ROCK SPRINGS — Growing up in southwestern Wyoming among a wide variety of demanding industries led one of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County’s nurses to strive for national certification.
Registered Nurse Robyn Owens’ job at the Family & Occupational Medicine Clinic of Sweetwater Memorial is as varied as her expertise, which now includes national certification through the American Board for Occupational Health Nurses.
“I embarked on this certification because I grew up in this area and I was able to see how much of an impact all of the different industries have on our county,” she said. “I always wanted to have some part in it. I’ve always been so proud to see how hard-working the employees are and how much of what they do has a worldwide reach.”
Owens, who has worked for Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County for eight years, finds the variety of care fascinating.
“Each situation in occupational medicine will be very different based on the company, the job, whether it is emergent or non-emergent, and how it will affect the current and the future health of the employee,” Owens said. “It includes a really broad range, from oil and gas to construction, from mining and power to beauty salons. The more we can monitor and treat now based on occupation will help improve a person’s health in the future.”
The Board Certification as a Certified Occupational Health Nurse is one of many National Certifications that registered nurses can apply and test for if qualifications are met, said Ann Clevenger, MHSC Chief Nursing Officer.
“Robyn has been a leader for our Occupational Health Program,” Clevenger said. “I thank her and the entire occupational medicine team at MHSC for their dedication to providing the program for our community. Please welcome Robyn to the team of other nurses at MHSC who have worked for and received the honor of national certification.”
Owens said Clevenger once challenged her by asking where she would like her nursing career to take her. Owens already had a love of occupational medicine, but knew immediately she wanted to learn more. Challenge accepted.
Certification in occupational health is recognized as an indicator of expertise and leadership, and represents a broad knowledge of the discipline and its application to promote the health and safety of workers, according to the national board. The credential is associated with a level of practice that meets high standards, is proactive, and contributes effectively to both management and workers’ goals for a safe and health workplace.