To the Editors,
The role of occupational health nursing is not well understood. We are health care providers working in several different work settings, including organizations deemed an essential service. We deal with complex health issues and play a key role in keeping the essential services that we all count on going. As we move into the next phase of the pandemic and allow more people to return to work, occupational health nurses will play a vital role in keeping us all safe and minimizing a second wave.
Our risk of exposure is already greater than most, but that will only increase as restrictions are lifted and occupational health nurses begin doing more health assessments, including temperature checks.
As industries open back up, this will be the new frontline in the fight against this horrible pandemic. We will continue to be the entry point for anyone requiring COVID screening or follow-up, and those numbers, and the potential hazard, will increase exponentially.