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last updated:24/01/2012 @ 3:48 pm
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Competency 3 – Good Clinical Care:Be aware of misconceptions about the role of occupational health professionals

Objective: to develop reflective communication between healthcare professionals, employers and employees

ATTITUDES

Be aware of misconceptions about the role of occupational health professionals

This can be elicited by means of opening a debate on the role of an occupational health professional.

Who is an occupational health professional?

  • Dr/nurse who is involved assessing the impact of work on health and health on work.

What is their role?

  • To provide independent impartial professional advice to employers and employees

Are their consultations confidential?

  • Yes

How can they help an employer?

  • Providing independent advice on various aspects of a business ranging from pre-employment, health surveillance, absence review, rehabilitation programmes to developing drug and alcohol policies

How can they help an employee?

  • Providing confidential independent advice on the effects of work on their health.
  • Assessing individual needs of individuals when considering rehabilitation programmes.
  • Providing advice to minimise employees’ health is not adversely affected whilst in work

What information can they pass onto an employer regarding an employee?

  • General advice using broad terms, regarding their fitness for work and any restrictions. No clinical information can be divulged without consent from the employee.

How may they be viewed by an employer?

  • part of the workforce, acting only in the employers’ interest.
  • Acting on behalf of the employee.

How may they be viewed by an employee?

  • As a medical professional; substitute for a GP.
  • Act as an employees’ advocate, with the possible use of symptoms to help control their work environment. Possibility of being used to an employee’s advantage.
  • Acting in the interest of the employer. 
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