Occupational health nurses
In the Sept/Oct edition of Safeguard magazine we pose three questions based on stories in the magazine. One of them is this:
Occupational health nurses report they are not being used to their full potential. How best to better utilise the talents and experience of this practitioner group?
Feel free to respond here on the Forum, or privately
via a Survey Monkey form.
An edited selection of responses will be published in the Nov/Dec edition, but with no names attached. One randomly selected person will receive a prize, namely a copy of the new book
The Practice of Learning Teams
I guess it is for the nurses to discern from us the problems they can help solve.
In the mean time I use them for the problems I know about.
what a great questions particularly as the world scrambles for facts, science and how to manage the social and people aspects of this global pandemic and from all of that, one of the things we understand is the importance of right people/profession for the job or it can all just end a mess !
Occupational health nurses are skilled, evidence based, trained to interact with people at a high level the complexities of workplace health. We (ohn's ) need to step up, be seen, be heard, showcase what we do, listen to business as what they need from us and most of all deliver results. Hey team of 5 million tell us what you need !!!
Wendy. We don't know what we don't know.
In my experience OHN's are largely used for health monitoring and not much else. I would love to hear more form OHN's about what they can offer. Some areas I think business I have worked with could utilise them to add more value could be:
Health promotion programs
Injury prevention programs
Involvement in change management (advising on health considerations and implications)
Educating employees about work-related health risks and controls
Return to work plans
I bet there are heaps more!
I have also seen some excellent OHNs who filled the gap left when workplaces no longer had someone in the role of chaplain. The OHN was trusted sounding board who could do things like encourage use of EAP services and direct someone having difficulties to get some help and get things resolved. I am certain the OHN also headed off a number of injury claims by organising early intervention strategies, as well as scolding the person who was not taking the required actions to support healing when they were experiencing OOS. I am thinking of one in particular who was exceptional.
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