What Is A Occupational Health Nurse?
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Occupational health nursing is a subspecialty of nursing that focuses on the delivery of health and safety programs and services to the nursing staff, worker populations, and professional associations. Occupational health nurses are occasionally referred to as environmental and occupational health nurses (OHNs). Occupational health nurses are responsible with the promotion and restoration of health, the prevention of illness and injury, and the protection of workers from workplace and environmental dangers. OHNs use their knowledge of health and business to create a safe, secure, and healthy work environment while also sustaining a company’s financial line.
Occupational Health Nursing: Becoming an Occupational Health Nurse
In certain sectors, a trained occupational health nurse is responsible for the health and safety of workers. Registered nurses (RNs) with experience in community health care, ambulatory or critical care, or emergency nursing are generally employed as occupational health nurses. OHNs often earn a four-year nursing degree and get experience as occupational health nurses before entering the sector.
What Educational Requirements Are Required For Occupational Health Nurses?
To work as an occupational nurse, you must first obtain your registered nurse license (RN). To become an RN, you must complete either an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree (BSN). Once you have earned your BSN or ADN, you are able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, which must be passed in order to become a registered nurse. Certain occupational health nurses will be certified nurse practitioners who hold a master’s degree in nursing (MSN). Occupational health nurses who are nurse practitioners (NPs) can serve as corporate nurses, clinical nurses, clinical nurse managers, as well as nurse educators and nurse consultants. Numerous occupational health nurses have additional degrees in fields such as public health and business. Additionally, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health offers field training for trained occupational health nurses (NIOSH).
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
The American Board for Occupational Health Nurses also referred to as (ABOHN). certifies occupational health nurses. To become a certified occupational health nurse, you must first be a fully licensed registered nurse while having at least 3,000 hours of work experience in the occupational health sector within the last five years, or possess a graduate level occupational health degree. The final stage in this process is to take and pass the certification examination.
Where Do Occupational Health Nurses Usually Work?
Occupational health nurses (OHNs) have a wide variety of roles. Clinicians, educators, case managers, consultants, and corporate managers are all examples of OHNs. While some occupational health nurses will remain in hospital settings to assist in the development and implementation of safety procedures, the majority will seek employment outside of traditional medical facilities, designing structured security protocols and healthy living guidelines for a variety of organizations across the country. OHNs may work in a specific office or independently in private practice.
What Is the Role of an Occupational Health Nurse?
When an employee asserts that an illness or injury occurred on the job, an occupational health nurse (OHN) will conduct an investigation into the incident’s circumstances. They may examine an employee’s medical records to evaluate whether the injury or sickness was caused by a danger inherent in the job environment. Additionally, these nurses are capable of administering drug and alcohol testing and conducting investigations into the other potential causes of workplace accidents. OHNs are frequently necessary for claims involving workers’ compensation and medical insurance. In some situations, occupational health nurses assess new and prospective employees to ensure they are capable of performing the tasks of the role.
What Are the Occupational Health Nurse’s Responsibilities and Duties?
The OHN’s responsibilities have significantly increased to include a broad range of job functions, including (but not limited to) the following:
- Taking care of injuries
- Medication administration
- Physical examinations
- Conducting rehabilitative therapy following specific types of accidents
- Examinations of vision
- Hearing examinations
- Screenings for drugs or alcohol
- Counseling employees with physical and mental health concerns and directing them to community resources and employee assistance programs
- Managing the coordination and delivery of services and programs
- Counseling employees with physical and mental health issues and directing them to community resources and employee assistance programs
- Serving as a gatekeeper for a variety of healthcare services, including rehabilitation and disability-related issues
- Maintaining a record of all workplace injuries and illnesses
- Conducting research on the consequences of occupational exposures and compiling data on health and safety hazards
- Treating employees’ injuries and illnesses, including follow-ups and referrals
- Supervising and implementing emergency preparedness and response plans and planning
- Developing disease preventive initiatives such as smoking cessation, physical activity, and healthy eating
Salary and Employment for Occupational Health Nurses
In the United States, the occupational health nursing profession is one of the fastest expanding. By 2022, the job prognosis for OHNs indicates a growth rate of roughly 19 percent. OHNs are becoming more in demand as businesses prioritize the need to protect themselves from lawsuits and to avoid workplace illness and injury.
Salary ranges for occupational health nurses range from $49,000 to $87,000 per year, with a median yearly income of $69,000, according to salary.guide. Geographic location has a substantial impact on the salary of occupational health nurses, as does their level of experience.