Occupational health nursing

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Occupational health nursing is a specialty nursing practice that provides for and delivers health and safety programs and services to workers, worker populations, and community groups. The practice focuses on promotion, maintenance and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury, and protection from work‐related and environmental hazards. Occupational health nurses (OHNs) aim to combine knowledge of health and business to balance safe and healthful work environments and a "healthy" bottom line. [1]

Nursing activity within the health care sector

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has shaped the public image of nurses as care providers. However, nurse practitioners are permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings. Since the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.

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In the United States

As of 2012, there were approximately 19,000 occupational health nurses in the US. [2] Occupational health nurse training in the U.S. is supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health through the NIOSH Education and Research Centers.[ citation needed ]

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health United States government agency for preventing work-related health and safety problems

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

NIOSH Education and Research Centers are multidisciplinary centers supported by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health for education and research in the field of occupational health. Through the centers, NIOSH supports academic degree programs, research, continuing education, and outreach. The ERCs, distributed in regions across the United States, establish academic, labor, and industry research partnerships. The research conducted at the centers is related to the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) established by NIOSH.

See also

Related Research Articles

Occupational Safety and Health Act (United States)

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 is a US labor law governing the federal law of occupational health and safety in the private sector and federal government in the United States. It was enacted by Congress in 1970 and was signed by President Richard Nixon on December 29, 1970. Its main goal is to ensure that employers provide employees with an environment free from recognized hazards, such as exposure to toxic chemicals, excessive noise levels, mechanical dangers, heat or cold stress, or unsanitary conditions. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

An occupational injury is bodily damage resulting from working. The most common organs involved are the spine, hands, the head, lungs, eyes, skeleton, and skin. Occupational injuries can result from exposure to occupational hazards, such as temperature, noise, insect or animal bites, blood-borne pathogens, aerosols, hazardous chemicals, radiation, and occupational burnout.

Occupational hygiene prevention of workplace hazards

Occupational hygiene is the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, control, and confirmation of protection from hazards at work that may result in injury, illness, or affect the well being of workers. These hazards or stressors are typically divided into the categories biological, chemical, physical, ergonomic and psychosocial. The risk of a health effect from a given stressor is a function of the hazard multiplied by the exposure to the individual or group. For chemicals, the hazard can be understood by the dose response profile most often based on toxicological studies or models. Occupational hygienists work closely with toxicologists for understanding chemical hazards, physicists for physical hazards, and physicians and microbiologists for biological hazards Environmental and occupational hygienists are considered experts in exposure science and exposure risk management. Depending on an individual's type of job, a hygienist will apply their exposure science expertise for the protection of workers, consumers and/or communities.

Workers' Memorial Day, International Workers' Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured or Day of Mourning takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

A health professional may operate within all branches of health care, including medicine, surgery, dentistry, midwifery, pharmacy, psychology, nursing or allied health professions. A health professional may also be a public/community health expert working for the common good of the society.

Occupational medicine, until 1960 called industrial medicine, is the branch of medicine which is concerned with the maintenance of health in the workplace, including prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries, with secondary objectives of maintaining and increasing productivity and social adjustment in the workplace.

An occupational exposure limit is an upper limit on the acceptable concentration of a hazardous substance in workplace air for a particular material or class of materials. It is typically set by competent national authorities and enforced by legislation to protect occupational safety and health. It is an important tool in risk assessment and in the management of activities involving handling of dangerous substances. There are many dangerous substances for which there are no formal occupational exposure limits. In these cases, hazard banding or control banding strategies can be used to ensure safe handling.

<i>Workplace Health & Safety</i> journal

The Workplace Health & Safety, formerly AAOHN Journal is a monthly peer-reviewed nursing journal and the official of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. It covers the field of occupational and environmental health nursing. It is edited by Joy E. Wachs.

Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day recognizes the efforts and commitment of occupational safety, health and environmental professionals to protect people, property and the environment. The American Society of Safety Engineers’ Board of Directors approved the creation of Occupational Safety and Health Professional (OSHP) Day in March 2006 to be held in conjunction with North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH). OSHP Day takes place on the Wednesday of NAOSH Week each year and is celebrated internationally. OSHP Day 2012 took place on May 9, 2012.

Workplace health surveillance or occupational health surveillance (U.S.) is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of exposure and health data on groups of workers. The Joint ILO/WHO Committee on Occupational Health at its 12th Session in 1995 defined an occupational health surveillance system as “a system which includes a functional capacity for data collection, analysis and dissemination linked to occupational health programmes”.

An occupational fatality is a death that occurs while a person is at work or performing work related tasks. Occupational fatalities are also commonly called “occupational deaths” or “work-related deaths/fatalities” and can occur in any industry or occupation.

Occupational stress tensions related to work

Occupational stress is stress related to one's job. Occupational stress often stems from unexpected responsibilities and pressures that do not align with a person's knowledge, skills, or expectations, inhibiting one's ability to cope. Occupational stress can increase when workers do not feel supported by supervisors or colleagues, or feel as if they have little control over work processes.

Physical hazard hazard due to a physical condition

A physical hazard is an agent, factor or circumstance that can cause harm with or without contact. They can be classified as type of occupational hazard or environmental hazard. Physical hazards include ergonomic hazards, radiation, heat and cold stress, vibration hazards, and noise hazards. Engineering controls are often used to mitigate physical hazards.

Workplace incivility has been defined as low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target. Uncivil behaviors are characteristically rude and discourteous, displaying a lack of regard for others. The authors hypothesize there is an "incivility spiral" in the workplace made worse by "asymmetric global interaction".

Occupational safety and health Field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work

Occupational safety and health (OSH), also commonly referred to as occupational health and safety (OHS), occupational health, or workplace health and safety (WHS), is a multidisciplinary field concerned with the safety, health, and welfare of people at work. These terms also refer to the goals of this field, so their use in the sense of this article was originally an abbreviation of occupational safety and health program/department etc.

Total Worker Health is a trademarked strategy defined as policies, programs, and practices that integrate protection from work-related safety and health hazards with promotion of injury and illness prevention efforts to advance worker well-being. It was conceived and is funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Total Worker Health is tested and developed in six Centers of Excellence for Total Worker Health in the United States.

The law for workplace bullying is given below for each country in detail. Further European countries with concrete antibullying legislation are Belgium, France, and The Netherlands.

Patient-initiated violence

Patient-initiated violence is a specific form of workplace violence that affects healthcare workers that is the result of verbal, physical, or emotional abuse from a patient or family members of whom they have assumed care. Nurses represent the highest percentage of affected workers; however, other roles include physicians, therapists, technicians, home care workers, and social workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration used 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics and reported that healthcare workplace violence requiring days absent from work from patients represented 80% of cases. In 2014, a survey by the American Nurses Association of 3,765 21% of nurses and nursing students reported physical abuse and over 50% reported verbal abuse within a 12-month period. Causes for patient outbursts vary, including psychiatric diagnosis, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or subject to a long wait time. Certain areas are more at risk for this kind of violence including healthcare workers in psychiatric settings, emergency or critical care, or long term care and dementia units.

References

  1. American Association of Occupational Health Nurses. (2012). "AAOHN Fact Sheet". Retrieved on October 24, 2013: www.aaohn.org
  2. Thompson, Margaret, and Wachs, Joy. (2012). "Occupational Health Nursing in the United States," Workplace Health & Safety (60)3: 127-133

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. Congress established the agency under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which President Richard M. Nixon signed into law on December 29, 1970. OSHA's mission is to "assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of whistleblower statutes and regulations. OSHA is currently headed by Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt. OSHA's workplace safety inspections have been shown to reduce injury rates and injury costs without adverse effects to employment, sales, credit ratings, or firm survival.

Canadian Occupational Health Nursing Association-Association Canadienne des Infirmieres et Infiriers en Sante du Travail Inc

(AOHNA) Alberta Occupational Health Nurses Association