National Academies Press: OpenBook

Nursing, Health, and the Environment (1995)

Chapter: Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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G
Taking an Exposure History

Appendix G provides two examples of environmental and occupational history-taking forms that could be used by nurses in a variety of practice settings. The first form, Comprehensive Occupational and Environmental History, was created for a faculty development workshop on Environmental and Occupational Health offered by the University of Maryland at Baltimore (June, 1993), the second, Occupational and Environmental Health History Form, is reprinted, with permission, from Alyce B. Tarcher's Principles and Practice of Environmental Medicine (Plenum Publishing Co., 1992). Both forms enable nurses and other health professionals to assess individual risk and the need for prevention, to diagnose and treat occupational and environmental illnesses, and to develop a sensitivity to the environmental conditions in a community that may contribute to ill health. Taking an exposure history also provides an opportunity for nurses to enhance their relationship with patients by learning more about an individual's workplace, home, and community environments.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Comprehensive Occupational and Environmental History

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×

Key Occupational and Environmental Health Questions to be asked with all histories

  1. What are your current and past, longest held jobs?

  2. Have you been exposed to any radiation or chemical liquids, dusts, mists, or fumes?

  3. Is there any relationship between current symptoms and activities at work or at home?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Occupational Exposure
  1. Describe any health problems or injuries related to present or past jobs.

  2. Have you or your coworkers had health problems or injuries?

  3. Do you believe you have health problems related to your present or past work?

  4. Have you been off of work because of a work-related illness or injury? If so, describe:

  5. Have you worked with a substance that caused a skin rash? What was the substance? Describe your reaction.

  6. Have you had trouble breathing, coughing, or wheezing while at work? If so, describe:

  7. Do you have any allergies? If so, describe:

  8. Have you had difficulty conceiving a child?

  9. Do you have any children who were born with abnormalities?

  10. Do you smoke or have you ever smoked cigarettes, cigars, or pipes? For how long and how many per day?

  11. Do you smoke on the job?

  12. Have you ever worked at a job or hobby in which you came into direct contact with any of the following substances through breathing, touching, or direct exposure? If so, please place a checkmark beside the substance.

Acids

Halothane

Alcohols (industrial)

Heat (severe)

Alkalis

Isocyanates

Ammonia

Ketones

Arsenic

Lead

Asbestos

Manganese

Benzene

Mercury

Beryllium

Methylene chloride

Cadmium

Nickel

Carbon tetrachloride

Noise (loud)

Chlorinated naphathalenes

PBBs

Chloroform

PCBs

Chloroprene

Perchloroethylene

Chromates

Pesticides

Coal dust

Phenol

Cold (severe)

Phosgene

Dichlorobenzene

Radiation

Ethylene dibromide

Ethylene dichloride

Rock dust

Silica powder

Fiberglass

Solvents

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Styrene

Trinitrotoluene

Talc

Vibration

Toluene

Vinyl chloride

TDI or MDI

Welding fumes

Trichloroethylene

X rays

If you have answered ''yes" to any of the above, please describe your exposure on a separate sheet of paper.

Environmental Exposure
  1. Do you live in the central city or in a rural, urban, or suburban area?

  2. Have you ever changed your residence or home because of a health problem? If so, describe:

  3. Do you live in the immediate vicinity of a refinery, smelter, factory, battery recycling plant, hazardous waste site, or other potential pollution source?

  4. Do you (and your child) live in or regularly visit a building with peeling or chipped lead paint (e.g., built before 1960)? Has there been recent, ongoing, or planned renovation or remodeling of this structure(s)?

  5. Do any members of your household have contact with dusts or chemicals in the workplace that are then brought into the home?

  6. Do you have a hobby that you do at home? If so, describe:

  7. Do you fumigate your home or use pesticides in and around your home and on a pet? Do you use mothballs?

  8. What cleaning agents and solvents are used in your home?

  9. Is there evidence of mold in your home?

  10. Which of the following do you use in your home?

Air conditioner

Humidifier

Electric stove

Wood stove

Air purifier

Gas stove

Fireplace

Unvented kerosene heater or gas heater

  1. What is your source of drinking water?

Community water system

Private well

Bottled water

Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 263
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Page 264
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 265
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 266
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 267
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
×
Page 268
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 269
Suggested Citation:"Appendix G: Taking an Exposure History." Institute of Medicine. 1995. Nursing, Health, and the Environment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4986.
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Page 270
Next: Appendix H: Acknowledgments »
Nursing, Health, and the Environment Get This Book
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America's nurses, an estimated 2 million strong, are often at the frontlines in confronting environmental health hazards. Yet most nurses have not received adequate training to manage these hazards.

Nursing, Health, and the Environment explores the effects that environmental hazards (including those in the workplace) have on the health of patients and communities and proposes specific strategies for preparing nurses to address them.

The committee documents the magnitude of environmental hazards and discusses the importance of the relationship between nursing, health, and the environment from three broad perspectives

  • Practice--The authors address environmental health issues in the nursing process, potential controversies over nurses taking a more activist stance on environmental health issues, and more.
  • Education--The volume presents the status of environmental health content in nursing curricula and credentialing, and specific strategies for incorporating more environmental health into nursing preparation.
  • Research--The book includes a survey of the available knowledge base and options for expanding nursing research as it relates to environmental health hazards.
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