Primary Care Health Professionals’ Knowledge of Sun Safety

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Abstract

It is well known that sun and ultraviolet exposure can increase the risk of skin cancers in individuals (New York State Department of Health, 2014). However, there is a lack of guidelines in primary care regarding routine skin examination for adolescents and insufficient evidence regarding sun safety education for all patients and their families in healthcare settings. Our study aimed to assess knowledge on sun safety and sun damage among healthcare professionals by surveying 50 family nurse practitioner students enrolled in the course of Diagnosis and Management II at Columbia University School of Nursing in the Year 2015. We hypothesized that the knowledge of sun safety will increase with our intervention of an educational pamphlet to participants. Our results reflect a lack of knowledge regarding sun safety among healthcare professionals. Despite the limitations in our study, it did show that pamphlet distribution on sun safety education does increase healthcare professionals’ knowledge. With increased awareness of sun safety in primary care health, health professionals will have the ability to influence individuals on positive habits that can prevent the development of skin cancer.

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