by Suzan Philippe, graduate of the Environmental and Occupational Health Certificate Program at Continuing Studies at UVic.
It has been a dream to finally complete a certificate in Occupational Health. At my age, you can't afford to take time off work to return to daytime studies, but given the industry, you cannot afford to lack in knowledge. The EOH program is a realistic bridge for continued learning while working – a win-win for both the continued learner and the health and safety industry. Discussions with fellow students who are also employed in the industry, have proved valuable with their personal expertise and experiences.
As I think about retirement, one of the most important life lessons I have learned is to equally value book knowledge and field knowledge. After working in the health and safety industry for 32 years, I was once told I was not qualified to be working in health and safety. I did not possess the recognized credentials (CIH, ROH, CRSP and PEng); yet all my field training was with CRSP, CIH, ROH and PEng professionals and I have a diploma in an applied science. With the completion of the EOH certificate which focuses on the 'book knowledge', I now feel prepared for the next hurdle – the CRSP exam.
As I prepare for the CRSP exam, I want to thank the instructors for their on-going support and encouragement. No matter where you are in your career journey, the EOH program is worth all the time and effort. It is a challenging program, but it feels so satisfying to complete.
Time spent on education is not a waste of time, its an investment in the future of health, safety, and overall wellness for the industry. You can't save the world, but you can help to save one worker at a time from potential hazards that could ruin their quality of life.