Interdisciplinary collaboration in occupational health nursing was discussed. Interdisciplinary fields involved in occupational health include medicine, industrial safety, epidemiology, and management; these can be considered to constitute a health team. The occupational health nurse can be viewed as facilitating positive health outcomes for the worker through collaborative action with the other health team members. This facilitation occurs on several levels: the interpersonal, between the nurse and the worker; the organizational, between the nurse and other health care personnel within the company; and on the societal level between the nurse and the community. Examples of interactions at the interpersonal, organizational, and societal levels utilizing hearing protective measures were given. At the interpersonal level, the nurse would administer the hearing test to the worker and instruct the worker on how to insert ear plugs into the ear canal after the test. At the organizational level, the nurse and other health care team members would cooperate to identify, monitor, and control noise exposures within the company. At the societal level, a worker whose test results indicated a possible noise induced hearing loss would be referred by the nurse and physician to an audiologist in the community for evaluation. Examples of occupational health program elements that require interdisciplinary collaboration were described. These consist of physical examinations, information flow, and prevention and rehabilitation. In each of these the nurse acts as the liaison person with other health care specialists.
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983