Employee Health Nurse?


  • Specializes in Tele, Med/Surg, Ortho/Trauma. Has 7 years experience.

Hello all!  I am looking to make the switch from med/surg nursing after 5 years.  I have two interviews, one for an employee health nurse position and the other for a mother/baby position.  Could anyone give me insight on which position would be more desirable?  I have a friend who works mother/baby and loves it.  As far as employee health, I do not know anyone who has worked as an employee health nurse.  What do you guys think?  Thank you!

Specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown. Has 10 years experience.

I think it depends what you are looking for. Why are you looking to leave Med/Surg? Are you interested in women's health and caring for newborns? Do you still want interaction with patients? As an employee health nurse your patients will be other employees. I haven't met anyone who says their passion is employee health, but the nurses I know who did it said it was low stress other than hounding people to do their annual screenings. Is your goal a Mon-Fri day shift job? Then employee health may be better.

I think mother/baby is less stressful than Med/Surg but emergencies can still occur and you still deal with sad situations, difficult family dynamics, etc. Probably not as much abuse from patients because not as much altered mental status and angry patients. In employee health you wouldn't deal with emergent situations or anyone's emotions (I guess unless someone really doesn't want to do their TB test!) But you may feel bored or like you're losing some skills. Both sound like good options depending on your goals ?

Specializes in Oncology, ID, Hepatology, Occy Health. Has 37 years experience.

Employee health/occupational health varies greatly depending on the structure you work in. What kind of organisation are you going to?

I was an occy heath nurse for five years for a large inter-governmental organisation. Several things made the job more interesting than the standard occy health job.

1) I was dealing with people from all four corners of the globe which was super interesting. Many were going off on mission abroad and needed their vaccinations etc. up to date so travel medicine was involved.

2) We were given training in ergonomics and did workstation visits/setting up workstation posts.

3) Our doctor was very dynamic and we were always involved in health promotion campaigns amongst the employees (breast cancer awareness, colon cancer screening, alcohol advice, musculo-skeletal troubles, blood borne virus awareness etc.).

4) Our employees were permitted to come in with outside prescriptions for blood tests, dressings, ECGs etc. so we did things that weren't necessarily directly work related.

Standard occy health work is alot of putting band aids on cut fingers and lending an ear to the stressed out, but beware you'll deal with real emergencies too without the support of the hospital setting and sometimes wiothout a doctor present (I had a gent having an MI come in and a lady having a CVA, my colleague had an intestinal obstuction present to her). If your setting is more industrial you'll have the accidents to deal with too.

Then there are the routine visits: lots of blood pressures, urine testing, eye tests and the constantly chasing people to attend their statutory visits - yes, lots of admin. You can get involved in the invalidity commisions which crop up which is interesting work.

Have a look at the occy health section on here to get some ideas but bare in mind the great variation of these posts according to what kind of organisation it is hiring you. Can you request an informal visit before interview? Certainly go to interview armed with lots of questions.

Good luck.