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Work-family Conflict, Sleep, and the Heart

Categories: Cardiovascular Disease, Health care, Sleep, Total Worker Health

 

nursesleepHealth care workers represent an increasingly important and ever growing work force in our society. They are also a group of “high-risk workers” meaning they report a lot of musculoskeletal pain, work-related injuries and sleep deficiencies. In addition to this, many health care workers labor in rotating shifts, with little time in-between shifts, so it is no surprise that many of these workers also report scheduling difficulties between work and family. A large study on nurses from 2006 reported that they are concerned about their lack of time and energy when prioritizing family responsibilities and friends outside the workplace. Perhaps exacerbating this concern are increasing demands from a strained economy, the increasing number of single parents in the US, and the fact that health care workers often report working additional jobs – restricting this time even further.

Protecting Workers from Ebola: Eight Knowledge Generation Priorities

Categories: Bloodborne pathogens, Ebola, Emergency Response/Public Sector, Health care, Personal Protective Equipment

 

On November 3, the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council of the National Academies convened a workshop of distinguished representatives from the public and private sectors.   The participants were asked to suggest priorities for research that will “provide public health officials, healthcare providers, and the general public with the most up-to-date information about transmission, health risks, and measures that should be taken to prevent spread of [Ebola virus disease] in the U.S.” NIOSH was pleased to contribute to this dialogue, specifically by addressing issues critical for protecting heath care workers from work-related infection.

Researchers and practitioners have decades of experience related to the use of sampling, analysis, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other traditional measures for assessing exposures and minimizing the risks of occupational illness and injury in the industrial setting. That knowledge underpins standard industrial hygiene practices in factories, mines, and construction sites. Strategic research is vital for building a comparably robust base of evidence for reducing occupational risks from infectious diseases in the complex health care setting. By stimulating the knowledge needed to better meet the challenges of Ebola today, we also lay a stronger foundation for anticipating tomorrow’s potential threats from other novel infectious diseases in our 21st Century world of international commerce and rapid air travel.

Including Work Information in Electronic Health Records

Categories: Health care, Safety and Health Data

 

Today’s “Health IT Buzz,” the blog of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), features a blog co-written by Kerry Souza of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and Michael Wittie of the ONC. Posted during “Health Center Week”, the blog highlights the leadership and initiative of health centers in using Electronic Health Records to capture and use patients’ work information to address health issues related to their work.  Occupation is an important determinant of health that has not been systematically recorded in medical records. These projects are significant steps in the efforts by NIOSH and its partners to ensure that patient work information is captured in Electronic Health Records and can be used to address both individual patient health and the health of working populations.  You can read the blog HERE.

 

Kerry Souza, ScD, MPH   

Dr. Souza is an epidemiologist in the NIOSH Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies

 

 

Reaching Towards a Healthier, Safer Workplace:NIOSH looks at healthcare worker familiarity with recommended respiratory protection practices

Categories: Health care, Personal Protective Equipment

Every day healthcare workers (HCWs) make decisions about the best way to protect themselves. What would you do if you entered the room of a new patient and noticed symptoms such as fever and a mucus-producing cough? As a HCW, you must then ask yourself, “What type of disease does the patient have? What sort of precautions should I take to protect myself because the patient may have an infectious disease?” While it is your employer’s responsibility to provide policies, programs, training, and guidance on respirator use, it is the health care workers who implement these procedures.  Do you know when to use respiratory protection? If so, do you understand what type of protection to choose and how to use it properly?

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