An independent nurse practitioner in occupational health : is it feasible for New Zealand? : a report presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Nursing Studies at Massey University
This report is concerned with the practice of one independent nurse practitioner in occupational health. The literature relating to occupational health is examined together with that focussing primarily on occupational health nursing and independent nurse practitioners. The health needs of small enterprises are also highlighted. The main section of the report sets out an account of a seven month pilot project which investigates the feasibility of providing an occupational health service to small industries in the Palmerston North area. In phase one (assesment), 81 employees were interviewed within three industries. Lifestyle questions and questions regarding their occupations were asked to determine health education needs. A factory profile was also completed on each industry to determine hazardous areas. The data collected helped in the construction of the health programmes for the year (phase two, planning). In phase three (implementation) lectures were given, videotapes shown and guest speakers were invited to dissipitate health information. The occupational health programmes were evaluated in phase four, using questionnaires as tools. The conclusions showed that the programmes were evaluated as worthwhile in two out of three companies and employees in these companies stated that they would like the occupational health service extended. A model for the development of independent practice by nurses in occupational health is presented in phase five. The report ends with a summary of the requirements for a successful practice. That is the nurse must construct a business plan, engage an accountant and have realistic expectations in relation to outcomes.