Nurses’ Role in Improving Environmental Health

Table of Contents

Introduction

Environmental health is becoming a relevant topic for discussion as man-made and natural hazards are beginning to affect human well-being severely. The environment and surrounding that we live in can have a profound impact on health, both positively and negatively. This paper will discuss the basics of environmental health, factors that impact health, and the role of nurses in mitigating the issue.

Environmental Health Basics

Humans are constantly interacting with the environment, which inherently impacts health, quality of life, and can influence health disparities. The Healthy People 2020 environmental health objectives six themes that impact human health. These include outdoor air quality, groundwater quality, toxic substances, and hazardous waste, homes, and communities, infrastructure and surveillance, and global environmental health. The World Health Organization describes environmental health as “all the physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related behaviors” (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2018, par. 2).

The themes outlined by the Healthy People 2020 initiative impact environmental quality to some extent, most commonly due to human activity. This leads to a degrading ecology that most negatively affects individuals with existing health problems. The concept of environmental health must focus on identifying and addressing socio-ecological factors which cause exposure and disease.

Factors Impacting Human Health

It is important to understand the link between the environment and human health, recognizing the complexities of an interdependent system with large-scale challenges. Some of the trends affecting human health are air pollution, water quality, noise, chemicals, social systems, and climate change. Air pollution presented one of the highest disease burdens, causing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions ranging from asthma to lung cancer. Particulate matter and carcinogen presence in most human environments remain high. Water quality is dependent on the collection and treatment of wastewater can affect drinking water by introducing toxic chemicals, eutrophication, and biological lifeforms.

Toxic chemicals in large amounts are present practically everywhere, including air, water, food, and soil. Systemic issues such as urbanization enhance vulnerability to health risks as people fail to receive the health benefits of natural environments. Finally, climate change is relatable to extreme weather, distribution of natural resources, and the spread of climate-sensitive diseases that are all human health hazards (European Environment Agency, 2015).

Role of Nurses

Nurses have a significantly important position in promoting and protecting public health in the context of environmental health issues. Through clinical practice, education, research, and advocacy, nurses can influence policies that aim at creating sustainable change and lifestyles with long-term impacts on behaviors of individuals and organizations. In communities, nurses can identify and assess community risks of environmental health without deviating from regular clinical practice. It is possible to use an interdisciplinary approach for the identification and mitigation of any health hazards in the community as well.

Nurses can serve as an educator by teaching individuals and families how to address environmental issues within their immediate surroundings. A nurse can demonstrate example and leadership by engaging in personal behaviors which support, clean, and reduce harm to the environment. A nurse is able to use her position to advocate for policy that protects the ecology and public health in instances of promoting sustainability and reducing exposure to toxic elements. Finally, a nurse can engage in research that focuses on environmental health issues and develop strategies to aid in finding solutions (Canadian Nurses Association, 2017).

Conclusion

It is evident that environmental factors can have long-lasting and detrimental impacts on human health. The air, water, food, and soil that we consume or interact with within daily life have become more toxic and led to burdens of disease. In order to address this issue, the socio-ecological relationships and practices within all contexts of human civilization should be considered. Nurses have a critical role in this matter; they are an important bridge between populations and policy.

References

Canadian Nurses Association. (2017). . Web.

European Environment Agency. (2015). Health and environment. Web.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2018). . Web.

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
$0.00
*Price with a welcome 15% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with My Homework Geeks
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
Testimonials
See why 20k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
11,595
Customer reviews in total
96%
Current satisfaction rate
3 pages
Average paper length
37%
Customers referred by a friend
OUR GIFT TO YOU
15% OFF your first order
Use a coupon FIRST15 and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 15% OFF Order in Chat
Live ChatWhatsApp