Increasing the Use of Hearing Protection Among Farmers: Best Practices

Farm operators, as well as farm youth experience frequent exposure to high noise and, have among the highest prevalence rates of hearing loss among all categories of workers. Additionally, noise exposure impacts multiple organ systems, contributing to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity, and other highly prevalent diseases. Although the effects of noise can be mitigated through use of hearing protection and other strategies, these methods are highly underused in this worker group. Nurses in a variety of clinical settings who provide care for farm operators and farm youth are in a unique position to influence the noise mitigation behaviors of this high-risk and underserved group. In this Webinar designed for nurses caring for workers in production agriculture, learners will discuss methods of assessing worker exposure to hazardous noise, and evidence-based nursing approaches to protect workers from the negative effects of noise on hearing and worker well-being. 
At the end of the webinar, participants will be able to: 
1. Discuss several risk factors for noise-induced health problems common among farmers. 
2. Describe major features of interventions shown to be effective in influencing farmers' use of hearing protection.
3. Discuss best practices for clinical application of farm noise mitigation effectiveness research.

Marjorie McCullagh, PhD, RN, PHNA-BC, COHN-S, FAAOHN, FAAN

Professor and Occupational Health Nursing Program Director, University of Michigan School of Nursing

Marjorie McCullagh is Professor in the School of Nursing. She holds a PhD in nursing from the University of Michigan and has 20 years of clinical, teaching, and research experience in hearing conservation. Dr. McCullagh's career has focused on occupational health and safety, particularly as it relates to use of personal protection devices among farm operators and their families. Since 1985 she has had an active program of research in mitigating hazardous occupational exposures. She has conducted several randomized clinical trials, comparing the effectiveness of several approaches to influencing use of personal protective equipment. Dr. McCullagh is an associate professor and Director of the Occupational Health Nursing program at the University of Michigan School of Nursing.


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