CTEH Spotlight: Kim Alvis, R.N., COHN (Part I)
Kim Alvis, R.N., COHN has been a member of the CTEH team since 2001. Based in our North Little Rock office, she first served as a certified occupational health nurse and project medical specialist. Today, she is our senior medical specialist—providing data management and evaluation support on projects related to occupational health and safety, industrial hygiene, emergency response and more. Find out more about Kim’s work at CTEH below:
What are your day-to-day office duties?
As our senior medical specialist, I help oversee the Worker Exposure Response Program, CTEH’s worker exposure hotline that operates 365/24/7. I manage our medical screening and surveillance programs, which require compiling medical and work histories and conducting physical assessments and biological testing. In addition, I oversee our drug and alcohol program, which consists of the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration urine collection, non-DOT breath alcohol testing, non-DOT urine collection and forensic hair follicle testing. I’m proud to report all our nurses are certified specimen collectors.
What do your on-site project responsibilities entail?
My on-site project responsibilities are constantly changing. In some cases, I may be traveling to perform hexavalent chromium examinations or hazardous material examinations. In others, I’m traveling to provide Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Tetanus vaccinations to those affected by an emergency response. All of CTEH’s equipment is mobile, which makes it easy to travel and perform the needed examinations for any location or situation.
What encouraged you to pursue your RN and become a certified occupational health nurse?
I was working as a paralegal for a criminal defense attorney when I decided I wanted to help the public in a different way. This led me to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s nursing program. When I graduated and earned my license, I left the law firm to work in a local hospital full time. After five years of staff nursing, I knew I could do more to help. While researching how I could combine my law and nursing experience, I found CTEH. I became a contract nurse in CTEH’s occupational health department and, after a year, transitioned into a full-time occupational health nurse. I later sat for and passed the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses’ Certified Occupational Health Nurse examination.
Want to hear more from Kim? Check back next week for Part II of her CTEH Spotlight.