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Occupational health nursing is concerned with the overall physical and mental health of people in the workplace, in all occupations, along with the prevention of negative impacts on a person’s health as a result of their working conditions.
Nurses specialising in occupational health could work in a number of locations: in hospitals and health clinics; in large and small private organisations; in public sector organisations; or in private healthcare consultancies.
As occupational health focuses on both the physical and psychological wellbeing of employers, the role of an occupational health nurse is often split between counselling and practical medical care. Workers experiencing stress in the workplace would visit a nurse for counselling and advice. Similarly, an employee who becomes injured or unwell at work would seek the help of a nurse.
In some professions, an occupational health nurse will be tasked with performing pre-employment medical checks on prospective employees. They will manage and maintain satisfactory standards of health and safety in the workplace and may also be responsible for training members of staff in emergency first aid, stress management and other areas relating to the health and safety of employees in the workplace.