2. Second, nurses can learn how climate change affects patient health.
This can be done in several ways, such as being aware that disasters such as floods and wildfires often have a greater effect on the poor and elderly than on more affluent and younger people.
"This is an issue of climate justice," Thompson explained, noting that air pollution killed approximately 3,000 people in Georgia in 2017, mostly through chronic cardiovascular and respiratory disease. The Atlanta-Athens-Clarke County-Sandy Springs area has been ranked on the American Lung Association's list of most polluted cities and the area was ranked 25th in the nation for ozone pollution and 19th for year-round particle pollution.
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3. Finally, Thompson explained that nurses can take personal action to reduce climate change.
Eating a plant-based diet is one way they can have a big impact, along with driving a hybrid or electric car or going car-free and using clean energy such as solar panels.
For more information about how they can have an impact on climate change as well as respond to its effects, nurses can visit the Nurses Climate Challenge. This national campaign encourages nurses to become climate champions and help educate their colleagues about the impact of climate change on health.
The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is another resource that encourages nurses to help promote healthy environments and people in a variety of ways, including education, research and policy influence.
In addition, nurse.com suggests taking online courses related to climate change, especially ones on excessive heat-related conditions and Lyme disease.