Did you know that our Occupational Health Team can see up to 130 members of staff a week?
I didn’t realise that number could go quite that high, of course this is if all those members of staff have 15 minute appointments, if staff require a longer appointment then that number can drop all the way down to 3 staff members a day. Depending on how busy the staff health centre is, the team can see anywhere between 16 members of staff in the morning and 10 in the afternoon, of course as mentioned above that depends on the type of appointment that they are booked in for.
The Occupational Health Service is staffed by both specialist occupational health staff and technical staff, supported by a qualified administration team. The team aims to provide the highest standards of professional care and will strive to protect and promote the physical and psychological health of the workforce.
I had the pleasure of shadowing Margo, Occupational Health Technician to gain a better understanding of how the team can help both staff and members of the public. During my visit I got to see a number of blood tests being taken to check for antibodies relating to measles and chickenpox and the process for staff members who have suffered a sharps injury whilst on the job.
As part of my shadowing I also got the chance to have a mini medical given by Jayne, Occupational Health and Wellbeing Nurse/Advisor. The medical is a 45-minute slot looking at your height, weight, BMI, waist, BP and a cholesterol blood test After booking in I was given a questionnaire to fill out which asks simple questions about diet, exercise, smoking and a small family history which you fill in with the nurse. Based on my medical I am a healthy young adult, who perhaps indulges in too many sugary treats, but who doesn’t from time to time?
“We often see staff who think that we are a treatment centre and can give out a diagnosis but this is not the case. We can of course listen to your concerns and any problems that you are facing and are more than happy to advise you on the next steps but we can’t do any more than that, no matter how much we wish we could.”
One of the things I discovered during my time in Occupational Health is that they often have external companies come in for paid appointments for any of the following:
- Sickness absence management
- Health surveillance
- Food handler assessments
- Fork truck medicals
- Mini-medicals for business clients
Some members of the team often to go out to local businesses for appointments and one of the most common reasons for an external visit is to perform a spirometry test for employees who work in conditions that may affect their lungs and breathing patterns.
It was a pleasure to shadow the Occupational Health Team and visit a different area within the hospital.
Did you know?
If you are an overseas nurse coming from a high risk TB country and are coming to work at the Trust it’s likely that you are going to need a TB blood test regardless of whether or not you have had a BCG vaccination.
- If you would like a blood test but work outside of the hospital that test is going to cost you £37.50.
- The Trust do alcohol and drug tests that can happen at any time.