Occupational health nursing practitioner (division nursing manager)
Forestry career: 22 years
My role is to ensure that our people are as healthy and productive as possible. Employees undergo role and risk-specific medicals to ensure that they are fit to perform the job they have been employed to do, while primary health issues are addressed, treated or, where necessary, referred to a specialist. My job also involves injury on duty (IOD) management – from the reassessment of a potential IOD or emergency situation to actual ground support on the day of an event and supporting an employee throughout their recovery.
WHY I LOVE WORKING IN THE FORESTRY SECTOR
Forestry grew me into a ‘bush nurse’, honing my resourcefulness, ability to think on my feet and enabling me to become skilled in a wide variety of work zones. I work in areas that many people in the medical field will never experience. Nursing in forestry requires driving far distances (in beautiful areas) and the willingness to perform site visits on dirt roads and in the mud. Understanding the tools and machinery used in forestry and their purpose is essential to adequately assessing the associated health risks and ensuring that employees are covered by the correct PPE. This is done from ‘cradle to grave’ at Sappi. It’s an awesome industry to work in!
MY ADVICE TO THOSE EXPLORING A CAREER IN FORESTRY
Forestry offers a diverse environment with multi-level work opportunities. Some positions are only performed from an office, but many provide a 50/50 mix of the office and outdoors. It’s an exciting environment to work in.