1628d Through the looking glass: the future role of occupational health nursing

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Abstract

Introduction

Health care delivery is under pressure throughout the world and as such is experiencing many challenges related to demands to deliver affordable, accessible and appropriate health care to the world`s population. Occupational health nurses (OHN) have an important role to play in the delivery of universal health coverage. It is important for OHNs to be flexible and dynamic enough to embrace the evolution of health care delivery and be part of it otherwise it runs the risk of becoming redundant.

Methods

A review of the literature was conducted following a search of bibliographic databases including Cinhal Plus, Medline, Academic search complete, ERIC and MasterFILE Premier. Only English language literature published between 2007 and 2017 was searched, using search terms such as, but not limited to, future of nursing, role of occupational health nursing, future role of OHN, global health, sustainable development goals, universal health coverage and occupational health nursing education.

Results

The future of OHN is dependent on the health system of the country in which the OH services are being delivered but it should be embedded in a model of universal health coverage and part of the overall health delivery system. OHNs will need to ensure that it is part of the current and emerging trends in global health in order to remain relevant and effective.

Conclusion

OHNs will be the interface between the health system and working populations in improving health and quality of life. OHNs are important in delivering health services to a hard to reach population of adult workers who do not have time to attend to their health needs and particularly preventative health strategies such as immunisation. OHNs will be pivotal in the early detection of emerging diseases related to globalisation and climate change, which need inter-professional collaboration and teamwork across multiple sectors for joint action.

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