Occupational health is an important community setting that is introduced to meet the needs of employees. The community used to illustrate certain points related to occupational health is Miami, Florida. The setting being analyzed refers to the provision of services aimed at maintaining the health of the working population. The vulnerability of the working class in terms of health is obvious, especially when it comes to high-risk settings and industries such as chemistry or construction. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the setting concerning the roles of community health nurses and professional organizations.
Occupational health, as is clear from the term, is focused on the prevention of work-related health problems and traumas. The population served in this setting is quite broad, it is presented by a large group of people of working age who are officially employed and face health risks related to their professional responsibilities. The population that receives occupational health services is widely presented in Miami, Florida since there are many backbone enterprises in the city and nearby.
Taking into account that the population comprises a range of age groups, health services provided in the setting may vary. The most common services in occupational health provided by nurses include chronic disease screening, pre-employment physical state examinations, and employee training (McCauley & Peterman, 2017). As for the first type of service, it is aimed at the prevention of chronic health conditions that can be peculiar to certain professional fields (McCauley & Peterman, 2017).
For instance, when it comes to petrochemical plant workers, it is reasonable to focus on the prevention of lung diseases. Pre-employment examinations are conducted to ensure the absence of communicable diseases in working groups and, therefore, prevent epidemics and working process disruptions. Finally, occupational health services can be aimed at increasing employees’ awareness of certain health risks, communicable disorders, and disease recognition practices.
Health Promotion Nursing Intervention
Community health nurses make a significant contribution to the provision of healthcare services within the frame of occupational health nursing. In particular, these specialists can help attract the attention of the community to common problems that affect the working population and are detrimental to the health of the nation. To contribute to health promotion in the field of occupational health, community health nurses can fulfill several roles, ranging from coordinators who help to improve worker health training to researchers who conduct risk assessments and develop strategies based on the results (McCauley & Peterman, 2017). Interventions aimed at health promotion in the field of occupational health may vary depending on the key health risks for different subgroups of the population.
As it has been demonstrated in the preliminary analysis, obesity and nutrition are among the areas of concern in the community of Miami, Florida. With that in mind, community health nurses could implement an obesity education intervention for the working population in the community to increase awareness of the issue and provide people with effective self-management tools. The intervention would include the creation of printed materials devoted to available dietary modifications, recommended eating habits, and the links between obesity and the proper use of work equipment (Barber et al., 2015).
In addition, considering that the labor pool in Miami is extremely diverse in terms of age, the topics to be addressed should include the age-related peculiarities of weight management decisions. To implement such interventions, community health nurses in the area can collaborate with occupational health specialists from various organizations in the community or with other representatives of large local employers.
Professional Nursing Organization
Nowadays, there are some organizations based in the United States that support nurses working in the community setting of occupational health. The largest one is the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses abbreviated as AAOHN (n.d.). Its key responsibilities are related to the popularization of evidence-based practices for health promotion, the provision of support to the most promising research projects in the field, and the implementation of professional behavior standards (AAOHN, n.d.). The organization is presented in the majority of states, including Florida, where it has five representatives.
The activity of AAOHN in different parts of the United States is strictly interconnected with analyzing the levels of professionalism of healthcare providers in the community setting. An important professional issue that AAOHN (n.d.) helps to address is the lack of effective leaders in the field of occupational health nursing. To improve the situation, the network organizes a range of educational events to facilitate the exchange of professional experience and help its members in the job search.
To conclude, occupational health is the community setting that involves a variety of services and interventions aimed at protecting the right to safety at the workplace. Nurses can fulfill a great number of roles in this setting, acting as intermediaries between various organizations, providing employee education to promote health, or collaborating with other specialists to conduct research. For health promotion, nurses can organize and implement a variety of interventions, including the proposed weight management education program. Based on the number of health issues that impact employees’ quality of life and disrupt working processes, the importance of occupational health nursing cannot be overstated.
AAOHN. (n.d.). About AAOHN. Web.
Barber, J., Hillier, S. E., Middleton, G., Keegan, R., Henderson, H., & Lavin, J. (2015). Providing weight management via the workplace. International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 8(3), 230-243.
McCauley, L., & Peterman, K. (2017). The future of occupational health nursing in a changing health care system. Workplace Health & Safety, 65(4), 168-173.