Dr Joanna Bohatko Naismith
School of Health Sciences (Occupational Health and Safety)
- Phone:(02) 4921 7038
Joanna is a lecturer in the discipline of Occupational Health and Safety at the University. Joanna has expertise in the areas of workplace injury management and occupational health. Joanna completed her PhD in 2017 entitled ‘A review of the role and current training practices of Australian workplace Return to Work Coordinators (RTWC), where she has investigated the training, knowledge and skills of RTWCs in the Australian workplace injury management sector. Her other interests are in education and training of OHS and other health professionals, ergonomics and occupational health. Joanna has co-supervised an occupational therapy honours student who was exploring the development of a home-based self-management programme to increase arm use in stroke patients and is currently co-supervising a PhD student who is investigating the initiation mechanism of genotoxicity induced by titanium dioxide nanoparticles through viability analysis in the exposed cell economy. Joanna has 8 peer reviewed publications and 1 book chapter.
Joanna has research expertise in the areas of workplace injury management and specifically workplace rehabilitation.
Joanna works as a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences and is a coordinator in the post graduate Work, Health and Safety program and the undergraduate program in Singapore. Key teaching areas include, workplace injury management and rehabilitation, ergonomics and management.
Joanna was involved with the School of Health Sciences Research and Research Training Committee in a support role. This included organising the annual school research day, organising the summer scholarships for the school, collating grants and other information for the committee.
Roles and Collaborations
Project Manager for the Professional OHS Accreditation Assessment for the Australian Institute of Health & Safety
Member of the Health and Safety Committee, Faculty of Health an Medicine
- PhD, University of Newcastle
- Open Foundation, University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety, University of Newcastle
- Master of Workplace Injury Mgmt and Occ Rehab, University of Newcastle
- Occupational Health
- Occupational Rehabilitation
- Qualitative Research
- Workplace Injury Management
- Polish (Working)
Fields of Research
|111705||Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety||100|
|Title||Organisation / Department|
|Lecturer||University of Newcastle
School of Health Sciences
Australian Postgraduate Scholarship
|Year||Title / Rationale|
|2017||The real ‘Gatekeepers’ of the RTW process – Key aspects of selection and training|
|2012||The role of the Australian Return to Work Coordinator|
For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.
Chapter (1 outputs)
Southgate EL, James CL, Guest M, Kable AK, Rivett DA, Bohatko-Naismith J, 'Organisational factors influencing the return to work process for injured workers: Using social theory to inform practice', Workplaces: Safety, Social Implications and Expectations, Nova Science Publishers, New York 1-19 (2012) [B1]
Journal article (11 outputs)
Bohatko-Naismith J, James C, Guest M, Rivett DA, Ashby S, 'An exploratory study of the injured worker s experience and relationship with the workplace return to work coordinator in NSW, Australia', International Journal of Workplace Health Management, 12 57-70 (2019) [C1]
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the injured worker¿s perspective of experiences with their workplace return to wo... [more]
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the injured worker¿s perspective of experiences with their workplace return to work coordinator (RTWC), and explore some of the barriers they encountered in the return to work process. Design/methodology/approach: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten injured workers from New South Wales, Australia. The thematic analysis of transcripts was completed. Findings: The findings provide an insight into the experiences of injured workers and their relationship with RTWCs. Five key themes emerged from the data: return to work experiences and the RTWC role, high turnover and lack of consistency in the role, RTWC ¿ideal¿, knowledge and skills, communication skills and the RTWC role and GP visits privacy and conflict of interest with peer RTWCs. Practical implications: The role of the workplace RTWC in the return to work process for injured workers is important and these findings are highly relevant to the return to work sector. Consistency within the role at the workplace and careful consideration of the specific traits and characteristics required by an individual to perform the role need to be observed during the selection process by employers when appointing a workplace RTWC to assist injured workers return to work. Originality/value: This is the first Australian study to examine the injured workers views and experiences with the workplace RTWC and other factors that shape the return to work process.
Bohatko-Naismith J, Guest M, James C, Pond D, Rivett DA, 'Australian general practitioners' perspective on the role of the workplace Return-to-Work Coordinator', Australian Journal of Primary Health, 24 502-509 (2018) [C1]
© 2018 La Trobe University. General practitioners (GPs) play a key role in the return-to-work process, and yet their experiences working with workplace Return-to-Work Coordinators... [more]
© 2018 La Trobe University. General practitioners (GPs) play a key role in the return-to-work process, and yet their experiences working with workplace Return-to-Work Coordinators (RTWCs) have rarely been studied. The aim of this paper is to provide insights from the GP perspective about their experiences with workplace RTWCs and their preparedness for the role. GPs from Australian states and territories where legislation mandates workplaces employ a RTWC were requested to complete a questionnaire on their experiences with workplace RTWCs. Fifty GPs completed a questionnaire on the preparedness of RTWCs in relation to their role, with 58% (n = 29) indicating RTWCs require more training. A total of 78% (n = 39) of respondents considered RTWCs were important in assisting injured workers return to work, with 98% (n = 49) ranking trustworthiness, respectfulness and ethicalness as the most important or an important trait for a RTWC to possess. Interestingly, 40% (n = 20) of respondents themselves reported having no training in the return-to-work process. GPs acknowledge the importance of the workplace RTWC in the return-to-work process, and the results highlight the need for RTWCs to possess specific traits and undergo appropriate training for the facilitation of a successful return to work for injured workers.
