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MPH Occupational Health

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Management of Occupationally Related Disease

Unit code POPH68810
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

This unit covers occupational respiratory, musculoskeletal, skin and infectious disease disorders, as well diagnoses relating to aviation medicine and occupational cancers. Additionally there is a section on medically unexplained symptoms.

Aims

The practice of occupational medicine covers a broad range of industries, jobs and hence ‘exposures’, against changing demography and culture within the workplace and wider society. The aim of this unit is to build on the information provided within Fitness for Work (POPH68860), providing more detailed information on the management and prevention of specific occupationally linked disorders. The unit also focuses on aspects of chronic disease management. The specific units cover respiratory, musculoskeletal, skin and infectious diseases, plus occupational cancers. An industry specific focus is provided in the section on aviation medicine, while bio-psychosocial challenges are highlighted in the section on medically unexplained symptoms

Learning outcomes

The learning outcomes intend to:

  • provide an understanding of the main occupational respiratory diseases as well as the prescribed occupational respiratory diseases;
  • present knowledge of a range of occupational dermatoses in terms of investigation, diagnosis, management and prevention;
  • enable participants to be knowledgeable about musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in working-aged people in terms of epidemiology, investigation, diagnosis, management and prevention;
  • provide an understanding of what cancer is and how agents cause cancer, as well as an awareness of the methods used to identify carcinogens and the principles of risk assessment relating to carcinogens;
  • contribute to the understanding of the principles of aviation medicine in terms of physical changes in the atmosphere associated with ascent to altitude, the associated effects and relevant medical diagnoses and fitness for work issues in aviation workers;
  • provide participants with the ability to recognise occupationally related infections, be aware of associated risks/precautions/controls and know when reporting of an occupationally acquired infection is required; and
  • give knowledge about medically unexplained symptoms and the relevance of the biopsychosocial model to associated syndromes.

Syllabus

  • Occupational Lung Disorders
  • Occupational Dermatoses
  • Occupational Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Occupational Cancers
  • Aviation Medicine
  • Occupational Infections
  • Medically Unexplained Symptoms and Work.

Teaching and learning methods

Learning and teaching will take the form of online lectures, webinars, group discussion, tutorial, face to face workshops and practical experience days, independent research and study, online quizzes and simulations, literature searching, problem solving and report writing.
 
Blackboard will be used for course materials including group discussions, announcements and updating of content, relevant lecture slides and additional reading, written example sheets and for online formative assessments.

 

Knowledge and understanding

On completion, the student should be able to:

  • understand how to evaluate occupationally related diseases by body system, and advise on their prevention and management;
  • be aware of the industrial situations where disorders may occur, and be able to make an initial differential diagnosis and assessment of these diseases;
  • appreciate the problems that exist in classifying and investigating occupational diseases;
  • identify the risk factors for occupational diseases; and
  • understand the fundamental principles of risk assessments in relation to causal agents.

Intellectual skills

On completion, the student should be able to:

  • analyse and evaluate the relevant medical and scientific literature relating to occupational health practice;
  • demonstrate the ability to solve problems and make decisions about occupational health issues;
  • critically examine knowledge limitations within occupational health, and identify the need to seek further (specialist) advice; and
  • reflect on the impact of a wide range of influences (such as cultural background and intellectual capacity) on the working environment.

Practical skills

On completion, the student should be able to:

  • make an initial differential diagnosis and assessment of occupational diseases;
  • apply the principles of assessing fitness to work for people with occupational diseases; and
  • consider medically unexplained symptoms in the context of a workplace setting.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion, the student should be able to:

  • independently gather, organise, and evaluate information from a variety of sources and develop an evidence-based approach to clinical practice;
  • integrate knowledge of health, legislation, and business in the management of work-related issues affecting both individuals and groups of employees; and
  • apply the clinical knowledge of occupational diseases to wider clinical practice.

Employability skills

Analytical skills
Students will be able to make an initial differential diagnosis and assessment of occupational diseases.
Group/team working
Students will be able to critically examine knowledge limitations within occupational health, and identify the need to seek further (specialist) advice.
Problem solving
Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to solve problems and make decisions about occupational health issues.
Other
Students will be able to apply the clinical knowledge of occupational diseases to wider clinical practice.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Formative assessments with automatic feedback are available throughout the unit as an aid to understanding the course materials. Feedback for the summative assessments is provided by tutors via Blackboard. Students may also receive direct feedback from interaction with session leaders throughout the course of study.
 

Recommended reading

  • Agius R, Seaton A. Practical occupational medicine 2nd ed. London: Hodder Arnold 2005. ISBN 034075947X OR Tar-Ching A, Gardiner K, Harrington, JM. Occupational health (Pocket Consultants) 5th ed. Wiley-Blackwell 2006.  ISBN- 10 1405122218; ISBN-13 978-1405122214.
  • Hobson J and Smedley J (Eds). Fitness for Work: the medical aspects 6th ed. OUP 2019. ISBN 9780198808657.
  • Hendrick DJ, Burge PS, Beckett WS (Eds). Occupational disorders of the lung: recognition, management and prevention. London: WB Saunders 2002. ISBN 0702025070.
  • Hunter D. Hunter’s diseases of occupations 9th ed. London: Arnold 2000.  ISBN 0340677503.
  • Adams RM. Occupational skin disease 3rd ed. London:  WB Saunders & Co 1999.  ISBN 0721670377.
  • Adams JC, Hamblen DL. Outline of Orthopaedics 13th ed. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone 2001. ISBN 0443070245.
  • Davis JR, Johnson R, Stepanek J and Fogarty JA (Eds). Fundamentals of aerospace medicine 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2008. ISBN 0781774667.
  • Waddell G. Models of Disability. Royal Society of Medicine 2002. ISBN-10 1853155314; ISBN-13 9781853155314.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 2.5
Tutorials 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 143.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Melanie Carder Unit coordinator

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