Rural Health Care Providers' Educational Needs Related to Agricultural Exposures

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Lee, Barbara;
  • Stueland, Dean T.;
  • Gunderson, Paul D.;
  • Mazza, Joseph J.


The wide spectrum of agricultural diseases and injuries, combined with the changes in health care delivery, underscores the need for rural health care providers to maintain competency in occupational medicine pertaining to agriculture. Educational needs and training preferences of rural health care providers were determined through mail survey research conducted among a random sample of Midwest physicians, physician assistants, nurses, veterinarians, and chiropractors. Data from 1,237 survey participants revealed the most common agricultural exposures experienced by their patients/clients include heavy lifting, environmental dusts or irritants, and hazardous machinery. Minimal clinical competency was reported for exposures to pesticides, noxious gases, and volatile organic chemicals. Textbooks and journals were the most commonly used reference sources of the providers. Family and professional obligations along with cost and difficulty acquiring practice coverage, were the major barriers to participation in continuing education programs. Survey results suggest methods to maximize professional education and training experiences relevant to agricultural exposures.

Full article can be found in: Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
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