194381 Nurses as first receivers of victims of hazardous chemical incidents

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:00 PM

Holly E. Carpenter, RN, BSN , Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, American Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD
Nancy Hughes, RN, MS , Occupational and Environmental Health, American Nurses Association, Silver Spring, MD
John S. Morawetz , Center for Worker Health & Safety Education, International Chemical Workers Union (ICWUC), Cincinnati, OH
Nurses are receiving and caring for victims exposed to chemicals in chemical release incidents. Contact with a chemically-contaminated victim who becomes a patient puts the nurse's own health at risk. In order to safely care for chemically contaminated patients, nurses must have specialized knowledge. The knowledge includes the importance of a hazard vulnerability assessment specific to their locality; how and where to retrieve information about chemicals; hospital incident command system; the use of personal protective equipment to use to prevent becoming contaminated with the chemical from the patient; decontamination of patients; and tools to offer guidance for these events. The American Nurses Association (ANA) and the International Chemical Workers Union Council (ICWUC) have developed multiple educational programs to address the special knowledge needs of nurses who receive chemically contaminated patients funded through grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to the ICWUC.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the need for nurses to be trained as first receivers of chemically-contaminated victims. 2. Identify the process that first receivers follow to protect themselves from chemically-contaminated victims. 3. Discuss the importance of proper decontamination by nurses of chemically-contaminated victims.

Keywords: Nurses, Occupational Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a senior staff specialist for ANAís Center for Occupational and Environmental Health, I coordinate and work closely with the International Chemical Workers Union Councilís Center for Worker Health and Safety education. I have attended a 3 Day First Receiver Training offered by ICWUC, followed by a 5 day Train the Trainer for Hospital Based First Receivers program. I have written an article regarding nursesí chemical right-to-know for American Nurse Today. I have presented on nursesí chemical right-to-know at the APHA Convention, 2007. I have helped develop and present several nurses continuing education programs on the role and preparation of nurse as a first receiver of chemically-contaminated patients.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.