Online Program

Assessment of training and practices to reduce reproductive health hazards through occupational exposure in nurses

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:50 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.

Andrea Mulvenon, MS, Department of Envrionmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Chandran Achutan, PhD, Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Background: The purpose of this study is to describe the level of training that oncology nurses at an academic institution receive on occupational exposures to antineoplastic and hazardous drugs that negatively impact reproductive health. The study focuses on hospital employed oncology nurses and address the knowledge gap between known guidelines and effectiveness of hospital policies and training of workers in regard to reproductive health risks including infertility, reproductive diseases, and adverse birth and developmental outcomes. Methods: We reviewed institutional documents available to all hospital employees for information concerning reproductive hazards from occupational exposures. We also administered a questionnaire to outpatient and inpatient oncology nurses to assess their knowledge on reproductive hazards associated with occupational exposure to chemotherapy agents, what training was provided by the institution, and attitudes towards safety. Results: Of twenty institutional documents that were specifically related to reproductive hazards only six specifically addressed these hazards in any way. Of the six documents only one mentioned the specific reproductive health risk in more than a cursory statement. It is expected that the level of PPE used by the nurses will be affected by their knowledge of reproductive hazards associated with handling antineoplastic and hazardous drugs. Conclusions: Language concerning reproductive health issues should be made part of institutional documents when applicable. The specific reproductive health risks involved should be carefully defined and reference should be made to relevant study findings.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Describe the extent to which institutional policies address reproductive hazards. Evaluate if there is a knowledge gap between institutional safety trainings and nurse knowledge of reproductive safety hazards in the work place

Keyword(s): Health Workers Training, Occupational Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the principle investigator of the federally funded grant which focuses on the role of the institution to provide training and knowledge to nurses concerning reproductive health hazards in an occupational setting.
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.