empower individuals to use the primary health care system and when to use the emergency care system

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, the student will:

  • practice within the code of ethics required with the health education field.
  • use communication strategies that are responsive to the social determinants of health for an individual and/or community. Social determinants include conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, worship, and age that affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-oflife outcomes and risks.
  • implement health education plans to promote healthy behaviors, address health risks and reduce harm.
  • work with clients to facilitate access to resources and increase the clients’ ability to navigate the health care system.

To Achieve the Certificate of Achievement

Upon successful completion of the core requirements with a ‘C’ grade or better in each course, the student will be awarded a Certificate of Achievement.

Total Units: 24

Required Courses

Course # Name Units
PBHS 20 Introduction to Public Health 3.0
PBHS 21 Contemporary Health Concerns 3.0
MEDS 35 Lifespan Development** 3.0
COMM B9 Health Communication 3.0
PBHS 22 Drugs Health and Society 3.0
PBHS 23 Health and Social Justice 3.0
HEIT 25 Healthcare Reimbursement 3.0
PBHS B48WE Occupational Work Experience Education/Internship 3.0