Skip to main content

Table 5 Summary of respondents’ opinions regarding ways to promote resource conservation and pollution prevention within their professional practice and barriers to doing so

From: Medical, nursing, and physician assistant student knowledge and attitudes toward climate change, pollution, and resource conservation in health care

Opinion on ways to address resource conservation and pollution prevention
Responses shown are % of respondents whoagree” orstrongly agree” with the statement
 Medical Students
% (N)
Nursing Students
% (N)
Physician Assistant Students
% (N)
Combined Students
% (N)
Important ways for physicians/nurses/physician assistants to promote resource conservation and pollution prevention
Industry transparency about environmental footprint of supplies, procedures and services88.8 (142)86.8 (46)89.1 (41)88.4 (229)
Track medical device and supply utilization, to guide resource conservation performance improvement87.5 (140)79.3 (42)82.6 (38)84.9 (220)
Evidence-based recommendations on minimizing unnecessary procedures and services (e.g., as with the Choosing Wisely Campaign)95.0 (152)92.5 (49)93.5 (43)94.2 (244)
Patient-centered conversations about end-of-life planning and advanced directives to reduce unwanted care85.0 (136)90.6 (48)91.3 (42)87.3 (226)
Resource conservation and pollution prevention are not a physician’s responsibility10.0 (16)
(Question N = 160)
16.9 (9)
(Question N = 53)
17.4 (8)12.7 (33)
(Question N = 259)
Important barriers that inhibit physicians/nurses/physician assistants from taking responsibility for resource conservation and pollution prevention
Lack of education on disease burden stemming from health care pollution84.2 (133)88.7 (47)84.8 (39)85.2 (219)
Lack of time/production pressure leading to inefficient utilization of resources91.8 (145)90.6 (48)91.3 (42)91.4 (253)
Unrealistic expectations of infection risk reduction35.5 (56)52.8 (28)39.1 (18)39.7 (102)
Resource conservation and pollution prevention are not a physician’s/nurse’s/physician assistant’s responsibility20.3 (32)
(Question N = 158)
18.9 (10)
(Question N = 53)
8.7 (4)
(Question N = 46)
17.9 (46)
(Question N = 257)