Nurses Working to Prevent Disease at Home
Week 4: Public Health Threats, Emergencies, and Disasters
Public health threats, emergencies, and disasters are as diverse as they are devastating to a population. Infections such as pandemic influenza outbreaks cause severe illness and often death in susceptible populations like the very young or old. Disasters such as these require rapid response to vaccinate susceptible populations and educate the public on how to protect themselves from contracting the disease.
Natural disasters like tsunamis, hurricanes, sudden heavy snowstorms or blizzards, and flooding also jeopardize health. These types of disasters create environmental health concerns through the spread of toxic waste, increased water-borne infections and insect-borne disease, as well as loss of power or the inability to navigate roadways during floods or blizzards. In addition, natural disasters create environmental concerns such as low food supply, destruction of crops and livestock, and lack of clean water. Natural catastrophes like these are predicted to increase in frequency and severity as long as climate change with increasing global temperatures continues unchecked through slow reaction or frank inaction by governments.
Organizations across the globe are developing strategies for decreasing their carbon footprint in order to reduce pollution that contributes to climate change. Because no one is immune from this hazard, nurses must have a grasp of the growing concern for the impact of climate change and its associated implications for public health worldwide. It is important for nurses to learn how to increase their leadership capabilities to affect local, state, and national outcomes.
This week, you will consider the role of the nurse in preventing illnesses due to environmental issues. Additionally, you will discuss the role of nurses in developing health promotion and health protection strategies to address global climate change health concerns.
- Analyze the role of the nurse in preventing illnesses due to environmental issues
- Analyze the implications of global climate change on health*
*The Assignment related to this Learning Objective is introduced this week and submitted in Week 5.
Photo Credit: Photograph by Michael Rieger taken on 09/01/2005 in Louisiana – 15091. FEMA.
Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.
Holtz, C. (2013). Global health care: Issues and policies (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.
- Chapter 14, “Global Perspectives on Nutrition” (pp. 355–384)
- Chapter 16, “Global Perspectives on Environmental Health” (pp. 409–427)
Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2016). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community (9th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
- Chapter 10, “Environmental Health” (pp. 217–241)
Public Health Nursing: Population-Centered Health Care in the Community, 9th Ed. by Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. Copyright 2015 by Elsevier Health Science Books. Reprinted by permission of Elsevier Health Science Books via the Copyright Clearance Center.
Veenema, T. G., Griffin, A., Gable, A. R., MacIntyre, L., Simons, N., Couig, M. P., … Larson, E. (2016). Nurses as leaders in disaster preparedness and response—A call to action. Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 48(2), 187–200.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
Laureate Education. (Producer). (2010a). Public and global health: Global emergencies and disasters [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.
Accessible player–Downloads–Download Video w/CCDownload AudioDownload Transcript
TED. (2015a). Why climate change is a threat to human rights. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/mary_robinson_why_climate_change_is_a_threat_to_human_rights
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 22 minutes.
Former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, talks about the effects of climate change on human rights in poorer populations where some islands or lowlands are beginning to submerge as sea waters rise.
TED. (2016b). The case for optimism on climate change. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/al_gore_the_case_for_optimism_on_climate_change
Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 25 minutes.
Former Vice President Al Gore speaks practically about global warming and offers some reasons we should feel optimistic about recent developments and changes in outcomes. His message is that people are changing their attitudes about global warming into action to stop the warming trend.
Writing Resources and Program Success Tools
Document: AWE Checklist (4000) (Word document)
This checklist will help you self-assess your writing to see if it meets academic writing standards for this course.
Walden University. (n.d.). Walden templates: General templates: APA course paper template with advice (6th ed.). Retrieved May 20, 2016, from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/ld.php?content_id=7980455
Dr. Mary Bassett (Health Commissioner of New York City) discusses why physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals should not keep silent about health care disparities, based on her insights from her work in Zimbabwe.