269112 Starting with "Me": Educational Strategies for Integrating Environmental Health into Nursing Curriculum

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 2:30 PM - 2:50 PM

Barbara Sattler, RN, DrPH, FAAN , Environmental Health Education Center, University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
In education, the realm of environmental health is too huge to tackle in even one very large bite. Yet, now that environmental health is part of the American Nurses Association's standard of professional practice, nurse educators have a responsibility to incorporate it into nursing curriculum. Courses in community and public health lend themselves to this topic, but so do basic assessment courses, maternal child health, and others. Some nursing faculty members, whose own education lacked environmental health content, can find this new responsibility a bit daunting. In this session several teaching strategies will be presented that not only increased student knowledge but significantly changed their personal behaviors to reduce their own environmental health risks. These strategies include the use of self-assessment tools that require nursing students to evaluate their own health risks posed by their personal care products, cleaning products, foods, and other daily exposures. It incorporates the use of zip code-based data regarding air and water pollution, including contaminants in drinking water. Once exposures are assessed, students learn to use credible sources of information to determine their own potential health risks. This teaching strategy has not only resulted in students taking responsibility for their own risk reductions but they translate their newfound concern into efforts regarding population-based exposures. The nursing students also bring this new “lens” to their clinical settings. Examples of how students have translated their knowledge into their prospective nursing practices will also be presented.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related education
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1)Describe the new ANA "Environmental Health" Standard of Practice 2)Design elements for the integration of environmental health into entry-level nursing curriculum 3)Assess the impact on student's behavior

Keywords: Environmental Exposures, Nursing Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been teaching Environmental Health to nurses for over 2 decades, have co-authored Nursing, Health, and the Environment, published dozens of articles on environmental health and nursing, sit on the AACN Environmental Health Committee, and the Academy of Nursing Environmental Health Committee.
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.