Public Health Nurse

Employee/occupational health nursing

Employee/Occupational Health Nursing

“Occupational health nurses, also called industrial nurses, provide nursing care at worksites to employees, customers, and others with injuries and illnesses.  They provide emergency care, prepare accident reports, and arrange for further care if necessary.  They also offer health counseling, conduct health examinations and inoculations, and assess work environments to identify potential or actual health problems” (U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, 2005).

An Occupational Health Nurse’s (OHN) duties may include:

  • Providing pre-employment medicals
  • Assessing and treating employees who are injured or become ill at work
  • Providing counseling and support
  • Identifying health and safety problems and advising management on how to deal with those issues
  • Carrying out risk assessments
  • Training and supervising staff to become skilled in first aide
  • Maintaining employee health records and developing and managing emergency procedures

An OHN may work in large organizations such as hospitals, airlines, retail chains, and financial institutions.  There is also a place for OHN in smaller, private institutions.  Depending on the size of the organization, the OHN may work as part of a team of health and safety experts or alone.

OHN have a wide range of roles to play in a variety of settings.  The Advancing the Profession of Occupational Health Nursing website provides an in depth overview of the career and responsibilities of an OHN.