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Occupational Health Nurse

Job Description


Occupational health nurses (OHN) are responsible for evaluating the potential health and safety risks of workers.

These are licensed registered nurses who are trained to assess the potential for harm at workplaces from hazardous substances or physical dangers, and they are also equipped to treat illnesses and injuries.

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Responsibilities

 

Occupational health nurses work with business owners to ensure that the workplace will be as safe as possible.

Programs will be designed according to the type of work being done, the people working at the particular locale, and the requirements of the community and environment.

The primary concern of the OHN is to assure that the workplace is safe by helping to institute cost-effective and preventive-orientated safety programs.

One of the more diverse of the nursing disciplines, OHNs can function as consultants, managers, case workers, or clinicians.

Their duties will involve:

  • Emergency preparedness and disaster planning

  • Environmental concerns

  • Disease management

  • Employee medical treatment

  • Emergency care for any injuries or illnesses that take place at work

OHNs also assist with worker rehabilitation after an accident and will advise about community resources that may be available.

Because a worker’s health does not stop at the workplace door, OHNs are happy to provide workers with information about taking more responsibility for their own lives, such as good eating habits, the best use of available medical services, and curtailing the use of tobacco, alcohol, and other mood changing substances.

Occupational health nurses research the effects of any potential workplace hazards that might have a deleterious effect on workers’ families and the community at large.

It has been found that organizations that hire OHNs can actually reduce their operating costs since disability claims, worker injuries, and absenteeism are reduced, while the safety, health, and satisfaction of the workers rises.

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Skills

 

Physical Endurance

OHNs work on their feet all the time and need to be able to respond quickly to situations as they arise.

Stress Management

They must manage the stress and pressure that comes with their job.

Empathy

Being able to relate to patients on an emotional level and understand what they go through is super important for nurses because they are a primary contact for patients.

Organization

Must be able to situate tasks and documents so as not to mix up records or medications.

Communication

They must mediate between patients, their families and doctors, so they have to communicate clearly and relay information at a high level.

Patience

Becoming a nurse and advancing in the field takes time, so it's important to take it slow and easy and save yourself a ton of anxiety.

Detail-Oriented

OHNs have a ton of tasks they must perform, so they have to pay attention when they are multitasking to avoid error.

Critical Thinking

Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.

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Working Conditions


You can find occupational health nurses in a wide range of career slots, such as an educator in a classroom, a consultant for businesses, corporate director, or as a clinician.

In most cases, being an OHN is a Monday to Friday job, with only minimal chances for working outside of regular hours.

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Salary Outlook