Probably you have been seeing vacancies, yes plenty of them from industrial areas requiring an occupational nurse. Have you been asking yourself questions such as:
How do I become an industrial nurse? What is the difference between an industrial nurse and other nurses? What are the working conditions for an industrial nurse? What are the required qualifications? How much does an industrial nurse earn?
This is the right platform for you. Zimbabwe’s industry sector is now concerned about the health and safety of their workers therefore many nurses are needed in the industry sector. An occupational nurse is a registered nurse who holds an occupational qualification (certificate, diploma or degree) and focuses on workplace safety.
Of course to become an occupational nurse you should go through training which lasts from 8 weeks to 4years depending on the institution as well as the qualification you are studying for.
The working conditions are favourable and differ from other nursing sectors as you will be focusing on employees only. Earnings also depend on how big and busy is the industry but I assure you, occupational nurses in Zimbabwe are earning a lot.
What is an occupational nurse?
Occupationalnursesalso known as industrial nurses, evaluate workplace environments in order to identify possible hazards that workers may face on the job.
Different types of workplaces or industries (offices, retail shops, construction sites) face different types of hazards which include chemicals, obstructions, machinery, or even employee carelessness and computer screens.
In Zimbabwe, Occupational health nurses work closely with both employers and employees to ensure that workers stay safe in their working environments.
They also work to make sure that workers suffering from workplace-related injuries and illnesses get the care that they need.
Occupational health nurses attempt to prevent injuries and illnesses related to workplaces and care for employees that have gotten hurt or ill.
How Do I Become an Occupational Health Nurse in Zimbabwe?
You have to enrol with a training institution which offers courses on occupational health, safety and environmental management.
In Zimbabwe occupational nursing is not yet common therefore most industries are still considering a certificate as a qualification although it is wise to further your studies up to the PhD level since the world is slowly changing.
The course is open to registered nurses who hold a current and valid practising certificate issued by the Nurse’s Council of Zimbabwe.
What are the requirements for Occupational Nurse Training in Zimbabwe
5 Ordinary levels inclusive of English language, Maths and Science.
Diploma or degree in general nursing.
Current and valid practising certificate from Nurse’s Council of Zimbabwe.
National Identity card.
Industrial experience is an added advantage.
How long does it take to complete the course with NSSA
This is an eight-week course comprising of two parts of four weeks each. At the end of each part, students sit for an examination which should be passed to proceed to the next level.
In between the two parts students conduct an industrial research project as partial fulfilment of the course. Upon successfully completing the course, students are awarded transcripts and certificates.
This is an interactive and participative course involving group work, a factory visit, case studies and presentations. The course is tailor-made to equip the students with skills, knowledge and attitudes to manage safety and health effectively.
How much is the course
Currently, the course fee is ZWL 5,000. Please note that the costs are subject to change.
Other Colleges and Institutions
Besides NSSA there are other institutions which offer diplomas and degrees in occupational health to nurses which include, University of Zimbabwe, Bindura University, Midlands State University and many more.
The requirements are the same as NSSA requirements.
For Diploma it takes 1 year to complete, Undergraduate Degree it takes 4 years to complete (with one year of exemption). Postgraduates it takes 2 years and above.
How Do I Apply For Occupational Nurse Training in Zimbabwe?
For more information please contact:
OSH Promotions Training Manager Mrs S. Mugaviri, Office 12, 2nd Floor, NSSA House, Harare, Tel. 04-799036, e-mail: [email protected]
OSH Training Officer Mr N Gwezuva, Office 5, 4th Floor, NSSA House, Harare, Tel 04-706523-5 / 706545-8, e-mail: [email protected]
Principal OSH Training Officer Mr L Mpofu, Compensation House Cnr Leopold Takawira Ave / Main Street Bulawayo, Tel: (09) 71013-4 / 74904-6 / 78904-6, e-mail: [email protected]
For other colleges and university, you can also visit the university’s website for the application process.
What Does an Occupational Nurse do in Zimbabwe?
Occupational nurses in Zimbabwe are responsible for prevention, investigation, and treatment of workplace-related illnesses and injuries.
In order to prevent workplace injuries and illnesses,
Occupational nurses assess the workplace to identify possible hazards.
Occupational nurses also educate employers and employees on how to prevent accidents and injuries.
They may suggest changes in procedures or develop other ways to make workplaces safer.
They also make sure that workplaces are up to standards of laws, policies, by-laws and other regulations of Zimbabwe such as Factories and Work’s Act, NSSA, Zimbabwe National OSH policy etc.
Occupational nurse investigates the circumstances surrounding the incident in cases that an employee claims that an illness or injury is related to his work by looking at an employee’s medical charts to determine whether or not the injury or illness could have been caused by a workplace hazard.
These nurses may also perform drug and alcohol tests and investigate the causes of workplace accidents as they are necessary for workman’s compensation and medical insurance claims.
They treat employees that get hurt or ill due to workplace hazards which may include tending to injuries, administering medication, and performing rehabilitation therapy after certain injuries.
Occupational nurses will also screen new and prospective employees to ensure that they are capable of performing the duties required by their positions which may include a physical examination, vision test, hearing test, and drug or alcohol screening.
Where Do Occupational Health Nurses Work?
Occupational health nurses can often find employment in hospitals and clinics and nowadays many employers and companies are also hiring occupational nurses.
They also work in all industries and all different types of workplaces.
What are the required soft skills for occupational nurses in Zimbabwe
You must be able to effectively communicate with employers, employees, medical professionals, and insurance companies.
It is an important skill as you’ll often be educating individuals on workplace safety.
Other skills involve;
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