Occupational health nurses (OHNs) are registered nurse professionals whose care focuses on the working population. They perform independent work, which means that they do not require orders from other health professionals in performing their job. OHNs most of the time, perform pertinent routine health assessments to check on workers’ health conditions in relation to their tasks which may involve exposure to harmful factors or chemicals. It is the duty of a registered nurse to provide quality health care to the people.
Hazards are commonly present in work areas, and the OHNs also assess the safety and quality of the workers’ working environment. Utilizing their education and practical experience, the recognition and prevention as well as the treatment of injuries and illnesses shall be done in the care of workers.
OHNs actively collaborate with employers in planning health programs that focus on the safety and well-being of employees. Their ideas and opinions on the best type of interventions will be shared as they go on with the planning process, and of course these types of programs should be able to fit the type of business involved, the kind of employees, and the quality of the working environment.
OHNs put into priority the workers’ welfare, and their rights towards safety-related programs and preventive health interventions that are cost-effective. There are a variety of roles that OHNs perform. They may provide care as health educators, case managers, or consultants.
CNMs, along with CMs, collaborate with other health professionals such as physicians. They work closely, hand in hand so that the woman will receive the best care she needs. The care will consist of the preventive type which is provided by the CNMs/CMs, and specialized, more complex services as provided by the physicians.
OHNs can also perform counseling for employee who may experience problems that affect their work performance such as family-related issues, utilizing their therapeutic communication skills, also providing referrals to community resources and doing follow-up care to monitor the progress of the workers’ conditions.
Developing programs that focus on disease management and health education assists and encourages workers in taking active responsibility in managing their health, most especially concerning smoking cessation, physical fitness, daily management of stress, keeping up with a healthy diet, weight control, and efficient utilization of medical services in collaboration with physicians.
OHNs may also contribute in conducting research on the improvement of working conditions, health and hazard statistics, and data collection. They conduct research on the latest trends and the effects of exposure to working hazards on the health state of workers.
Professional groups and organizations have an advantage in hiring occupational health nurses since these professionals contribute extensively to workers’ productivity and help minimize expenses through lowering disability claims, and minimizing the occurrences of job-related injuries and illnesses. The working nurse has a good future ahead of her.