There are a few different ways employers offer occupational health services to employees. Regardless of the kind of medical care businesses provide, nurse practitioners are integral in delivering healthcare to employees in all kinds of settings. Just how might NPs be used to provide care to patients on the job?
1. Primary Care Services
Access to healthcare during the workday can be difficult for some employees to find or schedule. So, they let management of chronic diseases slide. They may neglect to follow up with a primary care provider for refills of prescription medications or monitoring of health metrics, work obligations conflicting with their provider’s office hours. As a result, employees ultimately miss work due to illness not to mention their worsening health results in increasing insurance premiums on part of the employer. The solution? Some employers bring healthcare to the workplace.
On site primary care services look different depending on the employer. Some companies may provide employees with a full-service clinic while others offer limited services or healthcare a few days a week. These on site clinics are frequently staffed by nurse practitioners, typically those with enough experience to practice as the sole provider on site.
2. Promotion of Health and Wellness
Health and wellness programs offered by larger companies have also become increasingly popular in recent years. Insurance carriers may cut premiums for businesses promoting health and wellness incentivizing employers to get these programs in place. Ultimately, this keeps employees healthier cutting healthcare spending reducing financial liability on part of the insurance carrier and reducing the cost of insurance premiums for the employer.
Health and wellness programs may involve everything from blood pressure screening and checking basic labs to smoking cessation programs or dietary education. Nurse practitioners are often integral in planning for and the implementation of these programs.
3. Care for Workplace Injuries
In other cases, employees’ job responsibilities leave them prone to injury. Manufacturers, construction companies, and other businesses involved in manual labor fall into this camp. Employers must offer healthcare services in case of an injury on the job. This is where nurse practitioners come into play. Whether occupational health services are provided on site or at a designated occupational health clinic, NPs providing care to injured workers treat everything from sprains and strains to suturing wounds and evaluating patients with head injuries.
A career as an occupational health nurse practitioner can be a good way for both primary care and urgent care nurse practitioners to use their skills.
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