Massachusetts Association of Occupational Health Nurses

My Story: Margaret C. Stashluk, RN, COHN-S/CM

Posted 3 months ago by Nancy Clover

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My Story: Margaret C. Stashluk, RN, COHN-S/CM – Retired

 

I always told people I was going to be a hairdresser and I don’t consciously remember making the decision to become a nurse it just seemed to happen! Maybe it was the influence of classmates as there were so many seniors at my high school who were going on to nursing school that the high school designed a “math for nurses” class which I gladly took instead of Algebra II/Trig. I graduated from The Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Worcester, Ma in 1975 and began my career in Neonatal ICU at Memorial, then moved to CCU at UMASS then to the Burn ICU at Worcester City hospital. After 9 years of ICU I needed a changed and began working for an agency and it was while there I was sent to do per diem at Digital Equipment Corporation in Maynard and to Honeywell in Northborough and I was bitten by the Occupational Health bug!

Many of the OHN’s I worked with early in my career would remember me as Margaret Nouriel rather than Stashluk.  

In 1984 I was hired by Data General in Westboro, MA. Christine Wood and Mary Strange mentored me in what would be the beginning of a long career in Occupational Health. In 1986 I left Data General when they were downsizing and moved to W. H. Nichol a 300-employee machine shop in Waltham that was later acquired by Parker Hannifin Corp. When Parker moved half their Waltham employees to North Carolina in 1989 I moved to the Zayre Distribution Center in Clinton, MA. Six months later Zayre was acquired by Ames Corporation where I continued to work for another two years. In 1992 I finally got the job I had been trying to get for four years at Digital Equipment Corporations Semiconductor manufacturing plant in Hudson. In 1998 the manufacturing plant was acquired by Intel Corporation where I continued to work for the remainder of my career until manufacturing ended in 2015. During one of my numerous interviews, in the years previous to DEC, the General Manager of a large distribution company said to me “So, what you are telling us is that every company you have worked for has gone under” I did not get that job.

While at Digital I was mentored by Patricia Travers and in 1994 after participating in Pat’s COHN study group I became a COHN-S. The following year I facilitated a COHN study group for both DEC and other RN’s. in 2004 I received my COHN-S/CM. My position at Intel went from a clinic OHN to OH Manager to US wide Medical Case Manager. For 22 of the 23 years I worked at the Hudson factory my Medical Director, and mentor, was Dr. Tom Winters. My specialty for Intel was OSHA Recordkeeping and I attended OSHA Recordkeeping Rule training at the OSHA Training Institute of New England and was the project co-leader for Intel’s annual Global OSHA recordkeeping audits I was also responsible for ergonomic assessments and training and attended Ergonomics Training through the Harvard School of Public Health. I was also part of a team to design and test an electronic medical record database and train worldwide staff on its use. While OH Manager I hired Frank Strange, RN and was able to mentor him in Occupational Health Nursing just as his mother had mentored me at Data General. I retired from Intel when manufacturing ended at the Hudson factory in 2015. I guess what the GM said during my interview was true! There were numerous OHN’s who helped me along the way and if I try and name them I’ll forget someone so, I’d like to everyone for their knowledge and guidance over the years. I really enjoyed being able to teach employees about their medical conditions and to help keep them healthy and safe. It was nice to be able to get to know employees over an extended period rather than just taking care of them until they left the ICU and not really knowing them.

 

I have been a member of MaAOHN since 1987, I was active on the Central Mass board from 1992 – 2000, 2004 – 2007 and 2011 – 2014. I was a member of the MaAOHN board from 1998 -1999 and have currently been on the board since 2013 serving as Membership and Nominating Chair. I was on the NECOEM/MaAOHN Annual Conference Planning Committee from 2013 through 2017.

I was honored to receive the 1996 MaAOHN’s Nurse Excellence Award and the 2015 Medique Leadership Award.