By Julie Cullen, Managing Editor, American Nurse Today
The past few days have seen a lot of news coverage of the climate strike by young people around the world and the short (but forceful) United Nations speech by young climate activist Greta Thunberg. Another group that’s been on the frontlines of the recent climate rallies is nurses. According to interviews given by some nurses, they’re motivated to participate by what they see daily in their work settings and experiences they’ve had after natural disasters and on mission trips.
Climate change is a hot button political topic, so some nurses may feel nervous about speaking out, but nurses’ associations have already made statements about the environment. A recent Washington Post article reminded readers about the American Nurses Association resolution after a U.S. senator called global warming a hoax. The ANA said, in part, that “the challenges we face as a result of global climate change are unprecedented in human history and it is critical that nurses speak out in a united voice and advocate for change on both individual and policy levels.”
Nurses are in a unique position to advocate for measures to help slow (or even stop) climate change. The public views nurses as competent and caring, so when they advocate for an issue they’re listened to. In February 2019, American Nurse Today published an article about preparing older citizens for global climate change. In addition to offering specific care recommendations, the authors provided a list of resources to help nurses get involved—Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, Elders Climate Action, Health Care Without Harm, and WHO’s Climate Change and Human Health toolkit. Take advantage of your trusted position in society and speak up about climate change.
Source: Washington Post