James C, James D, Nie V, Schumacher TL, Guest M, Tessier J, et al., 'Musculoskeletal discomfort and use of computers in the university environment', APPLIED ERGONOMICS, 69 128-135 (2018) [C1]
Yu S, Bohatko-Naismith J, Zhang X, Zhou X, Wang P, Wang H, 'Cellular responses in titanium dioxide nanoparticle cytotoxicity studies: parts of the map waiting to be composed', Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and Toxicology, 2 1-9 (2017) [C1]
Bohatko-Naismith J, Guest M, Rivett DA, James C, 'Insights into workplace Return to Work Coordinator training: An Australian perspective', Work, 55 29-36 (2016) [C1]
© 2016 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: Following brief training, an Australian workplace Return to Work (RTW) Coordinator is expected to provide info... [more]
© 2016 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: Following brief training, an Australian workplace Return to Work (RTW) Coordinator is expected to provide information to the injured worker, liaise with key stakeholders and maintain workplace policies and procedures in accordance with legislative requirements. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to provide insights into the experiences and perceptions of the Australian Workplace RTW Coordinator in relation to current training practices and to identify any existing inadequacies within the available training. METHOD: Twenty-five workplace RTW Coordinators from five Australian states participated in six focus groups.Participants with a minimum of two years' experience as a workplace RTW Coordinator and involved with the development and implementation of workplace policies and procedures, were included in the study. Thematic analysis was performed to identity meaningful themes and patterns. RESULTS: The findings highlighted specific training requirements and additional support mechanisms recommended by current workplace RTW Coordinators. Four key themes clearly emerged: inadequate training; irrelevant content; the need for specialised trainers; and network support services. CONCLUSION: RTW Coordinators require effective training and support to ensure the appropriate and timely delivery of services to all stakeholders involved in the RTW process. The results of this study may inform future training practices for RTW Coordinators.
Bohatko-Naismith J, James C, Guest M, Rivett DA, 'The Role of the Australian Workplace Return to Work Coordinator: Essential Qualities and Attributes', Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 25 65-73 (2015) [C1]
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Introduction In the Australian context, a return to work (RTW) Coordinator assists an injured worker with workplace-based support... [more]
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Introduction In the Australian context, a return to work (RTW) Coordinator assists an injured worker with workplace-based support and regulatory guidance for the duration of their injury. Coordinating the RTW process has been considered an effective approach for managing workplace injuries, however few studies have described the skills, traits or characteristics required to fulfil the role of workplace RTW Coordinator. This study aims to provide insight as to the skills and attributes needed for the role of the workplace RTW Coordinator from their experience and perception. Method Focus groups were conducted with workplace RTW Coordinators from six major Australian cities. Twenty five participants were recruited through a national RTW Coordinator website, and professional RTW interest groups using a snowballing technique. Participating workplace RTW Coordinators were required to have a minimum 2¿years¿ experience and to have been involved with the development and implementation of workplace policies and procedures. Thematic analysis was performed to identify meaningful patterns and themes. Results The data analysed provided clear insight as to the specific role requirements necessary for working as an Australian workplace RTW Coordinator. Three key themes clearly emerged; communication skills, RTW Coordinator characteristics, and managing the RTW process. Conclusion The findings indicate that RTW Coordinators require a wide range of traits, skills, and attributes to successfully perform this role. Effective management by the RTW Coordinator of the complex RTW process is essential to facilitate a smooth transition for the injured worker, alongside maintaining a professional relationship with the employer and external stakeholders. The results of this study can be utilised to further improve the selection of future RTW Coordinators.
James C, Southgate E, Kable A, Rivett DA, Guest M, Bohatko-Naismith J, 'Return-to-work coordinators' resourcefulness and the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries', Work, 48 557-566 (2014) [C1]
© 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: There is little health specific literature on returning nurses with injuries to work despite the high incidenc... [more]
© 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. BACKGROUND: There is little health specific literature on returning nurses with injuries to work despite the high incidence of injuries and the workforce shortages of these professionals. OBJECTIVE: To identify enabling factors and barriers to return-to-work for nurses with injuries from the perspective of return-to-work coordinators. PARTICIPANTS: Workplace return-to-workcoordinators employed in a health or disability facility who had worked on a rehabilitation case with a nurse with injuries in the past 12 months in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. METHOD: Five focus groups were conducted with 25 return-to-work coordinators from 14 different organisations, representing different health sectors (aged, disability, public and private hospital and community health) in metropolitan and rural areas of NSW, Australia. RESULTS: This study reports findings specifically relating to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries. Four key themes were identified: suitable duties; supernumerary positions; nurse specialisation and tailoring of return-to-work plans. CONCLUSIONS: This study identified that return-to-work coordinators were resourceful and innovative in their approach to the provision of suitable duties for nurses with injuries and highlighted the importance of including clinical duties in any return-to-work program and of tailoring the return-to-work to the nurses' work and personal circumstances.
Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, James CL, Guest M, 'A review of the role and training of Return to Work Coordinators in Australia', Journal of Health, Safety and Environment, 28 173-190 (2012) [C1]
James CL, Southgate EL, Kable AK, Rivett DA, Guest M, Bohatko-Naismith J, 'The Return-To-Work Coordinator role: Qualitative insights for nursing', Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, 21 220-227 (2011) [C1]
Southgate EL, James CL, Kable AK, Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, Guest M, 'Workplace injury and nurses: Insights from focus groups with Australian return-to-work coordinators', Nursing & Health Sciences, 13 192-198 (2011) [C1]
|Show 8 more journal articles|
Conference (12 outputs)
Bohatko-Naismith J, Guest M, Rivett D, James C, 'Deficient or sufficient? Contemporary Australian return to work coordinator training practices', Singapore (2017)
James C, Bohatko Naismith J, Rivett D, Guest M, 'The role of the Australian Return to Work Coordinator: Essential Qualities and Attributes', Sydney, NSW, Australia (2013)
James CL, Southgate EL, Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, Kable AK, Guest M, 'Return to work: Suitable duties for injured nurses', Book of Abstracts. The Second Scientific Conference on Work Disability Prevention and Integration, Groningen, The Netherlands (2012) [E3]
Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, James CL, Guest M, 'Sink or swim? The perceptions of Return to Work coordinators', Injury Prevention, Wellington, New Zealand (2012) [E3]
Bohatko-Naismith J, 'The experiences and perceptions of workplace Return to Work Coordinators: An Australian perspective on the role and current training', International Journal of Disability Management Research, London, England (2012) [E3]
Kable AK, Guest M, Rivett DA, Bohatko-Naismith J, 'The outcome of occupational rehabilitation of NSW nurses: Experiences of injured nurses', 5th International Congress on Innovations in Nursing, Perth, WA (2011) [E3]
Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, Guest M, James CL, Kable AK, Southgate EL, 'The occupational rehabilitiation of NSW nurses', 2nd Passionate about Practice Conference 2009, Brisbane, QLD (2009) [E3]
James CL, Southgate EL, Bohatko-Naismith J, Rivett DA, Guest M, Kable AK, 'Return to work co-ordinators: Contributions to the occupational rehabilitation process for injured nurses', Inaugural Conference for OT Australia NSW-ACT 2009: Conference Abstract Handbook, Sydney, NSW (2009) [E3]
|Show 9 more conferences|
Grants and Funding
|Number of grants||2|
Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.
20191 grants / $2,666
Funding body: SHS 2019 Strategic Pilot Grant
|Funding body||SHS 2019 Strategic Pilot Grant|
Dr Joanna Bohatko-Naismith, Dr Daphne James, Assoc Prof Lynne McCormack, Mr Jeff Marley
|Scheme||School of Health Sciences|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
20181 grants / $1,600
Funding body: Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Conference Travel Grant
|Funding body||Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Conference Travel Grant|
|Scheme||Faculty of Health and Medicine Research Conference Travel Grant|
|Type Of Funding||Internal|
Number of supervisions
|Commenced||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2020||Masters||Esoteric Connective Tissue Therapy (ECTT) in the Management of Chronic Low Back Pain: Experiences and Perceptions of Practitioners and Patients||M Philosophy (Physiotherapy), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2018||PhD||Cellular Death and Survival of Pulmonary Cells in Mice and Cultured BEAS-2B Cells in Response to Titanium Dioxide Nanoparticles||PhD (Environ & Occupat Hlth), Faculty of Health and Medicine, The University of Newcastle||Co-Supervisor|
|2017||PhD||Cellular senescence in pulmonary cells of BALB/c mice exposed to titanium dioxide nanoparticles||Occupational Health & Safety, The University of Newcastle - The School of Health Sciences||Co-Supervisor|
|Year||Level of Study||Research Title||Program||Supervisor Type|
|2015||Honours||Development of a home-based self-management programme to increase arm use: the insights and perceptions of stroke patients||Health, The University of Newcastle - The School of Health Sciences||Co-Supervisor|
Dr Joanna Bohatko Naismith
School of Health Sciences
Faculty of Health and Medicine
Occupational Health and Safety
|Phone||(02) 4921 7038|
Callaghan, NSW 2308