This research discusses the profile and education of the community health agents. There is no clarity about the kind of professional needed and the appropriate training to the fulfillment of the function. The research is a case study with exploratory methodology and qualitative approach. The data was collected with a focused group, formed by ten agents, intentional selected from those with more time in service in Family Health Strategy teams from the municipality of Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul State. The discussions were recorded and transcribed by the researcher. The data was interpreted by content analysis. The results pointed to some important questions concerning the identity of the community health agents: integration on the health team, insertion in the community, profile and education. The profile which emerges from the research, is not different from the one proposed by the Ministry of Health. However, the difference is the professionalization, an initiative assumed by the agent, guided by reality, which he faces in his activity. The gaps, perceived in his formation, cause the agent to construct his professional identity, determined more by the technical aspect of the scientific knowledge than by his social competence as a community agent.
Family health strategy; Community health agent; Health team; Community; Profile; Formation; Professionalize