Occupational health nurses working to support our staff
May 11, 2021
They are among the first people our employees call with COVID-19 related questions and worries. Regardless of what time it is, our occupational health nurses have been there to support our staff.
“Since March 2020, we have been supporting our employees with timely information, guidance, and recommendations for not only themselves, but also for their families, around the clock,” said Ashley Macri, one of four occupational health nurses currently at the City of Winnipeg.
The nurses are also involved with case investigations, assisting our management teams in providing recommendations as it relates to the public health guidelines, and collaborating with Manitoba Public Health and Shared Health.
“This work helps to maintain staffing levels in the various City departments which translates to these employees being able to maintain City services to the highest capacity for all the residents we serve,” she said.
The theme of 2021 Nursing Week theme We Answer the Call rings especially true for our dedicated team. Like many people working on the front lines of this pandemic, their personal lives are impacted.
“The families of the nurses have had to adapt to the constant ring of a cell phone and the nurse being pulled away from their personal time to address COVID-related matters related to employees into the evenings and on weekends,” said Macri.
Not only do the nurses take great pride in their work, their commitment is also helping protect residents.
“Among our top priorities is to protect our employees and residents,” said Stephanie Mages, the City’s Senior Manager of Employee Health and Safety Programs.
Responding to COVID-19 concerns is on top of their regular nursing duties, which includes supporting employees who are return to work after medical leave, making sure any required medical accommodations are met in the workplace, and assisting with fit testing for personal protective equipment. They also operate our flu shot clinics during the fall and assist with workplace site assessments.
“We have a lot of autonomy within our roles which allows for independent thinking, creativity, and accountability which all promote a sense of self-respect and self-worth,” said Macri. “We have the opportunity to work with an interdisciplinary team with varying backgrounds allowing us to reach goals, make effective decisions, and create organizational strategies to improve and maintain the health and safety of our workers.”