Speaker argues case for using assistants

Non-OH professionals can complement an occupational health practice, in much
the same way that a care assistant contributes to a primary care setting,
argued Mary Clark, OHA at Avecia, Grangemouth, who currently employs an
occupational health technician.

The presentation, ‘Health Surveillance by a Non-OH Professional’, caused
some controversy among delegates, many of whom felt that a lack of nurse
training rendered the services of an OH assistant suspect.

However, said Clark, an assistant who is trained and properly supervised is
capable of carrying out basic health surveillance tests, including audiometry,
sight and blood pressure tests, giving OHNs "the opportunity to continue
and progress their practice".

She agreed that health surveillance by a non-OH professional is no
replacement for an occupational health nurse.

However, Clark argued that working in partnership can release the
occupational health practitioner to deliver a proactive service to the


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