Many institutions and companies devoted much in making sure that their staff and other personnel are safe especially at work. This is one of the most important responsibilities of various employers as well as protecting the rights of their employees. Thus, having an occupational health nurse plays a vital role in preventing accidents and fostering a safe and ideal work environment.
What is an occupational health nurse?
Occupational health nurses or OHNs are RNs who work independently in a certain workplace to make sure that general well-being and safety of the employees are maintained.
Duties of occupational health nurse
- An occupational health nurse is responsible in maintaining the health records of each employee. They monitor employee with their exposure on any hazardous chemicals and undertake non-statutory and statutory health surveillance.
- Occupational health nurses should also undertake in the employees attendance management.
- They are responsible in developing work strategies and alleviate serious injuries that may happen in the workplace. OHN nurses also advise regarding some disability issues in their workplace and advice employers on ways to achieve the compliance in terms of safety and health including employment legislation.
- Occupational health nurses should keep themselves up to date regarding professional and legal changes that are associated in occupational health along with public health and safety. The work in a multidisciplinary team and assess the work environment for any potential hazards on safety and health problems.
- OHN nurses develop policies relating to health and safety and are responsible in developing, designing and delivering initiatives in health promotion. They also conduct health assessments and deliver training pertaining to health and safety programs.
Condition of work
Occupational health nurse provide a routine appraisal on their work environment. They ensure that the workplace is safe for everyone and the health needs of each employee are met.
In order to become an occupational health nurse, it is essential to obtain an undergraduate nursing degree including a successful completion to become a registered nurse. A license in the particular state is also important to practice the RN profession. After obtaining the license, a COHN certification should be presented to the employer which is issued by the American Board for Occupational Health Nursing.
Occupation and Progress
According to United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for registered nurse including OHN nurses are expected to increase starting from 2006 to 2016. The average annual salary for OHN nurse is around $57,000. Salaries also vary depending on the education obtained, specialized field taken and number of work experience.