A company nurse, also known as an occupational health nurse, works within a company to improve safety and to address health concerns among employees. The value of a company nurse often outweighs the expense in the form of decreased healthcare costs. According to case studies conducted by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, companies that employ a company nurse reduce injury and illness costs by up to 40 percent.
In work environments where employees may be exposed to dangerous or toxic materials, a company nurse plays an important role. According to the Department of Labor, in such a setting, the company nurse will appraise the work environment and the risks of exposure, identifying possible risk sources and recommending safeguards. He will also provide a description of the typical response to exposure and work with any employees that do suffer exposure to aid in their recovery.
According to the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, one of the primary functions of a company nurse is to promote better health among employees. To that end she will work with employees to help them recognize and model good health behaviors. She'll help employees set their own goals for good physical, mental and emotional health.
Whether an injury occurs at work or away from work, the company nurse will work with injured employees to help them manage their recovery so that they can return to work sooner. In doing so, the nurse helps reduce the number of lost hours due to injuries. He'll also provide documentation services for at-work injuries that can help with liability and workers compensation claims.
A company nurse can help prevent both chronic and short-term illnesses. She can provide information about how short-term illnesses like colds and flu spread and make recommendations that, if followed, may reduce the number of employees who get sick and miss work due to such illnesses. She can also raise awareness of lifestyle choices that contribute to chronic diseases. Employees who improve their lifestyle choices may stay healthier and miss less work in the long run.
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