Yonna Heath, BSN, RN, CEN
Project Nurse, Walsh Construction, Ohio River Bridges Project in KY
Yonna Heath, BSN, RN, CEN never envisioned hard hats, steel-toed boots and massive construction machinery would be part of her everyday work as an emergency nurse. Yet she tends to injuries for more than 750 employees on the Ohio River Bridges Project, one of the largest heavy civil construction projects going on in the US today. Whether it’s a major trauma or crushed fingers, “it’s a trauma situation when it happens,” she noted.
Heath has spent 33 years in a variety of positions in the acute care setting, working in hospital administration before earning her RN in 1991. In 2000, she began putting her emergency nursing knowledge to work outside the ED as the night nurse in a coal burning power plant.
It was the safety manager she worked with at the plant that suggested her for her current full-time job with Walsh Construction. She’s the first nurse Walsh Construction has hired in this capacity, and it was her presentation to the executive safety managers that helped persuade them. “There are many benefits to having a nurse on site,” said Heath. “This includes financial benefits. I can manage routine things like tetanus shots and new hire drug testing, and can often save lost work time an employee would normally take to go to the emergency department.” Read the full story.