Proud to Be an IH: Be a Part of Something Bigger
This article is part of the SynergistNOW series “Proud to Be an IH.” Read the introductory post for more information.
Why did I become an IH? To help people on a broader scale and to be a part of something bigger than myself. I wanted to play a role in protecting people in any environment, workplace and community alike. My role as a CIH is not just to assist in workplace safety programs, but also to consider how individual health and hygiene can be impacted.
My role has allowed me to affect others’ current and future health. I can help a person through conversations, interactions, and interventions that may keep them from suffering detrimental health effects later in their life. That is why I wanted to be an IH.
Moreover, whether I am coming to a new job site or to a place where I am established, I have a unique perspective that only IHs can truly appreciate: we get to leave our office and learn from others in the field. Not only do I learn from others about their roles in the larger scheme, but I have also engaged with individuals and groups alike to understand why every job and role is important. It gives me and other IHs opportunities to say, “I care about you.”
Sometimes I work alone, and other times I am a part of a large team assisting in projects, plant shutdowns, or maintenance efforts. I have had the opportunity to learn about various occupations, and the amount of work that goes into making something big happen. As I have developed as a professional within my own company, I have grown through AIHA as well. This organization has allowed me to travel to a variety of unique places, and to meet and learn from others within the profession, all to improve myself. I have grown as a leader through the Future Leaders Institute and become active on a few committees through AIHA. Women in IH (WIH) has allowed me to grow the most.
Working with WIH has shown me the leadership qualities in which I am strong, and those that I may need to develop further. Advocating for the women’s empowerment and better representation in their workplaces, communities, schools, and other environments has led me to take a closer look at the demographics of our organization. With this perspective, my goal is to work to gain more collaboration and engagement between the IH profession and women, and with younger generations too. Engaging and organizing with individuals in the workplace, collaborating with groups, and inviting others to join to be a part of something bigger has shaped me as a CIH.