Occupational Health Career Planning Activities

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These CPD activities are designed to complement the Understanding Occupational Health Career Paths webinar. They are intended to help you in your occupational health career planning.

Activity 1

Unless Occupational Health Benefit adds value to employers, it is simply a cost and a cost that employers may decide they cannot afford. Consider the benefits for employers of having an effective workplace health strategy. If you were to make a presentation to a potential employer, what evidence could you use to demonstrate the value of providing occupational health services?

The Society of Occupational Medicine’s Occupational Health and Value Proposition: The Global Evidence and Value Report will help you refine your ideas.

Activity 2

What attracts you to the practice of occupational health management and what are your career aspirations? Identify what you find fulfilling in your current role and what your strengths are. Are there areas you could develop further? For example, you can take advantage of self-directed, hands-on practice planning, delivery of health monitoring programs, and case management. Alternatively, you may prefer to work at a more strategic level driving the organization’s occupational health strategy through policy development.

Reflect on and assess your current skills, noting your current strengths. Do you have any areas that need further development? How could you further develop your strengths and work on areas you could improve? How do you see your future professional career evolving? If you have educational needs, how could you meet them?

Activity 3

List your recent influences on the delivery of occupational health management. Reflect on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on workplaces and the physical and mental health of workers. Has it changed the direction of workplace practices, health management and service delivery? Get up to date on NICE guidelines on occupational health and management practices.

Activity 4

Reflect on social inequalities in health and their effects on individuals, organizations and the nation. What is the link with occupational health? Think about how better knowledge of social inequalities could influence the way you deliver health care at work.

The following texts will help you consider the benefits for individuals and society of reducing social inequalities:

  • Wilkinson, R. & Pickett, K. (2010) The spirit level. London: Penguin Books.
  • Groundhog, M. (2015) Status syndrome: how your place on the social gradient directly affects your health. London: Bloomsbury Paperbacks.
  • Groundhog, M. (2015) The health gap: the challenge of an unequal world. London: Bloomsbury Publishing.

Activity 5

There is an increased awareness of the importance of supporting people with different abilities and health issues to access and maintain employment. As Waddell and Burton (2006) point out, work is good for your health. In addition, helping people to remain economically active helps reduce the burden on the taxpayer.

The joint Department of Health and Department for Work and Pensions (2017) Improving Lives provides insight into the future of work, health and disability.

Read this document and then think about how occupational health services in general, and you in particular, could contribute to government strategies to help people with disabilities stay at work. How could you incorporate this into your career planning?

Activity 6

Effective leadership is an integral part of workplace health initiatives. These TED talks provide insight into leadership development. Watch the discussions, then think about how you might become a more effective leader.

How great leaders inspire action, by Simon Sinek

Listen, Learn…Then Lead, by Stanley McChrystal

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