Nursing’s golden treasureOn 1 Jan 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Occupational nurses can make the difference at all levels of the system anddeserve to be highly valuedOccupational health is the cutting edge of the nursing community, said DrBeverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing in herkeynote address to the conference. “I don’t see any other group in nursing having the conversation aboutwhy nursing makes a difference – a difference in terms of safety and quality ofcare. “They should look at you as their golden treasure, and I’m not surethey do. “OH nurses always think in terms of systems,” said Malone,outlining the various levels of the system which OH nurses make a difference. On the supra level, she said, which includes organisations such as the WHO,the emphasis has been on determining which countries have the healthiestworkforce. “No other group of nurses have a more leading role indetermining that,” she said. On the organisational level, Malone spoke about her vision for the RCN.”But a vision without action is a hallucination,” she said. “Under the umbrella of the RCN there should be room for every nurse tohave value and worth. My job is to make it clear that you are valued.” Making this happen, Malone continued, involves issues such as health andsafety – including mental health – pay and expert practice – “Every nurseneeds to be an expert,” she said. Somewhere along the line in their careers nurses can lose their passion fornursing. “The key to keeping your passion is in your expert area,”Malone said. At group level, she recommended mentoring as a means of improving skills.”Leaders are not born, they are mentored,” she said. The final levelof the system is the individual level. “When we want change, the bestplace to start is by changing ourselves.” Malone urged occupational health nurses to get involved in liaising withprimary care trusts. “Your knowledge base can be of criticalimportance,” she said.