Welcome to our new blog series! Heart Beat is going to profile workers within the health care industry on a weekly basis. We hope this provides insights into the other roles that people play and maybe inspire you to change careers. We start with…
A Day In The Life Of An Occupational Health Advisor
We get an inside look into the typical life of an Occupational Health Advisor, who works within the Local Government.
Can you describe your main responsibilities?
Primarily, I focus on the relationship between health and work. It is my duty to provide good quality support and advice to managers and HR. I am required to consult the employees, discussing and giving advice regarding the management of their health problems. For instance, an employee might have a health issue which could impact on their ability to work or work that they can do. It is my job to ensure that the employees can work as effectively as possible and at the same time ensure that their health is protected.
What are the working hours like?
I work Monday to Friday. I usually have a flexible start and finish. Core hours are between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.
Did you require further education to get to your current position?
Yes, I have a Masters (MSc) in Occupational Health. But you can also become an Occupational Health Advisor by obtaining a Bachelor’s degree (BSc) in Occupational Health. Along with education, I believe that professional development is essential in order to get to maintain competency and evidence based practice.
What are the pluses and misuses of working as an Occupational Health Advisor?
The best aspect of my job is the satisfaction I get from being able to successfully rehabilitate an employee back to work following an illness, disability or other health issues, aiding them to get back to work, as opposed to them being unemployed and prevented from working due to a health problem. Working within the council means that I frequently interact with a variety of people, which I enjoy very much. Also getting to know the workforce on a personal level, gaining an insight into their roles.
One negative is aspect is dealing with barriers. I feel that sometimes the bureaucracy gets in the way of ideas that we might have on solutions to aid an employee affected by a particular health problem to find work.
Do the benefits and rewards match up to your expectations?
Yes, to some extent, we have a good pension but we don’t receive any bonuses. I like the fact that I can manage my own time accordingly.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
I want to wind down and may be work part-time by that time, but if not I see myself in a managerial position in Occupational Health.
What has been your best achievement of your career?
Before working as an Occupational Health Advisor, I had worked as a Nursing Sister. I would say that my biggest achievement of my career path is being appointed to a Clinical Educator post and was able to established an on going professional development for all staff within the department.
How are the social aspects at your workplace?
We don’t have great social aspects – we have an occasional pub lunch and take breaks together as a team. But the lack of social events doesn’t really bother me as I am able to frequently meet and interact with new, lovely people in the work I do.