What do nurses do? What do health visitors do? Since beginning as a student the answer to that question has been debated and no real answers have been universally agreed. My own personal take on it (and its my blog so that’s what I shall write!) is that nurses care for the health of our patients. I’m on a challenging journey studying to become a health visitor, as I was inspired a while ago to care for the health of the well as well as the sick. And that’s really where my passion lies, as I imagine it does for many other health visitors /public health nurses/ students out there.
My idea for this blog has been a long time in the making. As health visitors (or HV students!) we are committed to four principles:
1. Search for health needs
2. Stimulate an awareness of health needs
3. Influencing policies affecting health
4. Facilitating health enhancing activities
Now I know we all got that last one down! And the first? Again, nailed it. But how about 2 or 3? I am sure there are health visitors out there who do work on these every day, but hand on heart I’m not sure I do. But I want to.
So that leads me to, why write a blog? The Lancet and UCL Institute for Global Health Commission called climate change the ‘biggest global health threat of the 21st century’. That’s a big statement. So what are the facts? And why should we get involved as nurses? That’s what I want to look at more over the next year. A 365 day journey in starting to work on this issue in my personal and professional life. Because as public health nurses don’t we have a responsibility to influence policies which affect health? And doesn’t it follow that we should therefore be getting involved with climate change policy and its potential MASSIVE effects on human health? By writing this blog I hope to raise people’s awareness of the problem and the vital part that nurses have to play in helping solve it. So here goes nothing.