Industrial or Company Nurse opportunities

  1. hi there! I'm a registered nurse from the Philippines and I'm currently being interviewed for a position of Company nurse here in our country. I would like to ask if there are a lot of opportunities for company nurses abroad? Since I'm weighing over having an hospital training experience rather than accepting the job. It's really hard to look for an hospital experience here in our country that's why I'm lucky enough to be a company nurse. I just like to know if ever i gained like 1 yr experience as a company nurse, will I be able to have jobs abroad? thank you very much!
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    About aila61

    Joined: Jul '08; Posts: 283; Likes: 40
    Nurse; from PH
    Specialty: ER/ Radiology Nurse


  3. by   EwwThat'sNasty
    It is difficult to answer.

    Ideally an Occupational & Environmental Nurse should come from a critical care background, preferably Emergency Department. However there are alternatives. You could take the job and seek part time (even volunteer) nursing at an Emergency Department. You could take the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) course if it exists in RP.

    These will give you experience if you come across a worker with a crushed leg, or severed arm. Without any experience you might find yourself truly stressed.

    Occupational Nursing here in America has a sub-specialty Certification (COHN) (Certifed Occupational Health Nurse) I would recommend buying their study guide and learning the trade and taking the exam. COHN cert puts you at the top of the hiring heap.

    There are so many facets to Occ Med. For instance here Workers' Compensation Insurance case work is important, it might no be there. Education is important. I teach CPR and BloodBorne Pathogens.

    I truly love my work, it's the greatest! I am thrilled to have found Occ Med nursing.

    Simply go with what seems the best opportunity. I believe that Occupational Health Nursing will become more important over time due to the impending increase in RSI's (Repetative Stress Injuries). We had our day, but we shipped all those RSI inducing jobs to you. :>
  4. by   aila61
    what if I already passed the NCLEX to be a registered nurse there? that doesn't qualify me to work as a company nurse there? and do you know how much is the fee for the COHN exam?

    Does working as a company nurse there means that I have to pass the COHN exam first?

    Thank yoU!
  5. by   EwwThat'sNasty
    A person who passes the NCLEX is able to be licensed.

    Does that qualify you to work as a company nurse? That really depends. Some places have little to do.

    Yet the scope of practice of an OHN is rather broad.

    You may be required to do
    --hearing exams (audiometry) (requires training and certification)
    --vision exams
    --color blindnes exams
    --ecg (EKG's)
    --Post-hire physicals
    --Accident investigation
    --spirometry (requires training and may require certification)
    --Making decisions on FMLA requests
    --Workers'compensation regulatory filing and oversight (a huge and complex area that can make you very, very valuable to a company)
    --safety inspections
    --Hep B programs
    --train AED/CPR/First Aid
    --Rapid response including possible trauma situations, or poisonings

    The list goes on...

    The fee for the COHN is, I think $150, you have to work at least (I think) a year doing Occ-Med Nursing. I can't remember the current requiements. Search for COHN and you'll find everything you need.

    So in short, usually, unless it is a very small and simple company, no, simply passing the NCLEX does not qualify you to be a company nurse.

    However, I think that one of the best ways to get "into" O&E Nursing is to find a company who might hire you part time. They might train you to do post-hire physicals and pre-hire drug scans. Then they might use you to fill-in at companies, and over time your skill set will improve, and you will become more "in demand," and more skilled.

    However the reality is that most corporations/companies of any size expect that you come from a critical care/Emergency Department background. Remember it will be you that someone comes running to with: "xxxx is down, I think she had a heart attack," or "come quick four workers have been exposed to poison gas..." (neither is imaginary, both have occurred during the past two years for me).

    My recommendation is to do a stint in a basic Medical/Surgical Hospital, then spend a year or two in ED, and try to find some part-time occupational health work on the way. There really are not many jobs that do not expect their nurse to be experienced in the medical realm.

    In any sub-specialty there is a sad element of: "We'd like to hire you but you aren't COHN" and then you realize that you can't become COHN unless you work in Occ Med. It's a catch 22. But there are jobs that qualify such as audio testing companies, or part-time occ health. Best of luck, and if you persevere you'll make it, but not overnight.

    It's actually a huge body of knowledge. But I think it's a ton of fun.