Photo by Iva Petrovchich

Humans of UCSF: Caring for Careers

Contributor
School of Nursing

“Ive always been fascinated with what people do for work. It’s what led me to explore a myriad of career options. I spent my undergraduate years at UC San Diego searching citrus fields for insects, serving cappuccinos, growing algae for biofuel, washing laboratory glassware, volunteering in hospitals, singing in cafes, and teaching evolutionary biology.

After college I interned for the Environment, Health, and Safety department of an oil/biotech company, after which I worked in Research & Development for a medical device company. Here I got to understand first-hand the seemingly bureaucratic but necessary measures that large organizations take to ensure the health and safety of their employees that may work across many States, settings, and disciplines.

The clinical, psychosocial, legal, and financial implications of workplace acquired injuries, illnesses, and exposures, and the lasting effects they can have on a person’s life, is what I find fascinating about Occupational & Environmental Health. On average, people spend 1/3 of their waking lives working, but often the connection between work and health is missed. Our most vulnerable populations are often working our toughest, lowest paying jobs with little employee protections. Just like the zip code that one lives in, the work that one does can be a major determinant of one’s health.

As a future Occupational Health NP, I hope to support patients’ health so that they can reach their full potential at work.”

Katya Khatsenko, RN

UCSF School of Nursing, Masters Entry Program in Nursing

AGPCNP-OEH, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, with an emphasis in Occupational and Environmental Health