How to start OCC Health program?

  1. Hi! I'm a new grad. I have worked in my current role, in health and safety, for many years.

    My office is set up from when my employer used to have a nurse and Doctor on site...I still have 2 exam rooms, a waiting room, and everything else I would need to start up the clinic again.

    I'm not sure how I go about doing this, though. Do I need to find a medical director? Can I do pre-employment physicals without one? What about basic first aid?

    I already do the administrative part, so none of that will be a change.

    My employer knows I went to nursing school, knows I passed my Nclex and even gave me a substantial raise so that I stay. I want to use my nursing education, though.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   Rbeck911
    Hi Sara,

    I would proceed with caution. Occ Health nursing is very different than an EHS specialist. A lot overlaps, but just be careful. That is not to say don't do it, but effective occ health nursing takes a lot of practice. It would be best if you could work in an existing clinic to learn from a mentor.

    Having said that, you cannot do anything without a medical director. That is the first step. Establishing your own program can be a daunting task, but also very fun as you build it from the ground up. Make sure you are up to speed on recordability, record keeping, occ health protocols, respiratory protection standards, etc. Good luck!
  4. by   sara567
    Thanks for the reply!

    I already do all the regulatory items, plus more. That part won't be an issue. I'm looking to get my COHN soon, as I have more than enough hours.

    i don't know how to get a medical director. We laid off the one we had when I got hired. I worked under my paramedic until recently, and just was a very experienced first aider. Ha!
  5. by   Rbeck911
    Reach out to the clinic/hospital that you send your bad injuries to. They should be able to help you at a very negotiated rate.
  6. by   MicsterRN
    My medical director has his own occupational clinic. My company doesn't pay him an additional rate for serving as medical director. It's pretty much hands off - sometimes I send him a text message with an injury picture, or I will ask for a quick phone consultation, but that is rare. I have medical directives that he is signed off , and I have standing orders for our AED program and the OTC Meds in my clinic. Basically, when I need to escalate a case for medical treatment , the injured worker is going to his clinic.
  7. by   MicsterRN
    Occupational medical professional and safety professional are quite parallel.

    Join AAOHN (at company expense). Join your local chapter, as well. Are you taking on workers compensation? Case management needs to be with you - not HR or EHS manager.

    My concern for you is the absence of nursing experience. You need exposure to other nurses from whom you can learn. If you have the stamina and motivation, I would urge you to consider a PRN role on med/surg unit - maybe two weekends a month. I almost suggested LTC, but after a quick and insufficient orientation, you wouldn't really have nurse resources to help you learn the nursing practice.
  8. by   sara567
    Good comments/suggestions. Thank you. I have been doing everything that falls under being an occ health nurse, other than actual nursing, for many years.

    I have been looking to find a per diem job to increase skills, but having difficulty finding one outside of long term care. In the meantime, I have been volunteering at a clinic, but this is mostly just giving injections, education and basic intake assessments. I was doing this under my paramedic license for the past few years.

    I have a meeting this week to get this off the ground. Hopefully, everyone is on board.

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