Simple steps nurses can take to help protect the environment

Nursing Standard podcast looks at COP26 issues and the actions healthcare staff can take to be greener at work and at home, with guest Rachel Ames, ​nursing student and environmental campaigner

Nursing student and environmental campaigner Rachel Ames on actions the profession can take to be greener at work
Picture: iStock

Saving the planet is a big ask on top of everything else nursing professionals are facing.

But does it have to be such a herculean task? What are the small steps that nurses and nursing students can take to make a big difference, and could they be better off professionally, financially and, of course, environmentally, as a result?

Sustainability issues such as single-use items and introducing change

With the UN climate change conference COP26 beginning on 31 October in Glasgow, the latest episode of the Nursing Standard podcast examines actions that the profession can take to be greener at work and at home.

Podcast guest Rachel Ames, a third-year nursing student at Buckinghamshire New University, has a number of environmental roles and also set up the Twitter #WeGoGreener with @WeStudentNurses @WeNurses accounts. The campaign encourages students to drive change on sustainability issues.

She tells Nursing Standard editor Flavia Munn about how she combines well-being and environmental work and talks about the actions healthcare staff and students can take in relation to single-use NHS items, such as blood pressure cuffs and plastic pots for drugs rounds.

They also discuss simple steps to take at home – including changes to pet bedding – and how to have conversations with colleagues about making changes on environmental grounds.

Climate change and sustainability in healthcare

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