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Occupational Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 2

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OHA’s can contribute by helping managers to manage sickness absence more effectively. The nurse may be engaged in assisting to coach line managers and supervisors in how exactly to best utilize the OH service, in how exactly to refer staff, what sort of information will be required, what to anticipate from occupational health. By developing transparent referral procedures, ensuring that medical confidentiality is maintained and that the workers’rights are respected the OHA can perform much to ensure that employees referred for assessment as a result of sickness absence are confident with the process BIOHM Health Super Greens Powder.

OH nurses, using their close relationship with workers, knowledge of the working environment and trends in ill-health in the business tend to be in a great position to advise management on preventing sickness absence. In my experience referral to General Practitioners have a small use for work related issues, and gain best results by as well as keeping the GP aware, talking about a specialist occupational physician.

Planned rehabilitation strategies, can help to ensure safe return to work for employees who have been absent from work as a result of ill-health or injury. The nurse is frequently the main element person in the rehabilitation programme who will, with the manager and individual employee, complete a risk assessment, devise the rehabilitation programme, monitor progress and communicate with the patient, the OH physician and the line manager. Nurses also have become involved in introducing proactive rehabilitation strategies that make an effort to detect early changes in health before such conditions bring about absence from work. Improving and sustaining working ability benefits many groups, the patient, the corporation and society, as costly absence and other health care costs are avoided.

Oftentimes the OH nurse must work within the corporation because the clients advocate so as ensuring that managers appreciate fully the worth of improving the healthiness of the workforce. OH nurses have the skills essential to undertake this work and may develop regions of special interest.

The occupational health nurse may develop pro-active strategies to simply help the workforce maintain or restore their work ability. New workers, older workers, women returning to work following pregnancy or workers who have been unemployed for a prolonged time frame may all benefit from health advice or even a planned programme of work hardening exercises to simply help maintain or restore their work ability even before any health issues arise. Increasingly the problems faced by industry are of a psychosocial nature and these can be even more complex and costly to deal with. OH nurses, working at the business level, are in a great position to give advice to management on strategies which can be adopted to boost the psycho-social health and wellbeing of workers.

Health and safety

The OHA can have a part to play in developing health and safety strategies. Where large, or high risk, organizations have their very own in-house health and safety specialists the OHA could work closely with these specialists to ensure that the nurses expertise in health, risk assessment, health surveillance and environmental health management is fully utilized into medical and safety strategy. Occupational health nurses are trained in health and safety legislation, risk management and the control of workplace health hazards and can therefore create a useful contribution to the overall management of health and safety at the office, with particular increased exposure of’health’risk assessment.

Hazard identification

The nurse often has close connection with the workers and knows changes to the working environment. Because of the nurses expertise in the effects of work with health they’re in a great position to be engaged in hazard identification. Hazards may arise as a result of new processes or working practices or may arise out of informal changes to existing processes and working practices that the nurse can readily identify and assess the likely risk from. This activity requires and pre-supposed regular and frequent work place visits by the occupational health nurse to steadfastly keep up an current knowledge and awareness of working processes and practices.

Risk assessment

Legislation in Europe is increasingly being driven with a risk management approach. OHA’s are trained in risk assessment and risk management strategies and, depending upon their amount of expertise and the amount of complexity mixed up in risk assessment, the nurse can undertake risk assessments or contribute towards the danger assessment working closely with other specialists.

Suggestions about control strategies

Having been mixed up in hazard identification and risk assessment the occupational health nurse can, within the limits of these education and training, provide advice and home elevators appropriate control strategies, including health surveillance, risk communication, monitoring and on the evaluation of control strategies.

Research and the utilization of evidence based practice

Specialist OHA’s utilize research findings from the wide range of disciplines, including nursing, toxicology, psychology, environmental health and public health in their daily practice. The principal requirement for an occupational health nurse in practice is that they have the skills to see and critically assess research findings from these different disciplines and to be able to incorporate the findings into evidence based approach for their practice. Research in nursing has already been well established and there’s a tiny, but growing, body of evidence being created by occupational health nursing researchers who investigate occupational health nursing practices. OHA’s should ensure that they have use of and the skills essential to base their practice on the very best available evidence. At the business level occupational health nurses may be engaged in producing management reports on for example sickness absence trends, accident statistics, assessment of health promotion needs and in evaluating the delivery of services, the effectiveness of occupational health interventions. Research skills and the ability to transfer knowledge and information from published research to practice is a significant facet of the role.

Ethics

OHA’s, along with other health, environment and safety professionals in the workplace health team, are in a privileged position in society. They have use of personal and medical information associated with employees in the business that will not be available to every other group. Society has imposed, by law, additional responsibilities on clinical professionals to safeguard and safeguard the interest of patients. The ethical standards for every discipline are set and enforced by each of the professional bodies. Breaches of the codes of conduct may result in the professional being taken from the register and prevented for practicing. Nurses have an extended and well-respected tradition in society of upholding the trust put into them by patients. This amount of rely upon the occupational health nurse’s professional integrity ensures that employees feel that they’ll be open, honest and share information with the nurse in the confidence that the data will not be useful for other purposes. This enables the nurse to practice much more effectively than would ever be possible if that trust wasn’t there. The protection of personal information enables a respected relationship between employees and the nurse to be developed and facilitates optimum working relationships and partnership. The International Commission on Occupational Health (ICOH) has published useful guidance on ethics for occupational health professionals ‘. This guidance is summarized below “Occupational Health Practice should be performed according to the highest professional standards and ethical principles. Occupational health professionals must serve medical and social wellbeing of the workers, individually and collectively. In addition they subscribe to environmental and community health the obligations of occupational health professionals include protecting the life span and the healthiness of the worker, respecting human dignity and promoting the greatest ethical principles in occupational health policies and programs. Integrity in professional conduct, impartiality and the protection of confidentiality of health data and the privacy of workers are part of the obligations. Occupational health professionals are experts who must enjoy full professional independence in the execution of these functions. They should acquire and maintain the competence essential for their duties and require conditions which allow them to carry out their tasks according to good practice and professional ethics.”