Picture of Dr. Jeff Lynn, author of the blog articleGuest blog by Jeff Lynn, PhD, NBC-HWC.  Dr. Lynn is a Fellow of the Institute of Coaching and the architect of the Health and Wellness Coaching Certificate Program as well as the Director of the Health Promotion and Wellness Track of the Doctor of Philosophy in Health Sciences.

Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) is taking the lead in Health & Wellness Coach (HWC) education with a new certificate as well as a new program at the master’s level. There is a rapid evolution in clinical healthcare, wellness promotion, education, and sports, of employing coaches to help patients, workers, students, and athletes to adjust mindset and adopt sustainable behavior change. In fact, the field is growing so fast, that there aren’t enough well-qualified coaches to meet the growing demand. RMUoHP to the rescue!

Coaches & Coach Educators for the Future

RMUoHP’s brand new Health & Wellness Coaching Certificate and track of the Master of Health Science (MSHS) program will join the existing Health Promotion & Wellness track of the Health Sciences Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program as the best quality education for successful coaches and coach educators for the future. The programs have earned “Pending Approval” status through the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching so students may sit for the exam to become a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC). The University anticipates, in the future, the “Health & Wellness Coach” title will be reserved for only those with the NBC-HWC credential. After the first group of students finishes the program (August 2019), “Pending Approval” will change to “Approved”.   

Where is Growth Happening?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2018) foresees a growing need for HWCs in the workplace, which is supported by thousands of new coaching hires last year alone. Additionally, the American Medical Association (n.d.) declared that best practice in medicine is a team-based care model that includes health coaching. Meanwhile, universities are rapidly adding Health & Wellness Coaches to the payroll to reduce burnout, aid retention, and support wellness development of students (Devine, Houssemand, and Meyers, 2013). Sports teams are also using “mindset coaches” to help players get the most from themselves.  For example, Mark Campbell, RMUoHP Health Promotion and Wellness PhD doctoral candidate, is the Director of Mental Conditioning for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball.

Why is Growth Happening?

For decades, professionals have been successfully prescribing effective doses of exercises, therapies, healthy diets, et cetera. Yet, it can be incredibly frustrating when clients and patients just don’t do the work. Now, there is clear and compelling science demonstrating that “Coaching” is the most effective, evidence-based approach for helping people get unstuck and adopt sustainable positive behavior change. The caveat is, however, that the coaching must be done using a specific application of behavior change science.  We have developed strong programs blending understanding science with application of coaching skills.

So, whether looking to launch a career as a Health & Wellness Coach, upgrade your existing skills, or create new opportunities, RMUoHP has the program for you!

References

American Medical Association. (n.d.) Coaching in medical education: a faculty handbook. Retrieved from https://www.ama-assn.org/education/accelerating-change-medical-education/coaching-medical-education-faculty-handbook

Devine, M., Houssemand, C., and Meyers, R. (2013). How can coaching make a positive impact within educational settings?. Procedia -Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 1382-1389. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.048

United States Department of Labor. (2018). Health educators and community health workers. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/health-educators.htm