To improve the quality and completeness of environmental health exposure data, the "I PREPARE" mnemonic was developed for use by nurses and other health care providers. The mnemonic cues the health care provider to ask questions about a patient's residence, past and present work history, neighborhood exposures, hobbies, and recreational activities. In addition, this tool prompts the user to provide resources such as pamphlets and links to consumer environmental health sites as well as educate the patient on salient areas of risk reduction such as lead or pesticide exposure. To assure that the information elicited through the mnemonic was comprehensive and clinically relevant, a pilot test was conducted with nurses, physicians, and health educators through a brief survey. Respondents were asked if there were any critical environmental health history questions that were omitted from the mnemonic; respondents were also asked to identify questions that unclear or duplicative. A final question asked providers if this tool would make them more likely to ask and chart environmental health data on their patients. To improve environmental health history data nationwide, health care providers will need simple, quick, and clinically-relevant tools for use in clinical practice. Developed under the direction of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, the mnemonic fills a profound need to enhance the collection and documentation of environmental health history in primary care settings.
Learning Objectives: 1. Describe the components of an exposure history. 2. Recognize the significance of nursing in eliciting an exposure history from patients. 3. Describe the process of the mnemonic development. 4. Identify the relationship between the exposure history and clinical practice. 5. Discuss the utility of the mnemonic as a tool to facilitate communication between the health care provider and the patient.
Keywords: Environmental Health, Environmental Health Hazards
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The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA