Occupational medicine is a branch of clinical medicine that works hand-in-hand with environmental medicine. Together, the two branches are dedicated to the prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, disease, illness and disability. Occupational medicine focuses on the highest degree of mental, social and physical well-being for employees of all occupations, as well as their families and their communities. It also promotes health and productivity of employees in the workplace.
Previously, occupational medicine was known as industrial medicine, due to the industrial facilities that employed in-house doctors and surgeons to look after their employees. The field evolved to include all workplaces. The broad term, occupational, was adopted for any medical employee concerned with work site and product safety, environmental concerns and public health.
Occupational medicine is practiced across a wide variety of work places and settings. The types of services offered in these centers is largely dependent on the size of the organization. Organizations offer occupational medicine services to their employees, families and the community. These services are offered to employees of large factories, companies of all sizes, private practices, government agencies, academic facilities and hospitals, clinics and urgent care centers.
Physicians that specialize in occupational medicine can help businesses improve hygiene and reduce the risks and hazards inherent with certain jobs. These doctors look after employee wellness, including everything from physical injury, such as falls or carpal tunnel syndrome, to on-the-job stress related mental illnesses. They can provide rehab and therapy, and put in place new procedures to minimize health and safety risks.
The dedicated doctors that practice occupational medicine are a wonderful addition to their communities. They work hard to make the places we work, live and play as safe as possible.
Occupational medicine is a growing, specialized field. It is set up to provide workers with medical care focused on possible injuries, risks, hazards, illnesses or diseases that they may have been exposed to due to their career choice. The doctors and clinics that have been contracted to provide care to employees are trained for the possible environmental risks as well, and will be able to let workers know if they should immediately seek hospital medical attention. Some of the higher risk job sites, like coal miners, construction workers, and other jobs may have urgent care centers located on the job site, with trained physicians ready to offer emergency care until the employee can be taken to the hospital. Another aspect of occupational medicine is doctors and specialists who evaluate the physical or mental risks that can be caused by the working environment, and recommend safety, health and hygiene procedures that must be followed to minimize and prevent these risks. If you have received a severe injury at work, you should speak with your company. They should be able to recommend a rehabilitation clinic that is associated with your occupation. If you are searching for a specific doctor practice, disability specialist, or physical therapy provider affiliated with your occupation, begin by asking your company what care they offer. You can also ask colleagues, or check online for further enquires. Before visiting a center in your community, find out what costs you company will cover, or what will come out of pocket. Make sure that they are trained to treat your special needs, and that they care about you as a patient. If they meet these standards, try visiting the practice and seeing what you think. He or she may be the doctor you need.