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A healthy workplace

by Donna Sealy

icblhealthdaybloodpressureOn Tuesday, the Insurance Corporation of Barbados showed the rest of Barbados they were going to be putting their employees’ health on the front burner.

The Roebuck Street based company’s Registered nurse Lisa Brathwaite spoke to LOVING ME about the aim of the Health and Wellness Programme after the launch on their annual Staff Wellness Day.

“Our programme is designed in three tiers. In the investigative tier we’re going to be assessing the clients’ knowledge on their health and their health behaviour. We have a questionnaire that has been designed, … we used the Barbados Step Study that was done in 2007, to find out from the employee what their health status is.

“Once that is finished the Heart & Stroke Foundation will be coming in on site to set up in our sick bay and they will be doing ECG screening, blood chemistry profiling which would include [test for diabetes], blood pressure, height and weight and waist to hip circumference measurement,” she explained.

After that data is returned the intention is to “structure an intervention” to address any problems identified.

Brathwaite made it clear that a copy of the results will be given to her with the employees’ permission, the employees and their doctors. They would be asking the employee to go to their doctors to have them manage any chronic diseases detected.

In addition to this programme, the company has a fitness one.

“We have developed an intervention committee the coordinator is responsible for the zumba [sessions] and on Thursdays we have keep fit. We also have a tennis court and members of staff do play.

“The coordinator will be using [the programme] to incorporate into what we’re doing under the supervision of Dr. Brancker and myself. We’re looking for a competitive intervention, it has to be because we want to encourage our males to participate. Men generally tend to enjoy competition and we want to engage then in that, we want them to participate.

“With competition incentives are attached, when things are incentivised we see responses increased and so we’re hoping to engage our staff members through competition and incentives,” she said.

The Registered Nurse broke down the programme.

Data collection will be for 15 weeks after which they are hoping to have the intervention programme in May-June, lectures and workshops will be done in June. The competition will also start in June.

“The aim is to improve physical activity, that is something the company was doing all along. We have opened the programme to the entire staff, 200 persons. They will call or email me to sign up,” she said.

Brathwaite will also be counselling staff members, with their permission.

“Usually when nurses counsel patients they listen, I’ve not seen many person during my career, and I’ve been in nursing for 10 years, not respond to good counselling. I really believe that if something is wrong most persons will respond,” she said.

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