DNP student Christie Torres, MSN, RN, APRN, FNP-BC recently created “Climate Change and Renal Health: Awareness and Education Toolkit for Healthcare Providers.” As Torres points out, because the kidney has a unique role in providing protection from heat and dehydration and is an important site of heat stress related illness, climate change poses a significant concern.
The resource is designed to increase professional awareness and knowledge of climate change, including risk factors, signs and symptoms, social determinants of health, and patient quality of care issues.
The toolkit launched in September to help the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS), Temple facility move forward with efforts to inform both staff and veterans of ways to prepare for projected climate change-heat impact on renal health.
As Torres writes in the introduction, there is a sense of urgency to take action.
“Globally, temperatures are not getting any cooler and kidney disease numbers are not getting smaller. Therefore, we must plan appropriately to manage this growing threat by raising [Healthcare Provider] HCP awareness about climate change and renal health, so that our communities, organizations, and patients can take action toward prevention and early detection.”
Torres also writes that she hopes the resource will encourage providers to take similar steps.
“It is my hope that this toolkit will not only inform and educate about the connection between climate change and health, but that it will also serve as a reference and an inspiration to ignite your professional journey in addressing and preparing your patients and the VA for related health impacts where all can flourish.”