Occupational Health for Workers and Employers

The field of occupational medicine exists to help people stay safe in their work environment and receive medical care and supervision specific to their particular employment situation. Read on to learn more about occupational medicine and how our occupational medicine services at Lompoc Valley Medical Center can help you reach your ideal state of wellness.

Our occupational medicine providers can work directly with your employer to ensure that you meet specific criteria to return to work or receive work restrictions as needed. Occupational medicine providers are very sensitive to your work environment and the characteristics of your specific employer. This can be crucial to properly document claims for worker’s compensation and other financial programs. Occupational medicine providers are also adept at coordinating between all the parties involved in a workplace injury, from the patient and employer to the specialists and insurer.

What is Occupational Medicine?

Occupational medicine is a specific medical field devoted to assessing, treating, and managing work-related injuries and illnesses. Occupational medicine providers also emphasize preventing work-related diseases and monitoring conditions that could impair work functions. Occupational medicine is sometimes confused with occupational therapy (OT), a different but related healthcare field that helps patients learn or relearn how to perform essential everyday functions.

Occupational medicine is practiced by physicians who are board-certified in the specific discipline. Other types of medical providers, such as physician assistants (PAs), nurse practitioners (NPs), occupational therapists (OTs), and physical therapists (PTs), may have specific training for the occupational medicine setting as well.

Occupational Medicine is Different from other Medical Specialties

When you see an occupational medicine provider for a medical condition, your visit will have a different focus than if you were to be evaluated by family medicine, internal medicine, or orthopedic provider for the same condition. An occupational medicine provider will want to know precise details about your line of work, screen you for potential afflictions, and understand the mechanisms related to any workplace injuries. An occupational medicine provider will take your line of work fully into account when diagnosing illnesses and injuries and creating treatment plans.

Special types of occupational medicine considerations include:

  • Potential workplace exposures to hazardous chemicals or other substances
  • Physical maneuvers inherent in the workplace, such as heavy lifting, bending or twisting
  • Attention span requirements necessary to perform work duties, such as operating long-haul motor vehicles or planes
  • Shift work schedules and circadian disruption
  • Workplace ergonomics
  • Management of needlestick injuries and other exposures to bodily fluids

Guidelines Used in Occupational Medicine

Occupational medicine providers are specifically concentrated on evaluating workplace injuries and illnesses. They are very familiar with the standards and regulations that should be put into place by employers and institutions. Occupational medicine providers are highly familiar with the employment requirements of the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Because of these governing bodies' nuances and their requirements, it can be very beneficial to work with an occupational medicine provider to make sure that you are current on your workplace’s health requirements.

Documents Related to Workplace Injuries

Occupational medicine providers are very familiar with the paperwork and other documentation that corresponds with workplace safety evaluations. For example, Lompoc Health’s occupational medicine providers can document initial worksite injuries and illnesses and properly report them to government agencies like the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CAL-OSHA).

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Occupational Medicine Services Available

At Lompoc Health, we provide a wide range of occupational services, including the following:

  • Pre-employment physicals
  • Drug testing (for new employees or continued employment requirements)
  • Treatment of work-related injuries
  • Vision screenings and hearing screening (audiograms)
  • Evaluation for return-to-work status
  • Rehabilitative services
  • Disability management
  • Workplace hazard management

Our occupational medicine providers use a variety of medical diagnostics to provide comprehensive evaluations and clinical determinations. These services include x-rays and other advanced imaging modalities (such as CT or MRI), blood testing, and cardiac evaluations (via electrocardiograms).

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Types of Workplace Injuries/Illnesses

Occupational medicine providers are specially trained to evaluate and document work-related injuries and illnesses, including the following:

  • Inflammatory joint problems
  • Broken bones or dislocations
  • Joint sprains
  • Muscle strains
  • Concussions
  • Back pain
  • Wounds
  • Sensory deficits

You can see a full list of work-related diseases and injuries from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) here. Occupational medicine providers can help you maintain an optimal state of health by monitoring your overall health parameters, such as body mass index (BMI), cardiovascular profile, metabolic profile, and neurocognitive health.

Occupational medicine providers can also provide advice and guidance about preventing workplace injuries from ever happening in the first place. They are highly skilled at developing workplace adaptations and creative solutions to keep you healthy and safe at your place of employment.

Who is eligible?

At Lompoc Health, we work with employees and employers to guarantee that all stakeholders have proper workplace wellness support. Our underlying goal is to keep patients healthy and safe within their given workplaces by helping them develop robust prevention strategies. If you are an employee or employer, you may be eligible to participate in our occupational medicine programs. People in certain industries, such as commercial aviation, construction workers, and healthcare workers, may benefit greatly by being cared for by occupational medicine specialists.

Learn More About Occupational Medicine

Despite prevention strategies, workplace injuries do occur from time to time. When work-related events occur, occupational medicine providers are highly skilled at documenting injuries and monitoring your progress from a return-to-work standpoint. If you are considering a medical provider for a workplace injury, an injury prevention strategy, or assistance with a disability in the workplace, an occupational medicine evaluation may help you reach your goals.

To learn more about occupational medicine services at Lompoc Valley Medical Center, contact us today.

Call (805) 737-8700, we are happy to help.

Available at:

Lompoc Health -
North H Center

1225 North H St, Lompoc, CA

Family Practice, Specialty Mon - Thurs
8 am – 5 pm
Friday
8 am – 12 pm
Urgent Care Everyday
9 am – 9 pm