Climate Change and Evolving Threats to Public Health: The Oncology Nurse’s Role –

by | Sep 27, 2022 | Climate Change

According to the World Health Organization, climate change is the single biggest heath threat facing humanity today.1 Unfortunately, the effects will be most keenly felt by vulnerable communities and patients with pre-existing conditions, including patients with cancer, according to Milagros Elia, MA, APRN, ANP-BC. Therefore, climate change is not just a health care issue, but an oncology nursing issue. Oncology nursing professionals need to understand how changes in local climates may affect how they care for their patients.“For oncology nurses, it’s critical to understand who among our patients are at the greatest risk, and why, what makes them so vulnerable, and through what pathways,” Elia said.Elia recently presented on the topic of climate change as part of the 2022 Oncology Nursing Society Bridge. After the presentation, Oncology Nursing News® met with her to gain a better understand of how the changing climate calls for action from oncology nurses.As she noted in her presentation, climate events have the potential to disrupt core public health infrastructures and overwhelm health services.2 Health systems are expected to remain at the front line and bear high costs from the growing number of extreme climate events.3-7Moreover, some of the poorest health systems in the United States are most likely t …

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