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The effects and impact of second-hand cannabis smoke exposure on nurses working in the community


Iglesias, M and Pertile, J and Molloy, LJ and Chan, A, The effects and impact of second-hand cannabis smoke exposure on nurses working in the community, Australian Nursing and Midwifery Journal, 26, (4) pp. 20-23. ISSN 2202-7114 (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2018 ANMJ

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This article explores the work, health and safety risks that may be associated with the exposure of nurses to second-hand cannabis smoke while working in the community. Emerging evidence suggests the benefits of cannabis in the treatment of several chronic and terminal illnesses. This has led to some countries, like Australia, decriminalising or legalising the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Smoked cannabis is one of several routes of administration. However, cannabis smoke may have an impact on those in close proximity to the consuming patient. As a result, community healthcare workers, including nurses, may passively inhale cannabis substances while visiting patients in their home. This poses a work health and safety risk to the community nurses and other healthcare workers. This review intends to raise awareness of this fact and reveals that more research and education is needed to strengthen policies and procedures around the nursing practices in the care of patients who choose to use smoked medicinal cannabis for symptom management. The successful use of cannabis in the treatment of a range of chronic or terminal medical conditions, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, palliative care patients or childhood epilepsy, is currently widely discussed and reported around in the media and specialised literature (Suraev et al. 2017; Wong & Wilens 2017; Hausman-Kedem & Kramer 2017; Abrams 2018). The use and cultivation of cannabis for any purposes in Australia, including medical research for acute and chronic disease management, has been prohibited since the early twentieth century (Rodman 2015).

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:working, exposure, community, cannabis, smoke, effects, impact, second-hand, nurses
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health education and promotion
UTAS Author:Iglesias, M (Dr Miguel Iglesias)
UTAS Author:Pertile, J (Ms Joy Pertile)
ID Code:137095
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2020-01-31
Last Modified:2020-05-28

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