The formative need for the professional exercise of occupational nurses has recently been published by the Directorate-General for Health in guidance DGS009/2014, of June 3, 2014 on the authorization of Occupational Health Nursing and in order to comply with Law no. 102/2009, of 10 September, which establishes the legal framework for health promotion and occupational safety. This guidance set out the criteria and procedures for the recognition of qualification and for the temporary approval for the exercise of occupational health nursing (DGS, 2014).
The Portuguese Nurses’ Association (Ordem dos Enfermeiros) has shown interest in developing this area of professional practice to the level of expertise, through moments of scientific debate and with the release of the book The Role of the Occupational Health Nurse in Work Place Health Management, which was produced in 2001 by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The formative program was planned based on the theoretical framework for the training of occupational health nurses developed by the “Federation of Occupational Health Nurses within the European Union”, as well as the recommendations of the National Association of Occupational Health Nurses.
The presence of the nurse in the multidisciplinary occupational health team has been advocated by various international bodies, such as the WHO, ILO, FOHNEU.
The ICN itself calls for the recognition of occupational health and safety as a professional nursing role with the appropriate remuneration that corresponds to the level of expertise and incentives to attract and retain nurses in this area of practice (ICN, 2000).
In Europe, occupational health nurses are the largest group of health care professionals who take health care to the workplaces. The new organizational and occupational challenges require high levels of professional training and practice, transforming the nurse into a central key figure involved in delivering high quality occupational health services to the working populations. Occupational health nurses are at the frontline in helping to protect and promote the health of working populations and can make a significant contribution towards building social capital in Europe (WHO-Europe, 2001).
Thus, the post-graduate training in occupational health nursing aims to provide knowledge and competencies in the nursing principles and techniques with the purpose of promoting, preserving and restoring the health of the workers in their workplace, by contributing to their well-being and quality performance.
- To offer students an opportunity to acquire, discuss and update scientific knowledge in the area of Occupational Health Nursing;
- To acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to work as occupational health nurse;
- To know the organization, the activities and responsibilities of the health services that relate to health, hygiene and safety in the workplace;
- To characterize the factors that influence the workers’ health in the workplace;
- To identify the main risk factors in the workplaces;
- To develop training and health promotion skills in the workplace;
- To develop skills for the preparation of health promotion projects in the workplace;
- To encourage research and production of knowledge in the area of Occupational Health Nursing.
Module 1. Occupational health: concepts, history, and legislation
- The Person and the Work;
- Occupational Nursing: evolution of the concept and area of intervention;
- Global policies in Occupational Health;
- National and community legislation in occupational safety, hygiene and health;
- National Occupational Health Program (2009-2012);
- Promotion and protection of health in the workplace;
- National Health Plan 2012-2016.
Module 2. Promotion and Protection of Worker Health
- Main factors that interfere with the workers’ health;
- Identification and classification of occupational risks;
- Occupational risks of health care workers: physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial factors;
- Risk assessment and risk indicators in occupational health;
- Accidents at work – from the legal concept to the right to redress;
- Communication and Health Education;
- Health literacy and workers’ empowerment;
- Health promotion in the workplace.
Module 3. Management and Organization of Occupational Health Services
- Organization and operation of the occupational health and occupational health nursing services;
- Competencies of the occupational health nurse;
- Planning and organization of a health service at work;
- Occupational health nursing consultation.
Module 4. Research, innovation, and development in Occupational Health Nursing
- Research in occupational health nursing;
- Intervention/research projects: design, implementation and evaluation
METHODOLOGIES OF TRAINING
Explanation of the themes with analysis and discussion of cases;
Learning and exchange of experiences;
Development of intervention/research project.
Students will be evaluated based on one of the following methods:
1) Planning an intervention/research project in the workplace;
2) Elaboration of an article to be submitted to a scientific journal.
DATE AND TIMETABLE
Start date: September 18, 2015
End date: December 19, 2015
Timetable: Friday afternoons (4pm – 9pm) and Saturday mornings (9am – 2pm)