The delivery of healthcare services often results in a great deal of waste to be sent to the landfill. While some waste, such as used syringes, is to be expected, other waste could be avoided. Consider these four ways in which nurses could help make the healthcare system greener and cleaner.
Promote Electronic Medical Records
One way that nurses could help to make the healthcare system greener and cleaner is to promote the use of electronic medical records instead of paper records. Paper records require resources for printing and storage. With electronic medical records, fewer resources are needed and the records are easier for healthcare personnel to manage.
Earn a Master’s of Science in Nursing
The world of nursing has many different possibilities for healthcare professionals. After earning a master’s of science in nursing, it is possible to advance your career as a nurse. A nurse who has already earned this degree could work as an advanced nurse practitioner and treat patients. Nurses with a master’s degree could become nursing supervisors with the ability to lead a team of nurses. These professionals are able to prescribe medications and manage patient care in specialties such as cardiology and oncology.
Discover How Healthcare Can Become Better
There is always room for improvement in the realm of healthcare. Learn about how various branches of government can work together to make healthcare better. For example, the department on aging, department of insurance, department of health and human services, and the centers for Medicare and Medicaid can all come together to help lower the costs of healthcare services. These agencies could also research which forms of treatment and medications do the best at managing chronic conditions.
Encourage the Use of Supplies That Can Be Recycled
To help reduce physical waste in the healthcare system, nurses could also encourage the use of supplies that can be recycled or reused. For example, instead of disposable hospital gowns, nurses could encourage their institutions to use gowns that can be washed. Rather than delivering meals on disposable foam trays, hospital cafeterias could put them in recyclable containers or on dishes that get returned to the cafeteria to be washed and reused.
Reducing physical waste in the healthcare system could make a big impact on the environment. From transitioning to electronic medical records to encouraging electronic communications between governmental agencies, a lot can be changed. Nurses can also encourage their facilities to switch to supplies that can be reused or recycled, which will further lessen the burden on the local landfills and on the environment.
Rachelle Wilber, the author of this article, is a freelance writer from San Diego, California
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