Jen Stanton, NP has been working with OHC since September 2020.
Here is Jen’s story:
I began my educational journey in 1992 attending Middlesex Community College with no idea of what I wanted to do for a career. I took a course called Freshman Seminar and based on my career aptitude scores I learned that my interests were working with people as a health care provider. My first Bachelor of Science degree was from Northeastern University in Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Sciences with a concentration in Exercise Physiology. During my career exploration as an Exercise Physiologist, I worked at Winchester Hospital, Winchester Ma as an exercise technician, then after 3 years I took a job with New England Baptist Hospital (NEBH) working in the Spine Program and Occupational Health Clinic at Health Point in Waltham Massachusetts. My role was as a Physical Therapist Aide with an expanded role to provide case management for the workers compensation clients. While working there, I was introduced to the Occupational Medicine group and learned about their purpose and mission to provide medical care and services to promote workers health and safety. I was sold!!! After discussing my future career goals with the Medical Director and Nurse Practitioner I returned to academia to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing to be able to engage more with people and provide direct care to patients.
After graduation from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, I began working as a Medical-Surgical nurse to obtain a diverse foundation providing care for people with a wide variety of illnesses and cultural needs at Saints Medical Center in Lowell, Massachusetts. Then by luck and chance, I secured a position as an Occupational Health Nurse and Case Manager with Nashoba Valley Medical Center Occupational Health and International Travelers Clinic in 2008. I was very fortunate to work with the Medical Director and Certified Occupational Health Nurse Manager. Both were instrumental and supportive in my growth in the field. During my years in this role, my knowledge of medical surveillance grew, I achieved certifications in spirometry, audiometry, and case management. After 5 years, I decided to return to academia to pursue a master’s degree in nursing to become a Nurse Practitioner.
After graduating with my master’s degree, I stepped out of Occupational Health and worked for two years in Primary and Urgent Care to develop a diverse foundation as a clinician in providing primary, secondary, and tertiary care to the community served. I returned to Nashoba Valley Medical Center Occupational Health and International Travelers Clinic in 2016 to continue my career as an Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner performing preplacement exams, medical surveillance, DOT exams, travel medicine, acute illness and injury management, and case management.
I was introduced to Nancy Clover, RN, COHN-S in 2008 after attending the Northeast and Massachusetts Occupational Health Nurses conferences. On every occasion Nancy has always been charismatic, inspirational, and optimistic in teaching her passion as a transformational leader in the field of Occupational Health Nursing. I was fortunate to join Nancy’s team with Occupational Health Connections in September of 2020, one day per week that is flexible with my schedule as an on-site Nurse Practitioner contracted with a Pharmaceutical company.
As an on-site Nurse Practitioner, I perform preplacement exams, surveillance exams, DOT exams for hoisting, acute injury and illness management, case management, provide health education, administer vaccinations, and obtain lab specimens. I attend the monthly safety meeting, as a liaison between Environmental Health and Safety and the company employees, I can provide valuable feedback through aggregate incident reporting to help prevent future injuries.
I am grateful for the diverse road I have traveled to have found a field that I am truly blessed and proud to be a part of. Over the years I have learned so much as I continue to expand my knowledge and experience. As people and processes change, so does the field of Occupational Health Nursing. I have learned to be a better listener, work well with colleagues, keep an open mind, and refrain from being reactive versus proactive and functional. I would advise fellow nursing colleagues to continue to learn, be supportive of peers and novices, follow established nurse practice guidelines, and be kind to yourself if you do not know everything.