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Training Rural Nurses

When a farmer goes to the doctor with a respiratory complaint, chances are he’ll be diagnosed with a virus. In many cases, the doctor or nurse isn’t tuned in that the farmer could be suffering from a lung disease, brought on by exposure to dust, animals and chemicals.

There aren’t a lot of opportunities for agriculture-specific healthcare training, especially in rural areas where they usually have a very small staff that is responsible for a lot.

Charlotte Halverson is the clinical director of the AgriSafe Network. She says they recognize the training gap and are offering educational webinars and resources for rural nurses.  

"The topics that we will be talking about in the Nurse Scholar Program include zoonotic diseases, information on animal-borne diseases and those incubation periods," says Halverson. "Hearing conservation, respiratory health, ergonomics, a lot of information on the appropriate personal protective equipment for exposures, things on the different skin disorders that you can be exposed to in agriculture, chemical and pesticide exposures."

She says they will also address emerging issues around the country.

"An example, in the Midwest in Iowa and Nebraska, we had really serious issues with flooding and water damage and cleanup and protection after all of that," she says. "We talk about issues with young people, we talk about older adults working in agriculture. We will address some of the issues around our mobile workforce, our immigrant and migrant population."

The ag nurse training webinars start September 4th.