Since many adults spend most of their waking lives at work, offices and worksites present a prime opportunity for improving health. Employers are increasingly turning to nurses for their flexibility, leadership, and experience in building workplace Cultures of Health, notes the paper, the latest in the RWJF Charting Nursing’s Future series of policy briefs.
The brief describes these nurse-designed initiatives ranging from worksite-based clinics to nurse-led research on occupational health hazards; nurse-led care, education, research, and advocacy on farming-related occupational illnesses; patient confidentiality concerns; and more.
"Studies of these initiatives’ financial return on investment (ROI) provide widely varying results, but a consensus is emerging that such programmes pay off in many ways," the report says.
Nurses are often in the vanguard of these efforts, which include:
- Improving the workplace environment to minimise hazards
- Implementing programmes to address job and life risks in tandem and to bolster resilience among workers
- Increasing access to evidence-based primary care through worksite clinics that provide convenient, low-cost, and efficient care
- Rebooting workplace culture through healthy menu choices, walking meetings, and fitness activities
- Redesigning benefits to reward prevention and wellness
- Measuring the impact of various workplace health initiatives
- Building the business case for investing in the health of communities at large
“From an employer’s perspective, it’s just good business to keep workers healthy and on the job, and to deploy nurses to advance those goals,” says Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF senior programme officer, and executive editor of Charting Nursing’s Future. “Nurses bring a professional perspective and clinical expertise that makes them well-qualified to lead such initiatives, and employers and employees are turning to them with increasing frequency.”
Source: American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
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