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Labor's View: Workers' Perception of the Occupational Health Nurse.

Barkman MR
NIOSH 1987 Jul:169-172
The workers' perception of the occupational health nurse was discussed. According to the author, workers generally regard the occupational health nurse as a mother figure. Their behavioral patterns range from obedience in cases of acute illness with life threatening symptoms to hostility in other instances. Many workers base their evaluation of the nurse on personality rather than on professional ability. Workers do not generally feel competent to judge nursing ability nor do they understand the role of the nurse. Workers frequently identify the occupational health nurse with management. They believe that any records or statements obtained by the nurse after an injury or accident may be used by the company against them. Conflicts can also arise from the worker's perception of the nurse originating from the nurse's perception of the worker, management's desire to control information in the workplace, and from the worker's desire to know the potential hazards associated with his or her job. It is noted that, for the most part, the nurse's role beyond providing emergency care has not been successfully communicated to the workers by management. Workers consider themselves experts on their own jobs and although they look to the occupational health nurse for guidance, they fear reprisals if they are candid and straightforward.
Occupational-health-nursing; Industrial-hygiene; Occupational-health-services; Health-protection; Employees; Workplace-studies; Health-care-personnel; Occupational-psychology;
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Horvitz IA;
Fiscal Year
Source Name
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division