Students demand more training in low environmental impact healthcare. 

Sustainable health education involves education on the impact of climate change on health and the impact of healthcare on the environment. The effectiveness of sustainable health education in improving attitudes, knowledge and skills in sustainable healthcare has been demonstrated.

Therefore, some CuiDsalud researchers decided to carry out a cohort study with an inductive content analysis to describe nursing students’ perceptions of sustainable health education in the nursing curriculum and their concerns about sustainable healthcare and the impact of climate change on nursing. The study was carried out with undergraduate nursing students throughout their four-year undergraduate academic program using scenario-based learning and augmented reality related to sustainability, climate change and health.

Students identified content in the nursing degree program on climate change and health and hospital waste segregation. They also demanded more content on ‘low environmental impact nursing care’ when their clinical practice training increased. Students were concerned about the excessive and unnecessary use of materials in healthcare, especially in the post-pandemic period, the lack of environmental awareness of healthcare professionals and the lack of power to change the situation. They recognised the lack of proper waste segregation in healthcare settings, no recycling bins and little reuse of materials. They were also concerned about the polluting disposal of material. They perceived important impacts of climate change on nursing, such as patient care due to increased pollution-related diseases, including foetal malformations and new health care needs arising from weather conditions. Finally, students were concerned about the impact this will have on nursing care work and require ‘nursing leadership in environmental awareness’. The full research can be read at: López-Medina IM, Álvarez-García C, Parra-Anguita L, Sanz-Martos S, Álvarez-Nieto C. Perceptions and concerns about sustainable healthcare of nursing students trained in sustainability and health: a cohort study. Nurse Education in Practice. 2022; 65: 10348.

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