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Work Health: Core Areas of Knowledge and Competence, Part 2

OHA’s can contribute by helping administrators to manage sickness absence more effectively. The nurse may be involved in helping to train line administrators and supervisors in how to best use the ALSO service, in how to refer staff, what type of information Sildenax Funciona Mesmo will be required, what to expect from work health. By developing transparent affiliate procedures, ensuring that medical secrecy is maintained and that the workers’ protection under the law are respected the OHA can do much to ensure that employees referred for assessment due to sickness absence are comfortable with the process.

ALSO nurses, with their close relationship with workers, familiarity with the working environment and trends in ill-health in the company are often in a good position to advise management on preventing sickness absence. In my opinion affiliate to General Practitioners have a limited use for work related issues, and gain best results by as well as keeping the DOCTOR aware, referring to a specialist work physician.

Planned treatment strategies, can help to ensure safe come back to work for employees who have been absent from work due to ill-health or injury. The nurse is often the key person in the treatment programme that will, with the manager and individual employee, complete a risk assessment, prepare the treatment programme, monitor progress and communicate with the individual, the ALSO physician and the line manager. Nurses have likewise get involved in introducing aggressive treatment strategies that try to detect early changes in health before such conditions result in absence from work. Improving and preserving working ability benefits many groups, the individual, the business and society, as costly absence and other health care costs are avoided.

In many cases the ALSO nurse has to work within the organization as the clients advocate in order ensuring that administrators appreciate fully the value of improving the healthiness of the employees. ALSO nurses have the skills necessary to undertake this work and may develop areas of special interest.

The work health nurse may develop pro-active strategies to help the employees maintain or restore their work ability. New workers, older workers, women returning to work following pregnancy or workers who have been jobless for a prolonged period of time may all benefit from health advice or a planned programme of work hardening exercises to help maintain or restore their work ability even before any health problems arise. Increasingly the difficulties faced by industry are of a psychosocial nature and these can be even more complex and costly to deal with. ALSO nurses, working at the company level, are in a good position to give advice to management on strategies that can be used to improve the psycho-social wellness of workers.

Safe practices

The OHA can have a job to play in developing safe practices strategies. Where large, or risky, organizations have their own in-house safe practices specialists the OHA can work closely with one of these specialists to ensure that the nurses expertise in health, risk assessment, health monitoring and environmental health management is fully utilized into the safe practices strategy. Work health nurses are competed in safe practices legislation, risk management and the control of workplace health risks and can therefore make a useful contribution to the overall management of safe practices at work, with particular increased exposure of ‘health’ risk assessment.

Risk to safety identification

The nurse often has close contact with the workers and recognizes changes to the working environment. Because of the nurses expertise in the effects of work on health they are in a good position to be involved in risk to safety identification. Hazards may arise due to new processes or working practices or may arise out of informal changes to existing processes and working practices that the nurse can readily identify and assess the likely risk from. This activity requires and pre-supposed regular and frequent place of work visits by the work health nurse to maintain an up to date knowledge and knowing of working processes and practices.

Risk assessment

Legislation in Europe is increasingly being driven by a risk management approach. OHA’s are competed in risk assessment and risk management strategies and, dependant on their level of expertise and the quality of intricacy active in the risk assessment, the nurse can undertake risk tests or contribute towards the risk assessment working closely with other specialists.

Advice on control strategies

Having been active in the risk to safety identification and risk assessment the work health nurse can, within the limits of their education and training, provide advice and information on appropriate control strategies, including health monitoring, risk communication, monitoring and on the evaluation of control strategies.

Research and the use of evidence based practice

Specialist OHA’s utilize research findings from a wide range of disciplines, including nursing, toxicology, mindsets, environmental health and public health in their daily practice. The key dependence on an work health nurse in practice is they may have the skills to see and critically assess research findings from these different disciplines and to be able to incorporate the findings into evidence based approach to their practice. Research in nursing has already been well established and there is a small, but growing, body of evidence being created by work health nursing researchers who investigate work health nursing practices. OHA’s should ensure they may have access to and the skills necessary to base their practice on the best available evidence. At the company level work health nurses may be involved in producing management reports on for example sickness absence trends, accident statistics, assessment of health promotion needs and in evaluating the delivery of services, the effectiveness of work health interventions. Research skills and the ability to transfer knowledge and information from published research to practice is an important factor of the role.

Life values

OHA’s, along with other health, environment and safety professionals at work health team, are in a lucky position in society. They have access to personal and medical information relating to employees in the company that would not be around to any other group. Society has charged, legally, additional responsibilities on clinical professionals to protect and safeguard the interest of patients. The honourable standards for each discipline are set and forced by all the professional bodies. Breaches of these codes of conduct can lead to the professional being taken off the register and avoided for practicing. Nurses have a long and well-respected tradition in society of upholding the trust put in them by patients. This level of trust in the work health nurse’s professional integrity means that employees feel that they can most probably, honest and share information with the nurse in the confidence that the information will not be used for other purposes. This permits the nurse to practice much more effectively than would ever be possible if that trust was not there. The protection of private information enables a dependable relationship between employees and the nurse to be developed and facilitates optimum working relationships and partnership. The International Commission on Work Health (ICOH) has published useful assistance with life values for work health professionals’. This guidance is made clear below “Occupational Health Practice must be performed according to the highest professional standards and honourable principles. Work doctors must serve the health and social wellbeing of the workers, individually and collectively. They also contribute to environmental and community health the obligations of work doctors include protecting the life span and the healthiness of the worker, respecting human dignity and promoting the highest honourable principles in work health policies and programs. Integrity in professional conduct, impartiality and the protection of secrecy of health data and the privacy of workers are part of these obligations. Work doctors are experts who must enjoy full professional independence in the performance of their functions. The doctor has to acquire and look after the competence required for their duties and require conditions which permit them to use their tasks according to good practice and professional life values.

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