The environment people live in dramatically influences their lifestyle and health. With the climate on the planet changing, accelerated by human activities, people’s health condition is adjusted in different ways. One of the most serious issues people are dealing with nowadays centers on air quality. Deterioration of outdoor air can result in such health problems as lung diseases and respiratory problems. Nurses are to ensure the proper actions are taken in order to prevent the health decline.
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Climate change results in many consequences, most of them negative, which can affect population health. One of the most significant issues is air quality aggravation because it affects everyone around the globe, more or less, depending on the area they live in.
First and foremost, decreased quality of the air can manifest in the destruction of the ozone layer and increased air temperature. As a result of this process, lung tissue can get impaired or airways inflamed, which will cause worsening of asthma or other chronic lung conditions. Also, lung cancer and cardiovascular disease can originate from people breathing in some particles emitted into the atmosphere because of certain human activities.
Healthcare providers, nurses, in particular, are not only able to treat the appearing conditions but also try to prevent them. As Cook (2019) states, “Nurses are in key positions to address the environmental impact of health care facilities by influencing decisions to help reduce greenhouse gases and other pollutants in hospitals” (p. 57). Therefore, nurses need to be educated on the subject to be able to assist people with health problems resulting from air quality impact.
Promoting health by way of providing a healthy environment is one of the nursing goals (Rector, 2018). To do so, nurses can advise using alternative methods of transportation or help to regulate toxic air emissions (Rector, 2018). This way, community health nurses will be able to ensure that the possible adverse effects or poor air quality are lessened.
To sum up, the environment greatly affects people’s health, and some climate change issues do so in a sickly way. Nonetheless, the outcomes of people breathing in bad quality air can be partially fixed. This can be done by not only treating appearing diseases but also preventing them from happening. In this process, community health nurses can play a significant role, helping find solutions in healthcare institutions and also educating their patients.
Cook, C. (2019). Nurses and Climate Action. AJN The American Journal of Nursing 119(4), 54-60.
Rector, C. (2018). Community and Public Health Nursing Promoting the Public’s Health. New York, NY: Walters Kluwer.