Call-out: climate change and nursing survey
“Hello, I am Ebenezer Akore Yeboah. I am passionate about raising nurses’ and midwives’ awareness of climate change and the damaging effects on human health. I also want healthcare staff to know more about sustainable healthcare practices and how these can contribute to greener healthcare systems and reduce the carbon footprint.
Before I became a nurse, I had an interest in hospital wastes and management and did a project on that in Ghana. It was here that I learnt about recycling, waste reduction and environmental practices. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Nursing in KNUST (Ghana) I worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant and as a hospital nurse. Later, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I became a research nurse at Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine for a COVID vaccine trial. A few months after, I moved to the UK and became a UK Registered Nurse. Five months into it, I gained a fully funded scholarship to do my PhD in Nursing and Climate change at Coventry University, UK.
Data on the damaging impact of climate change on human health are very clear. As the saying goes, it is impossible to have healthy people on a sick planet. It has also become apparent that healthcare systems themselves contribute greatly to greenhouse gas emissions, plastic production, waste creation, energy consumption, and ultimately damage to the environment. As Arup (2019, p4) states, if the health sector were a country, it would be the fifth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet’. Nurses have a key role to play in adopting and implementing sustainable and environmentally responsible healthcare practices, accounting for the largest proportion of health professionals across the globe.
As a nurse myself, I am hoping that nurses can become champions in knowledge and practice in the fight against climate change. Simple acts of sustainability in practice will help mitigate climate impacts. We all can contribute and help sustain the planet for present and future generations. In my research I will explore nurses’ perspectives and hope to conscientize them on their role in climate change mitigation and encourage environmentally responsible nursing practices.
If you’d like to share your views and experiences about nursing practice and climate change,
this link takes you to a survey which asks questions about sustainable healthcare practices, and your views and opinions on climate change. The results of the survey will form part of my PhD research. The link will also take you to an information sheet and confirmation of the ethical approval for this research. I hope many nurses can contribute to this data collection. Thank you.”