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Summer 2014 Journal Summary Abstracts 

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Organization Leadership
Organization Leadership, formerly the President’s Message, is a standing Journal column highlighting current hot topics. In this issue, Executive President Dee Tyler, RN, COHN-S, FAAOHN, discusses how AOHP is gaining recognition as the leading authority for occupational health professionals in healthcare by collaborating with other associations, sending AOHP representatives to national and international meetings, and consulting with government agencies to impact national occupational health policy decisions.

 

Vice President's Update
For this issue, AOHP Government Affairs Committee Chair Lorraine Pacha provides a commentary on the value of political advocacy. She presents information on two pending bills, in addition to recently passed legislation, that will have a direct impact on the work of occupational health professionals. She encourages AOHP members to stay current on government activities and to inform elected representatives about what is important to nurses, other healthcare providers and patients.

 

Editor’s Column
This standard feature provides commentary from the current Journal Editor, Kim Stanchfield, RN, COHN-S. In this issue, she reflects on the value of looking at occupational health from the perspective of someone new to the profession. She encourages experienced members to re-discover and appreciate the great adventures of occupational health and the value offered by AOHP with renewed energy and excitement.

 

Association Community Liaison Report
Through this regular Journal article, MaryAnn Gruden, MSN, CRNP, NP-C, COHN-S/CM, details how AOHP is gaining visibility as an expert regarding occupational health issues. In this edition, she reviews two important aspects of respiratory protection: the recently launched Respiratory Protection Webkit (including respiratory protection competencies for occupational health nurses) offered by the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses; and a report from AOHP member Mary Cox on a recent invitation-only Food and Drug Administration respiratory protection summit that AOHP was invited to attend.

 

Annual Treasurer’s Report
Elaine Dawson, RN, COHN, AOHP Executive Treasurer, shares the results of AOHP’s financial review completed for the year ending December 31, 2013, whereby AOHP was noted to demonstrate appropriate financial management strategies. An overview of the organization’s positive financial position for 2013 is depicted in a series of graphs.

 

Research-Driven Practice
Now that AOHP has proven it is Ready to Research, this column has been re-named. Research-Driven Practice better reflects how original research conducted by AOHP members and shared with the membership to encourage practice changes promotes the advancement of occupational health in healthcare. This issue's column presents a review of original occupational health research on Occupational Health Department staffing conducted by 2013 Julie Schmid Research Scholarship award winners X.J. Ethan Moses and Kevin M. Walters (in collaboration with colleague Gwenith G. Fisher.) Their analysis, which takes a unique look at the relationship among occupational health staffing, stress and job satisfaction, expands on the staffing study conducted in 2011 by AOHP member and Association Community Liaison MaryAnn Gruden. 

Moses, X.J. Ethan; Walters, Kevin M.; and Fisher, Gwenith G. The AOHP 2014 Staffing Survey: Building on Previous Work

ABSTRACT
Introduction. The available literature pertaining to occupational health office staffing is sparse. This study aims to begin to address this deficiency by identifying factors associated with occupational health office staffing in the healthcare setting, as well as the relationship between staffing and occupational health worker stress and satisfaction.

Methods. An invitation to participate in an anonymous online survey was sent to all AOHP members. Data on staffing, job attitudes and work stress were collected and analyzed using descriptive statistics.

Results. The simple survey response rate was 33% (381/1,172.) After accounting for missing and incomplete data, 310 responses were included in the final analyses. A broad range of facility sizes and types were represented, all of which offered some combination of inpatient, outpatient and long term care. The occupational health offices serving those facilities were most often managed by individuals in the nursing profession (84%) with at least a bachelor’s level of education (66%.)

Discussion. Respondents reported relatively high levels of meaningfulness of work, perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. Additionally, respondents indicated moderate to high levels of autonomy and work-life balance, while reporting neutral levels of role conflict and role overload.

Conclusion. There is substantial variability in staffing among occupational health offices in healthcare settings across the United States. However, occupational health professionals are generally very happy with their chosen profession and are committed to their jobs and the field of occupational health.

Advances in Technology
Tech Talk is now Advances in Technology. This regular Journal column provides readers with helpful information about current technological advances that have the potential to improve the work of occupational health professionals. Column editor Cindy Brumley, RN, provides follow-up to her articles in the previous two issues focusing on data storage, highlighting optical media - data storage read by laser - options including CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray.

 

The Benefit of Belonging...
Explore the reasons why it's beneficial to join an association like AOHP through this article authored by Jennifer J. Wasco, MSN, RN. She provides helpful advice on the right questions to ask to determine the most satisfying aspects of membership, as well as how to best contribute individual talents to benefit the organization as a whole. Identifying the benefits of belonging will help in achieving professional and personal goals.

 

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