Occupational Health Nurses are registered general nurses who observe and assess worker’s health statuses with respect to job tasks and hazards. Using specialised experience and education, these nurses recognise and prevent workplace hazardous exposures and treat workers’ injuries/illnesses.
These Nurses bring their nursing expertise to all industries including meat packing, manufacturing, construction and health.
They have special knowledge of workplace hazards and understand industrial hygiene principles of engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment. OHN’s also have knowledge of toxicology and epidemiology as related to the employee and the workplace.
Occupational Health Nurse Duties:
Observation and assessment of both the worker and the work environment
Interpretation and evaluation of the worker’s medical and occupational history, subjective complaints, and physical examination, screening tests, industrial hygiene and personal exposure monitoring values
Appraisal of the workplace environment for potential hazards or exposures
Management of occupational and non-occupational illness and injury
In Ireland, an Occupational Health Nurse should have:
Registration with An Bord Altranais.
A recognised Occupational Health qualification which could be:
A Certificate in Safety Health & Welfare at Work.
A Diploma in Safety Health & Welfare at Work.
A Diploma in Health and Hygiene.
A Degree in Occupational Health Nursing.
BSc in Occupational Safety & Health Management.
BSc in Occupational Safety & Health.
Masters in Applied Science (Safety Health & Welfare at Work).
MSc in Health and Hygiene.
The Occupational Health Nurses Association of Ireland (OHNAI) is a national body for Nurses who work either as individual practitioners or team members in a workplace setting. It’s main role is developing educational pathways for these Nurses in Ireland through meetings, conferences, newsletters and other correspondences.
These nurses are mainly responsible for the healthcare at the work place. The standards of their professional education and training have been raised. They are the major players in delivering high quality services to the working populations across the globe. They work independently or as part of a team are at the frontline in offering the high quality services to the work force. Lot of changes are coming into effect to the discipline due to the new demands and expectations from the employers, employees and their representative bodies as they recognise the economic, health and social benefits offered by occupational health services.
To be successful in the position of this nurse function you need to have a relevant qualification and expertise in this field. They have a lot of opportunities existing across the globe.