OCCH – Occupational Health
Introduction to Occupational Health Nursing
Students are introduced to the field of occupational health nursing through examination of basic concepts in this nursing specialty. The history of occupational health is explored with emphasis on defining the occupational health nurse’s role in occupational health environments. Roles and functions of the occupational health and safety team are discussed as well as the relationships between its members. Standards and competencies that apply to this field of nursing are addressed and government legislation which influences occupational health programs is examined. Assessment of workers and their work environments is introduced.
Students examine the relationship between workers and their working environment. Students explore the philosophy of identifying, evaluating, and controlling occupational stressors that affect the health of workers. Health hazards produced by physical, chemical, biological, and ergonomic stressors are addressed. Canadian provincial legislative and regulatory requirements concerning the work environment are discussed. As well, basic principles of incident prevention are identified.
Occupational Health Screening
Students examine current best practices in occupational health screening and the role of the occupational health nurse in their application. Students perform venipuncture and screening tests including audiometry, spirometry, and vision and review and apply the results of testing to occupational health programs in the workplace.
Field Experience in Occupational Health Nursing
Students engage in practical learning experiences to increase their awareness of the variability of the occupational health and safety field. Through actual work site placements and virtual workplace activities, students relate occupational health and safety concepts to practice to gain an understanding of the range of settings and scope of practice for occupational health nurses.
Prerequisites: OCCH 300.
Occupational Health Program Development
Students are provided with the foundational knowledge that enables them to develop and manage occupational health services and programs. Specific information in the areas of assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating work site health promotion programs is reviewed. Planning an occupational health centre is covered along with developing policies and procedures and evaluating effectiveness. Business skills required by employers, such as preparing business plans, strategic planning, budgeting, and marketing are reviewed. The course is intended to be practical and directly applicable to the occupational health setting.
The occupational health nurse (OHN) student is provided with the foundational knowledge required to develop and manage a comprehensive and effective disability management program. Students examine the basic principles and concepts required to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate programs that are aimed at controlling the economic and human costs of disabilities in the workplace. The focus of this course is on the role of the OHN and the processes for claims management, case management and return to work management. Roles and responsibilities of the disability management team and the collaborative approach are discussed. Injury prevention, education, worker accommodation, absenteeism control, and employee assistance programs are addressed. After completing the course, students have the basic knowledge required to manage injuries and illnesses in the workplace that result in workers' compensation, short term disability, or long term disability claims.
Trends and Issues in Occupational Health
Students examine current occupational health trends and issues as they relate to the occupational health nurse's role. Professional practice issues such as quality improvement, independent practice and pandemic management are addressed. A number of topics relevant to today's practice, such as substance use and substance testing in the workplace, utilization of technology, the impact of worker demographics in the workplace and organizational fitness and wellness are examined. In addition, change management, leadership and ethical decision-making are discussed as they relate to the occupational health nurse's responsibilities in contemporary times.
Prerequisites: OCCH 300.
Students are introduced to the principles of toxicology as they relate to the working environment. Substances such as pesticides, solvents, metals, gases, and particulates are discussed. The effects of these substances on reproduction and carcinogenesis are addressed. The student is also introduced to the principles of epidemiology.
Occupational Health Surveillance
Students examine occupational health surveillance concepts and the professional, legal and ethical responsibilities of the occupational health nurse in the workplace. Topics include program development for surveillance of workers exposed to physical, chemical, biological, ergonomic and psychosocial health hazards related to occupational illness and injury, as well as emerging disorders. The nurse's role in the provision of primary care, emergency preparedness and disaster planning is examined.
Prerequisites: OCCH 301.
Occupational Health Nursing: Final Project
Students assess their learning throughout the Occupational Health Nursing (OHN) program, and translate it to new, more advanced situations and roles for the OHN. Students use connections made between the courses taken and the field of practice to enhance their understanding of the occupational health nurses role as a leader in informing and influencing occupational health and safety. Students consider the local, national or international level in one of the following areas: research, policy development, education, business and strategic leadership, or consulting. Through research students examine how the occupational health nurses contributes or can contribute in an advanced role. Students are responsible for the identification of their specific project under the guidance of faculty.