Find Your Tribe

Ohio Association of Occupational Health Nurses

How do you find your tribe? One obvious way to find your tribe is a shared profession or interest. Shared interest is what you have in common. It is the glue that attracts and holds a tribe together. 

Last week, I attended a two-day program on the challenges of mental health in the workplace. The conference was in person with occupational and environmental health nurses. We have common bonds of shared knowledge and responsibilities of caring for workers either in industry or healthcare with its triumphs and challenges. In that space, we commiserate and offer solutions to each other as we navigate the complex arena of occupation and environmental health. This group is my tribe (I am in the red sweater).

Lunch, Vegan style, at the Canton OAOHN Conference on Mental Health in the Workplace

Another highlight of tribe is “we’ve been there, done that, and recommend you don’t do what I did” group. A good tribe mentors through shared knowledge. We lift each other up and through the complexities of the legal issues in occupational and environmental nurses. Kanjee and Bilello (2021) emphasize healthcare can get a little too tribal, losing trust in other professionals and suggest three actions to prevent silos within a profession – get to know each other, emphasize shared tribal affiliations (as healthcare providers instead of a specialty), and consider inter-professional projects. 

Tribes can be a source of strength and meaning within mutual identity and key knowledge as occupational and environmental health nurses. The best tribes embrace diversity and collaborate to enhance productivity and creativity. Occupational and environmental nurses embrace others (Rosa Beth Moss Kantner, 2013).

My added advice? Know yourself, find your tribe, support group, mentor, happy place. And be there.



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