Cardiovascular Nursing and Climate Change: a call to action from the CSANZ Cardiovascular Nursing Council.
Summary by Prof Rochelle Wynne December 2022
Environmental health ultimately determines human health. As our climate continues to deteriorate, climate hazards and disasters provide acute triggers for patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD) that are compounded by social determinants of health.
Nurses provide a critical juncture for future solution focused co-design. To avoid harm, we need to have a holistic view of vulnerability, recognise what influences resilience, and appreciate the synergistic effects of climate change on CVD.
In a special issue of Heart, Lung and Circulation dedicated to the environment, this call-to-action claims that unprecedented should not be an excuse for unprepared. In harnessing the power, skill and expertise of the nursing profession, healthcare professionals who are both part of the solution and the problem, can transect acute and primary care to lead positive change.
Vulnerable populations are at greatest risk and targeted preventative support is needed. First Nations people must have sovereignty over their response to climate change. Healthcare professionals need to understand the impact of climate change on First Nations peoples and ensure care is culturally appropriate.
Education is the cornerstone to mitigating the impact of climate change on healthcare outcomes as it creates opportunities to reduce the risk of hazards and establish strategies for safety.
Urgent practice adaptation that includes climate-aware assessment, education, discharge planning and care coordination as usual practice is imperative. Professionals who manage the consequences of climate change must also understand the impact of their care on the root cause of the problem. As we adapt our care to reduce environmental impact nurses are well placed to lead interdisciplinary planning and this paper highlights priorities for action to improve awareness and empower self-care in climate related disasters.
Authors: Sally C. Inglis, PhD, Caleb Ferguson, PhD, Rebecca Eddington, MHLth, Julee McDonagh, PhD, Chris J. Aldridge, Kimberley Bardsley, Dion Candelaria, MN, Y.Y. Chen, PhD, Robyn A. Clark, PhD, Elizabeth Halcomb, PhD, Jeroen M. Hendriks, PhD. Louise D. Hickman, PhD, Rochelle Wynne, PhD.