Occupational health nurses (OHN) form the single largest group of healthcare professionals providing primary care services in workplaces in the US. The assigned community setting selected for this assignment is a large electric power-generating plant. The roles of an OHN include providing clinical, especially emergency care to injured workers, counseling employees and if needed their immediate family members, organizing treatment and referrals for workers, and managing work-related diseases.
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Others include developing health and safety programs for the workplace and emergency and disaster planning. The vulnerable population includes all employees, especially those working on the field responding to breakdowns and maintaining the company’s infrastructure. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the roles of OHNs, their work settings, health promotion interventions that could be employed, and professional nursing organizations related to the mentioned work set-up.
As mentioned above, the selected community setting is the workplace in a large electric power-generating company. In this kind of workplace employees, especially those working in the field, are the most vulnerable population to occupational health hazards. These individuals are exposed to electrocution, falls, fires, and explosions, environmental stress, and sprains, fractures, and strains. The risk of these occupational health issues is compounded by the nature of work involved in maintaining the power generation and distribution infrastructure. Falls and electrocutions are likely to happen during tree trimming to clear the way for power lines or when fixing breakdowns. In addition, fires and explosions are likely to occur from coal dust or natural gas depending on the source of electricity being used.
The first health service provided by an OHN is clinical care, especially in emergency cases involving employees (Ammendolia et al., 2016). For instance, when a worker falls from a pole, he or she needs immediate care, which is given by the OHN involved with the company. An OHN also coordinates treatment and referrals depending on the nature and severity of the injuries. In addition, nurses are required to develop health and safety programs detailing some of the issues that employees should be aware of when executing their duties. Nurses also offer counseling services to affected employees and assist with rehabilitation based on care needs.
Health Promotion Nursing Intervention
Workplace health promotion interventions that an OHN could implement in this community setting cover all issues not addressed in occupational health programs and legislation. The first intervention would be helping the management to create an organizational environment that promotes occupational safety. This would cover advancing a culture whereby employees put safety first when executing their duties. On the same note, educational safety programs could be designed to create awareness among employees about the importance of ensuring safety in the workplace (Nies & McEwen, 2019).
Based on this approach, nurses would be required to train employees and the management on how to handle safety-related matters including emergencies and disasters. OHNs would also engage in promoting healthy lifestyles among employees even when not at work. For instance, eating healthily for service line employees would reduce cases of heart attacks during their work.
The most significant body that this OHN role may collaborate with in health promotion interventions is the management. The implementation of any program in the workplace will require approval and resource allocation from the management. Therefore, the success of the proposed intervention programs will depend on the corporation and willingness of the management to approve and adopt the same. Workers also play a central role in this case because they are the people to implement the proposals during their day-to-day work.
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Professional Nursing Organization
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) is one of the leading professional nursing organizations that support OHNs. It defines the scope of practice together with setting standards for nurses in this specialization. Additionally, it develops and determines standards of professional conduct as detailed in the AAOHN Code of Ethics. The organization also offers opportunities for continuous learning to ensure that OHNs advance their careers and remain updated on developments taking place in the profession. It also facilitates research as part of career development. Finally, it advocates for occupational health nursing in all workplaces including businesses, government entities, and schools among other professional areas.
The organization has over 4,000 members across the US and around the world through its international membership program. The membership fee for regular members (licensed nurses engaged in occupation health) is $165, which could be broken down into $41.25 quarterly payments. Students, retired members, and international members pay $20, $120, and $165 respectively in enrollment fees (AAOHN, 2019). Currently, the organization is offering free training in respiratory protection to ensure that its members gain more knowledge on OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard for improved care in the workplace.
The community setting selected for this assignment is the workplace in a large electric power-generating company whereby the main OHNs’ roles include clinical care for injured workers and offering counseling services where needed. OHNs also help in rehabilitation, planning for emergencies and disasters and arranging for treatment and referrals together. Health promotion interventions involve working with the management to create an environment and culture that foster safety in the workplace. AAOHN supports nurses in occupation health specialization and it has over 4,000 members around the world. Occupational health nurses will continue to play a central role in ensuring safe spaces in workplaces.
AAOHN. (2019). About AAOHN. Web.
Ammendolia, C., Côté, P., Cancelliere, C., Cassidy, J. D., Hartvigsen, J. … Amick III, B. (2016). Healthy and productive workers: using intervention mapping to design a workplace health promotion and wellness program to improve presenteeism. BMC Public Health, 16(1190), 1-18. Web.
Nies, M. A., & McEwen, M. (2019). Community/Public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders/Elsevier.