Seasoned RN looking into OHN position seeks info please

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    Hello everyone. I've been an RN for 25 + years with lots of psych, med-surg, ER and rehab experience. I left active nursing practice 2 years ago to work as a mechanical service tech in a 1000 employee manufacturing plant in my town. The plant is restructuring its safety department and plans to bring on board an OHN in the near future, and I've been asked to consider applying for the position. I've been doing web research in an effort to further accquaint myself with the nursing and administrative needs of this specialty field.
    I've looked over several pages on this forum and believe it to be a wonderful resource for nurses seeking guidance. I do not have any OHN experience, and would like help identifying publications that would serve to educate me about Occupational Health Nursing, how to plan necessary programs and their implementation, etc. I do not and will not have any opportunity to work in an OHN setting before this opportunity arises, and would expect to be be essentially on my own at startup, should I be selected. Is the OHN specialty one that can be effectively learned from texts that augment my past nursing education and experience? I should add that I have my AS in nursing, a Bachelor's degree in health and science,and have frequently planned and taught patient education classes to groups of 40+. Suggestions for reading materials would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Last edit by Tallone52 on Dec 12, '10
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  5. 1
    I would purchase the "AAOHN Core Curriculum for Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing". Try getting used on Amazon or Half.com. This text book is put out by the AAOHN. Another suggestion, but a little costly....get membership in AAOHN and on your state level for aprox $200 year...this includes you state and regional memberships. Network and get connected and you can get your foot in the door and then later get certified.

    www.aaohn.org
    3rdcareerRN likes this.
  6. 2
    Just saw your post. You certainly could learn what you need, but just not only from textbooks. Being part of the safety team, I can assure you that you would need a firm grasp of the OSHA rules and regs relating to what is a recordable injury or illness (and the difference between the two) and what is not recordable. As a part of safety in a plant, that can end up being one of your central responsibilities, i.e. keeping the OSHA log, etc. (You can learn all that from the OSHA website, and a bit more reading specifically about what is compensable with workers compensation, and the difference between compensability and recordability.) The part you will need classes in is CAOHC audiometry and a NIOSH approved course in Spirometry. Both cost about 400.00 each, but you would be well advised to get that certification before applying, unless you already know they want you, and that they would be willing to pay for it. After that, you can focus on brushing up on first aid, AED, etc. if you need to, and it sounds like you have the skill set already for that. But, in providing first aid and emergency response (likely at a plant), you will need to be very aware the recordability issues-not that that should direct your care, but sometimes there are choices, and you need to make the right choices on treatment. Also, you will want to know if there is a company physician, and who will write the protocols for the clinic, and will you have input into that. GOOD LUCK, and I wish you the best in your quest!
    deb1ohn and 3rdcareerRN like this.


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