Nurses are one of the most prominent figures in the healthcare sector, yet they are still under severe shortages. These rising demands are adding intense pressure on the healthcare sector for the workforce to fill the roles. On the other side, the healthcare system allows the nurses to expand their roles to meet the healthcare demands. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting the whole healthcare under a microscope, the need to expand nurses’ roles is increasing profoundly. That is where nurses are upgrading themselves as occupational health nurses playing a critical role in the sector.
The upgrade in the occupational health nurses means more roles and specialties to serve in the sector. This group of professionals leads the nurse workforce to devise plans and strategies for the patients’ health. They are registered nurses, which means that they work with public health workforces to treat the patients and prevent it. However, most people never think of the nurse’s roles beyond bed care.
In reality, nurse professionals like occupational nurses also play an essential role in enhancing patients’ health outcomes. For that instance, many professionals are also advising individuals to pursue further education to acquire new roles. However, some individuals feel reluctant about the idea of continuing education along with the job.
Fortunately, online education makes a prominent impression to solve this problem to help individuals cater to both. For instance, individuals can consider earning different online MSN to DNP programs to continue education and job simultaneously. Also, it will help them in their professional development. In addition, occupational nurses cover numerous leadership roles and responsibilities for their daily work in a healthcare organization. These roles help in creating a safer environment with maximum employee productivity. With that said, let’s discuss four things you need to know about occupational nurses.
- PATIENT ADVOCATES
One of the essential roles of occupational nurses is patient advocacy. In today’s challenging healthcare sector, patient advocacy is critical to enhancing their health outcomes. Nurses must prioritize the safety of the healthcare setting to ensure comfort and better medical care for the patients. Despite the ongoing shortages, occupational nurses are coming forward to advocate for the patients for their treatments. Unfortunately, the pandemic has given rise to a social stigma to avoid hospitals no matter how serious your ailment is. There is a dire need for individuals to address these concerns and take on advocacy during 2021.
Patients can be advocates for their health. But the deprived societies also need special attention, especially during the healthcare crisis. In this case, occupational nurses work alongside the Health and Safety Department to reach the communities lacking resources. A survey from the Health Coverage Affordability Crisis in 2020 revealed that over 43% of the USA population of adults lack healthcare insurance. With the rising medical cost, nurse advocates ensure that everyone receives equal healthcare services. This way, they contribute their best effort to build a stronger nation.
- DIFFERENT RESPONSIBILITIES
As said earlier, occupational health nurses are a completely different breed of nurse groups. They have broader roles and skills as compared to traditional nurses. These nurses employ the latest technological tools to expand healthcare services and ensure positive health outcomes. They will also manage the nurse workforce for their daily responsibilities and injuries and illness. For instance, occupational health nurses develop protocols for safety precautions on frontlines in the ongoing pandemic crisis. In addition, if any nurse falls ill, they will document their quarantine period and treatment based on their symptoms.
Today, these professionals work in all types of healthcare settings. Be it healthcare crisis management, social work, or traditional hospitals; occupational health nurses work closely with policymakers to implement safety programs.
- DISEASE PREVENTION
We always hear nurses working alongside physicians to provide the necessary treatment for the patients. Meanwhile, occupational health nurses are not limited to this role. They take it further by reducing the number of sick patients and also preventing diseases. Not just the patients, but they also ensure the good health of the employees working in the healthcare field. They also work in private clinics and manufacturing sites to assist the professionals with preventive measures and research.
In the modern world, preventive care is becoming more critical than curative. The lack of information and treatment for the COVID-19 has given rise to preventive research for the disease. Occupational nurses aid the research by identifying and recording the risk and other essential data to devise preventative plans.
As said earlier, occupational nurses give more critical attention to disease prevention by assessing the underlying risks and strategies. Their job also involves documentation to remove any healthcare hazards to enhance the quality of care. They value the workforce and their contributions to the healthcare industry as a whole. They are crucial in the documentation of every employee’s illness, sick leave, and patient information. They review medical treatment charts daily to develop more effective plans. These procedures without a doctor are what make them special and more important for the healthcare sector.
Occupational health nurses work in the most rewarding setting, where they have countless opportunities to make a difference in society. As an occupational nurse, you will be the nurses’ leader, and the actions will impact everyone. All you need is a professional education and relevant experience to enter the profession and serve the rewarding role.