I understand that there are many different job descriptions for OHNs. However, is it common for an OHN to have to deal with emergent situations? Life-threatening accidents? Heart attacks? I think I'd be well suited to OHN but don't want to have to be the EMT for critical emergencies. I have very little clinical experience outside of nursing school. Is that a big drawback? How difficult is it to get that first job in OHN?
Jul 10, '03
If you are in a direct care OHN position you will have emergent care episodes. Even in a corporate setting (were I am now) you will see emergent episodes in front of you if you are paying attention. Two days ago I had two different co-workers at two different times who came to me for a work-related question. I recognized that both were having a very significant asthma attack but they were under the impression that they had outgrown it. What you will be exposed to depends on the industry and setting.
In an earlier thread I covered my favorite resources including those for emergency care in OHN. Below is the link.
Your few nursing life experiences could be a draw back. But you should still try for the job you want. Expectations of new hire OHN's varies from one area to another. As to how difficult to get a position, it depends on how many openings are in your area.
Jul 11, '03
Depending on your location. Are you within 20 mins. of a hospital? Are you isolated?
OHC setting whether it is industrial, mining, field, office you can see a variety of situations. People have MI's, diabetic reactions, injuries on the job (crushing, #'s, electrical, burns, etc...).
ABC's for everyone...I am not saying you would need your ACLS but current emergency first aid, or responders course, AED certification, etc...or whatever your industries MD policy and procedures allows for.
Best of luck.
P.S. I worked in OHC for 7 years.
Jul 11, '03
Thanks for the feedback. I guess I'm trying to find a way to be a "desk nurse" without first going the clinical route. In school, I excelled at critical thinking but not in clinical performance. Clearly, my performance was satisfactory and I graduated, but I don't want to go back into the clinical setting. I really can't stand the hectic, chaotic nature of floor nursing these days. Some folks thrive on it. I run for cover. I honestly didn't realize how much I disliked it because I so enjoy patient interaction and learning about health and science - and as a student nurse you don't have to deal with everything a working nurse does.
I still want to use my knowledge of health conditions and nursing care. I've considered pursuing graduate work in a related field, but would like to get some work experience and earn some money before heading back to school. Just exploring my options.