Maryland Area Association of Occupational Health Nurses

MAAOHN Scholarship Winner, Deborah Redmon

Posted about 4 years ago by Betty Wilson-jones

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Liberty Leadership Scholarship – The Emerging Leaders

Deborah Redmon, RN, WCCM

I am honored to have been awarded with the Liberty Leadership Scholarship offered by AAOHN this year.  The scholarship is “dedicated to developing leadership skills to better provide for the health and safety of workers in the workplace and ensure the longevity of the occupational health nurse.”  Representing the Maryland Chapter, as well as Johns Hopkins University is a privilege.

Applying for the scholarship itself, while not difficult, did offer me the opportunity to evaluate my role as an occupational health nurse and how I can contribute to my new found profession.    

I have learned that there is no real equivalent outside of Occupational Health. We need to work closely with governmental agencies, lawyers and staff - from the President of the university to a groundskeeper. We need to keep triage skills sharp, follow cost containment strategies and maintain a balance between advocacy for our employees and our employer. We need to organize health fairs and flu shot clinics. Often times we are the only point of contact for a population that often feels we are their primary care providers.  Scope of practice is sometimes a difficult concept to explain to an injured employee. Since joining my Hopkins family I have been privileged to help a diverse group of men and women with everything from return to duty maternity leave to psych issues that required emergency transport.

But knowledge is not worth anything if not shared as the Liberty Leadership Scholarship recipient; I plan on returning to Johns Hopkins University armed with new ideas and understanding that I will be able to share with my team. I am nothing if not an educator, with my children, with my family, friends and with every employee I see. There is always an opportunity to impart others the new information you have gained. What better way to improve leadership skills than making yourself available to learn, to understand innovative techniques and ideas and then bring that knowledge home? In this extremely complicated era of nursing and healthcare, I can only hope to become an important cog in an extraordinarily complex wheel. The headlines we read in the papers only touch on the changes and challenges that healthcare providers must deal with routinely.  I need to be ready for these challenges.

There is wisdom to be learned from AAHON’s National Convention.  There are lecturers, presenters and the companionship of others who are on the same journey as me.  I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to use this scholarship to attend the National Convention.  I know that I want to be prepared to continue on my chosen path as an Occupational Health nurse armed with the newest information we have in healthcare in general and Occupational Health in specific.  The Liberty Scholarship will go a long way toward both my personal goals and my professional ones as well.