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Occupational health rn for grocery store ??


Hi everyone ! I applied to a occupational health rn position which is located in a grocery store, stew Leonard's to be exact for those of u who live in the northeast. Just wondering if anyone knows what kind of duties would typically be entailed in this kind of position. The ad wasn't very detailed or insightful. Also, I have no previous occupational health experience .. Do u think this is something I can learn on the job ? Thanks in advance

Rbeck911, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational Health / EMS.

I'm very surprised to hear that a grocery store is hiring an OHN. I assume it will be for an entire chain. The basic concept of an occupational health nurse is to mitigate the cost of workmans compensation claims. Usually, this job also entails very stringent oversight of OSHA mandated programs, but I don't foresee any of these programs needed in a grocery store (respirator program, hearing conservation, BBP, etc.) Well, maybe BBP. I assume that their workers have a high incident rate in injury, probably back strains. Normally, all claims would be evaluated and treated by a physician, whether they are serious or not. By placing an OHN to manage these claims, it lowers the cost in that you are able keep minor medical in house. Subsequently, this will lower their recordable incident rate with OSHA in that ibuprofen will help a back strain just as much as flexerall. It can be very tedious, as far as case management goes. If you are going to be the only nurse in this role, I would seek as much training as possible very early on. Otherwise, they will be setting you up for failure as occ health is unlike anything you have ever done before.

Good luck with the job!

katkonk, BSN, RN

Specializes in Occupational health, Corrections, PACU. Has 25 years experience.

For a grocery store, they are almost certainly wanting some case management, and likely have had a high rate of injury. If they allow you real, hands on access to the employees, there is a tremendous need for teaching, teaching and more teaching about accident and injury prevention, as well as the "rehab" phase after an employee is hurt. They will likely also want you to manage the ADA and FMLA aspects of absence management. I am doubting whether they will actually have a clinic and dispense medication, although you never know. I always advise people to pull up job descriptions under a search for "occupational health nurse" on INDEED or careerbuilder, just to see what the job descriptions entail. I wish you luck. You should know primary care clinic assessment skills if you are going to see the employees directly. You will see back strains, yes...but also a lot of potential carpal tunnel and DeQuervains tenosynovitis and epicondylitis. Learn what those things look like, if you don't know already, how to coach and intervene so that medical treatment is not needed (hopefully), and how they might adjust their work environment to help. There is much to learn in the repetitive motion / cumulative trauma arena. I'd be interested to hear how it turns out, and what they provide for their employees as far as OHN duties.