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Nursing Health, & Environment: Strengthening the Relationship to Improve the Public's Health
Registry (ATSDR) and Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) teaching modules to nursing faculty, students, and nurses currently in practice. Advertisements and announcements can be sent to members of nursing associations and placed in selected nursing publications.
Promote interdisciplinary approaches to environmental health issues in nursing practice, education, and research with funding support from private and public agencies and through recommendations from nursing professional associations, including American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and International Council of Nursing (ICN).
Nursing faculty, students, and practitioners should be made aware of environmental health resources in local, state, and federal public health and environmental agencies, through avenues such as state nursing associations, for example.
Institutional policies, including formal role definitions and staffing mix, must support nurses' access to resources and adequate opportunities for one-on-one contact between patients and nurses.
Participation in Interdisciplinary Teams
Recommendation 3.3: Nurses should participate as members and leadersin interdisciplinary teams that address environmental health problems.
Rationale: The efficacious provision of environmental health services requires the expertise of a variety of professionals functioning as a well-coordinated team. Nurses need to know who these other professionals are, what they do, and how to work with them in an interdisciplinary team. Nurses must also be prepared to consult with other specialists in environmental health including, but not limited to, toxicologists, physicians, industrial hygienists, and epidemiologists.
Strategies for Achieving Recommendation 3.3:
Develop experience with interdisciplinary teams in basic nursing education by calling on experts from various fields to teach selected content and to participate in learning activities involving case studies or problem solving.
Focus on the necessity of an interdisciplinary approach when teaching fundamental concepts of environmental health.
Provide nurses with a basic understanding of the knowledge base and practice of various interdisciplinary team members, including toxicologists, industrial hygienists, risk communicators, and hydrogeologists.