Research from three University of Arkansas Mann School of Nursing faculty members and a graduate student was published in The Journal for Nurse Practitioners.
“Zika: What Providers Need to Know” indicates there is inadequate education at all levels of nursing programs in areas relating to infection processes in emergency and disaster situations. The article also directs appropriate methods of educating patients so they are aware of disease symptoms and how to prevent an infection from the virus.
As of June 8, there were 691 cases of Zika in the U.S. according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These cases are reported to be associated with transportation outside of the country.
“Health care providers need to assess a patient’s risk for exposure and complications from Zika,” the article states. “The assessment should include a patient’s recent or future travel, recent travel by the patient’s sexual partner, and the likelihood of pregnancy of the patient or their sexual partner. The identification of potential exposure to Zika should lead to a thorough, sensitive conversation on the CDC’s recommendations of abstinence, use of condoms, postponing pregnancy, and a rapid referral to specialists when indicated. Keep in mind this conversation may have significant ethical and religious implications.”
Assistant Nursing Professors Marilou Shreve, Anna Jarrett and Charleen McNeill wrote the article with assistance from Cheryl Perry, a graduate student.