LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2013 | Volume
| Issue : 3 | Page : 124
From the nurses view point
Radha Saini1, Parvesh Saini2
1 Department of Community Health Nursing, Shri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Vallah, District Amritsar, Punjab, India
2 Shri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Vallah, District Amritsar, Punjab, India
|Date of Web Publication||17-Apr-2014|
Department of Community Health Nursing, Shri Guru Ram Das College of Nursing, Vallah, District Amritsar, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Saini R, Saini P. From the nurses view point. Indian J Occup Environ Med 2013;17:124
We sincerely appreciate the editorial "Occupational health nursing-growing influence at workplace in India" written by Dr. Xivananda Priolcar in the Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine dated January-April 2013. The editorial is well written and author has tried to give very true picture of the very scope of occupational health nursing in present times and especially the "role transformation" of a nurse from primary care giver to a "change agent." Well we would like to add a few suggestions here.
Occupational health nurse's (OHN's) prime responsibility must focus on carrying out regular "risk assessments" of all workers along with assessment of the working environment of the industry. She needs to implement the principles of primary health care and make early detection and diagnosis of disease, give "specific protection" to not only workers but also their families in the form of immunization clinics, carrying out diagnostic tests, undertaking periodic physical and psychological health assessments and maintaining meticulous health records. This also goes congruent with the author's viewpoint that OHNs must develop competencies like reading electrocardiogram and here we would also like to add that clinical skills as well as knowledge of nurses needs to be refined and upgraded periodically in the form of workshops and in-service education programs. In addition, training disaster management to nurses as well as occupational health physicians would prove to be a boon for all industries.
On a very strong note, we would like to add that OHNs must be encouraged to deliver "evidence based care" to clients in an utmost holistic manner apart from contributing actively into occupational health research.
We suggest the following points to corroborate the author's view point that the nurses at workplaces have to change their roles accordingly to effectively support the occupational health physician.
- Establishing hazard identification units
- Scrutinizing and continuously monitoring the existing environmental hygiene and safety programs of the industry
- Opening guidance and counseling units
- Coordinating the sickness absence management protocol of the industry
- Voluntary participation in the grievance redressal forums
- Meticulous maintenance of records and reports especially the occupational disease registries
- Conducting independent and joint epidemiological research studies on occupational health hazards and finding out the relationship of occupational environmental exposures and health effects
- Carrying out periodic nursing audits
- Imparting regular health education programs to workers and their families
- Inculcating spirituality at workplace and empowerment of health workers for "Espirit the corps."
So the need of the hour is to actively endorse and practice the concept of "independent nurse practitioner" and hence undertake active disease surveillance programs in industries.
Author has very truly mentioned that nowadays, various training courses and options are available for occupational health physicians but few to none for OHNs. So here, we make an honest appeal to the Indian Nursing Council, New Delhi and National Institute of Occupational Health (ICMR), Ahmedabad to start diploma program in occupational health nursing at the earliest. With this we also suggest imparting basic knowledge of industrial psychology to under graduate nurses. Integrating all these strategies and encouraging interdisciplinary practice, intersectoral coordination, education, and research, OHNs can prove to be the real "change agents" of 21 st century and can actually contribute to the increased profitability and performance of organizations and reduce health care costs.