What are the Duties and Responsibilities of Company Nurses?
by: Arlene Gentallan
A company nurse is the first line of response to relieve the immediate health concern of the people working in the company. Their health concern can vary from a mild ailment to a serious life-threatening condition.
Assess the patient for his/her chief complain. Gather data (history taking.) Ask for symptoms. Observe for sighns.
...so you can give proper intervention.
INDEPENDENT NURSING ACTION
There are several independent actions you do to help ease the patient such as providing cold compress in case of fever and hot compress in case of dysmenorrhea.
There are several over-the-counter medication a company nurse can readily provide to alliviate the specific health concern of the person. These are usually non-drowse medications because it's a work setting. Common medications are:s
Paracetamol for fever/pain
Mefenamic acid for pain
Strepsil for sorethroat
Phenylpropanolamine / Phenylephrine for cold
Ambroxol for phegm
Butamirate for dry cough
Antacid for hyperacidity
Topical analgesic for muscle pain
Eye drop (artifical tear) for eye irritation
Metoclopromide for nause and vomiting
Betahistine Mesylate for dizziness
Captopril for hypertension
Metoprolol for hypertension
Loperamide for diarrhea
Band aid for bruises and wound
A nurse's role as an educator is crucial for the patient's wellbeing. Providing them information is the best way for them to take active part in maintaining/improving their health. Give them helpful advises and insight regarding ways to improve their current health condition. These advises can range from lifestyle such as diet and exercise up to referral regarding which health professional they can go to diagnose them.
REST A PATIENT
Be mindful of the company's policy. Usually, an employee is alloted a certain timeframe (can be 5 minutes to a few hours) of rest period within their paid working hours provided they have valid medical concern. This is beneficial to the employee to allow them to recuperate a few minutes before they get back to work. Just make sure to properly assess the patient's condition to make sure the employee is not abusing this priviledge.
SEND A PATIENT TO HOSPITAL
If it's a condition warranting emergency treatment, you will have to accompany the person to the hospital. Assess the situation properly so you can properly decide your best transport option. For example, in the case of a person who suffered from fall, you won't be able to move him/her on your own because their's a risk of aggravating his/her condition so you'll have to call an ambulance.
SEND A PATIENT HOME
If the person is afflicted with communicable disease like sore eyes, measles, and chickenpox, there is a high risk of them passing the disease to their workmates. Now, we don't want that to happen so it's important for them to get well first before going back to work. Advise them to visit a hospital/clinic they prefer to be given proper treatment. Remind them to obtain a medical certificate as proof and come back when their doctor deems them fit to work.
WORK AS A TEAM WITH THE COMPANY PHYSICIAN
We can do better as a team. Nurses and doctor, each have specific responsibility and capability as dictated by their profession but with a common goal to bring the person back to his/her optimal level of functioning.
MEDICAL CERTIFICATES VALIDATION
Employees take leave / absenses because of various reasons, one of this is medical reason. The proof being is a medical certificate. You will be tasked to verify it. It's usually done by you calling the hospital/clinic in which they sought medical help. A company nurse may also need to validate the document with the company physician.
In cases in which an employee fails to return to work due to medical reason, especially if it's beyond the timeframe given to them to rest, you may be tasked to visit them at home to see how they're doing.
It's not just in the hospital setting where the quote "If it's not documented, it's not done." applies. You also have documenting responsibility as a company nurse. Stuffs such as these shown below needs to be documented:
What was done.
- What did you do during your shift? The usual things. The unusual thing.
- What was the chief complain of the patient and what were the interventions (independent nursing actions, health teaching, medications, and resting period) given to correct it?
- The number of females, males, and specific incident/health concern cattered to for the day.
- How much of each particular medication was given for the duration of your shift.
- Clinic property that were borrowed should be recorded.
- The transfer of responsibility to the next nurse on duty. Is there a task you will need to delegate to the next shift?
ANNUAL PHYSICAL EXAMINATION (APE)
Making sure that employees are fit to work and finding out any deviation in their health status is important to correct it. Make sure that employees comply to the annual physical examination. There's usually an APE team that will supervise the employees to complete this annual event.
Prevention is better than cure. For a fee, discount or free, as per company policy, employees may be given flu shot to help prevent this commonly transmitted disease. Usually it's the company nurse who gives this prophylactic injection.
Always gather pertinent information from the person before injecting a flu vaccine. You have to ask them if they have an allergy to egg, is pregnant, is immunocompromised or have an preexisting disease. These are the conditions you have to watch out for. You can not give them a flu vaccine because of the risk.
Inject intramuscularly (usually the deltoid muscle is used) at 90 degrees angle. Remember to aspirate the syringe before pushing the medication. If their's blood, withdraw the syringe. Keep in mind to never push the medication if their's blood aspirated. Apply pressure with cotton balls to prevent bleeding.
After the intramuscular injection of flu vaccine, advise the person that it's normal for pain/heaviness to be felt on the site but will subside in a couple of minutes. Advise them that it's normal for them to develop headache, cold, and fever. This is due to their immune system reacting with the vaccine.
Note: These are based from my experience as a company nurse. The purpose of this article is to serve as a helpful guide, not as standard. Please don't hesitate to check on your policy / guideline / regulation / standard / protocol.