Occupational health nursing trends and opportunities

Workplace health and safety is not just about being compliant with regulatory agencies. Although health care organizations are highly regulated and the hazards are diverse, caring for employees requires a “whole-person’ approach.

As Baby Boomers retire by the year 2020, the nursing shortage we are currently experiencing will become even more acute: this shortage will not only be in nursing, but in medicine, physical therapy, and other services provided within the walls of acute and long-term health care.

Since approximately 60% of healthcare costs are invested in our human capital, caring for them just as we would any other investment is in the best interest of both management and of the employees. Injury/illness prevention is just one key aspect of caring for the human capital: a multi-disciplinary approach to care of this investment will not only help to remove silos of work that currently exist, but will also result in better products.

As our workforce ages and we see at least three generations in the workforce, any interventions and programs we put into place should be aimed at the most fragile portion of the employee population, and these will in turn benefit all workers. By taking the approach of taking care of our human capital, the whole employee’s needs will be better met and will hopefully result in a healthier, more stable workforce.

I’ll tackle this topic July 25 on a free webinar Stewardship in Occupational Health Nursing: Trends and Opportunities. Join me and learn how approaching injury prevention from the human capital perspective can pay off in big dividends in both the costs of injuries (severity) and in the reduction of lost time.