The Southern California Education and Research Center prides itself on the number and variety of interdisciplinary opportunities provided for our trainees. We believe that the educational experience is greatly enriched by sharing with the other disciplines. Through these experiences, trainees learn how to see the workplace from the point of view of the other disciplines and how to work as a team. At most of the events, participants are seated or grouped to maximize the interactions among the disciplines and the benefits of communication among first years, second years, and PhD candidates.
We start off the academic year by bringing together all of our trainees, new and returning, and our faculty for a two-day orientation and workshop.
Day One – at UCLA – features short presentations about each of the programs, and presentations by returning trainees about their research projects and internships. There is a poster session where attendees travel in groups from one trainee to another who explain their research and their posters illustrating the results. There is also a featured speaker who conducts an interactive presentation on a health and safety topic.
Day Two – at UC Irvine – is a clinical case conference where students learn about the issues of interviewing ill or injured workers and may have the opportunity to observe an actual clinic visit. All participants must complete online HIPAA training prior to attending.
Each year during Winter quarter we invite a prominent occupational health and safety professional to be our keynote speaker. Trainees, faculty, Advisory Board Members and Continuing Education Course Directors are invited. There are opportunities for question and answers as well as interdisciplinary activities. Past speakers have included NIOSH Director John Howard, Dean of UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health Jody Heymann, and UC San Francisco Medical Center Professor Paul Blanc.
Clinical Case Conferences
There are three clinical case conferences during the year. The first is during the Fall Workshop (above). There are additional clinical case conferences for Winter and Spring quarters. This is always one of our most popular activities.
Each Spring we visit a work-site in the greater Los Angeles area to observe the hazards and controls encountered by workers on the job. After an introduction to the company and presentations by current trainees about hazards they may observe, we tour the facility in small groups. This is followed by a working lunch where groups prepare a presentation based on an assignment. Members of the facility’s safety department attend these presentations and often find them useful in identifying improvements that can be made. At some facilities, trainees don the PPE (personal protective equipment) necessary for safety of workers and visitors.
Every month the Occupational Medicine Program at UC Irvine invites a speaker to discuss a topic of interest to Occupational and Environmental Medicine. This is attended in person by those in Orange County and students at UCLA attend by way of teleconferencing.
Once or twice every month, the students in the programs at UCLA (Occupational and Environmental Nursing, Industrial Hygiene, and Occupational Epidemiology) attend a seminar where they study an occupational health and safety article in a professional journal.
Twice a year the Continuing Education Program offers an online webinar on Ethics for Health and Safety Professionals. The course directors are an industrial hygienist and an occupational health nurse. The course focuses particularly on ethical situations facing occupational health and safety professionals and encourages the interaction between the trainees and working professionals who take the course for professional accreditation. All trainees are required to attend the course once during their traineeship.