What Does a Environmental Health Nurse Do?
Environmental Health Nurses merge the principles of nursing and public health to address environmental factors that can adversely impact health. Their primary role involves identifying, preventing, and managing diseases related to environmental exposures and educating communities about potential health risks in their surroundings. They assess the impact of the environment on health, advocate for policies and practices that foster good environmental health, and implement health promotion programs tailored to specific communities.
To excel as an Environmental Health Nurse, one must possess a deep understanding of both nursing practices and environmental health issues. This includes knowledge of potential environmental hazards, their health implications, and strategies for prevention and mitigation. Excellent communication skills are vital, as they often serve as liaisons between communities, policymakers, and health departments. Their work often requires them to be adept researchers, educators, and advocates, promoting awareness and sparking change.
Environmental Health Nurses typically find employment in local or state health departments, schools, advocacy organizations, and non-governmental agencies focused on environmental issues. Their role is integral to bridging the gap between environmental sciences and community health. By addressing the link between environment and well-being, Environmental Health Nurses play a crucial role in promoting safer communities, advocating for healthier living conditions, and ensuring that populations are well-informed about the environment's impact on their health.