There is a wide variety of career development opportunities that occupational health jobs can provide today and most occupational health practitioners know too well- that it is quite a rewarding career.
The work of an occupational health practitioner is quite varied, it ranges from assessing the fitness of employees – of them being able to undertake certain tests, to engaging with organisations in assessing the effectiveness of delivery of occupational health services, to looking for methods in which the gaps between business needs and occupation health provisions can be bridged.
Jobs in occupational health can bring with its job satisfaction as you get to work across different business and environments. Apart from this, the knowledge that you are making an actual difference in the lives of people in terms of their health and overall well being that actually affects their ability to stay in work, does matter.
Another positive point to look at when it comes to occupational health jobs, is the fact that occupational health can offer a much-improved work-life balance for a lot of roles in the health sector today which is already so hard-pressed. This will also give you better opportunities at gaining autonomy and maybe even starting your own business or occupational health staffing consultancy
By and large, the prospects of jobs in occupational health remain good. Hence, understanding different roles, options and opportunities that are available – even though those though those opportunities may not be always straightforward, will help you progress forward in the field.
Hence, here’s a brief look at options in occupational health jobs:
- Occupational Health Doctors: Medical practitioners who want to pursue occupational medicine, might need to complete a diploma in occupational medicine. This job is basically designed for doctors working part-time in occupational medicine, or for those who have a special interest in it. To qualify for occupational health vacancies, doctors need to register with the Faculty of Occupational Medicine and then go ahead and undertake a speciality training programme, that has been approved by the General Medicine Council (GMC). An alternate route can be to become a specialist via a Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) to the GMC.
The end goal of both the methods is to become eligible for Membership of the Faculty (MFOM) and if you go through the first method, eventual application to be a specialist is also an option.
- Occupational Health Nurses: One of the biggest professional groups in the occupational health staffing – occupational health nurses, start at the registered nurse level and work their way up, learning and gaining qualifications along the way as they go. The basic educational requirement as of now is to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery council. From thereon you will have to take an NMC approved course in Specialist Community Public Health Nursing (SCHPCN). These courses for jobs in occupational health, generally take a duration of one-year full time or two years part-time.
- Occupational Health Physiotherapists: Occupational Health therapists are tasked with providing treatment and rehabilitation for work-related injuries. They can work on-site or even work from an offsite treatment centre. They also can plan a return to work for the workers, educate them about possible injuries at workplace, be tasked with health promotion etc. There are short courses that can help develop skills in this particular area, and they are conducted by the Association of Chartered. Physiotherapists in Occupational Health and Ergonomics (ACPOHE) primarily, amongst others.
- Occupational Health Psychologists: The application of the science of psychology to workspaces is quantified as occupational health psychology. Occupational health psychologists are quite crucial in high-stress workspaces, hence their relevance in occupational health jobs in such sectors, is quite apparent.
With the usage of psychological theories and approaches, occupational health psychologists deliver tangible benefits in increasing the effectiveness of the organisations. They also aid in developing the workforces’ performance, motivation and wellbeing.
There are a lot of conversion courses run at universities for occupational health jobs, as an occupational health psychologist, for which interested candidates can enrol themselves in.
- Occupational Health Technicians: Working as a part of the team, occupational health technicians often work under the supervision of occupational health advisers and nurses.
They are generally responsible for health surveillance clinics, which also include testing audiology, vision and spirometry. The role of an occupational health technician may also expand and include blood pressure monitoring, phlebotomy, cholesterol testing and urine testing.
As a role, this occupational health staffing might also include site visits. Technicians, should ideally receive training from their employers and be assess if they’re competent enough to perform tasks such as
- Measuring blood pressure height pulse, weight BMI etc.
- Interpretation of new starter questionnaires
- Do urine analysis
- Do audiometry
- Measurement of visual acuity to occupational standards
- Measurement of colour vision to occupational standards
- Perform such-function testing, and include peak flow and spirometry
- Asses mobility
As such the world of occupational health staffing is seeing a steady influx in term of professionals and opportunities. With the widening of scope in terms of requirement of occupational health professionals, a little perseverance can result in substantial progress in the field. The aforementioned careers offer a brief insight into the training options and occupational health vacancies available in the field. In fact, if you look closely the occupational health world is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary and that may actually open a lot more vistas for you as an occupational health professional.