265095 Climate Change and the Nurse's Role: An Evaluation of an Online Course

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Karen L. Levin, RN, MPH, MCHES , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Thomas Chandler, PhD , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Shwetha Bhasker, MA , Mailman School of Public Health, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Thomas Aguilar, MS , Mailman School of Public Health, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, New Yok, NY
Rebecca May, MPA , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University MSPH, New York, NY
Jonathan J. Sury, MPH, CPH , National Center for Disaster Preparedness, Columbia University, New York, NY
Climate change is a complex phenomenon, with a vast number of mitigating factors. Conclusions can be drawn that it is affecting environmental and human health, leading to increased flooding, heat waves, poor air quality, and extensive transformations of ecosystems and coastlines later this century, along with the emergence and reemergence of deadly infectious diseases. This presentation will focus on the essential role nurses play in mitigation and adaptation efforts. The authors assert that nurses can leverage their societal status as trusted messengers, and integrate climate change knowledge and relevant mitigation steps through their fundamental roles as educators, leaders, and client advocates.

One way of generating more awareness is through the incorporation of distance learning modalities. Data will be presented from an evaluation of an online course distributed to more than 700 nurses. The online course, developed at Columbia University's Regional Learning Center, includes a pre-test, a one hour interactive module specifically addressing the climate predictions outlined by U.S. Federal agencies, and a post test. After passing the latter portion, the learner can participate in an interactive case study simulation and receive a certificate of completion. An evaluation of the pre / post test assessment and case study will indicate whether there has been a significant increase in the participants' understanding of climate change and its inter-relationship with nursing. The authors also assert that the ability to better comprehend nurses' knowledge base is crucial for determining how future online training efforts should be designed and conducted.

Learning Areas:
Communication and informatics
Environmental health sciences
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the potential impact of climate change on human health. 2. Identify key resources that nurses can use to expand their knowledge base of climate change oriented problems. 3. Explain how online learning can generate new realizations regarding the relationship between public health and climate change.

Keywords: Nursing Education, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director of the Columbia University Regional Learning Center and Associate Director, Planning and Response, National Center for Disaster Preparedness, with more than 20 years of experience in nursing and public health. I have RN and MPH degrees, along with MCHES certification. I was responsible for the evaluation of this study.
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.