November 21, 2017

Resources for Caring for Farm Workers

By: Giulia Earle-Richardson, Write Resources, gwrite@stny.rr.com

1

The Farmworker Clinical Care Resource for Occupational Health is a searchable website including hundreds of links to a range of free online resources for migrant health care providers, nurses and educators. It was developed by The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH)

Most clinicians visit the site to access patient education materials, available in printer-friendly versions on the site or via links to third-party sites. In all the site hosts a compilation of farmworker-related medical care resources not available on any other single website, including:

The website was developed to disseminate NIOSH-supported farmworker research and prevention information to health care providers serving migrant and seasonal workers.  Previous research had shown that many physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who care for farmworkers feel ill prepared to deal with their unique needs.

One novel resource developed specifically for the website is the agricultural task video clip, which helps the clinician see precisely how farm tasks are performed, as well as get a sense of the work environment.   These clips provide a kind of virtual work-site assessment, since it is typically not practical for the physician to visit the farm.   For example, the following clip shows the common “animal handling” task on most dairy farms.  This shows the job involved in gently encouraging the cows to move into the milking parlor, the presence of heavy machinery, slippery ground and other hazards.

In addition to information about the work place, the website provides occupational medicine links. The screen shot below shows an example (http://farmworkercliniciansmanual.com/index.2php/common-health-conditions/).  This material assists the clinician in taking a thorough occupational health history, and provides additional links for further follow- up.

NYCAMH has also developed farmworker educational materials, which are featured on the website. Some examples are:

All materials are in English and Spanish, and many are also in Haitian Creole.

The Farmworker Clinical Care Resource website is a work in progress. NYCAMH is monitoring clinician usage, and plans to periodically update and expand it according to user interest and needs. To date, detailed farm visit information is available for ground crop work, dairy, orchards and certain types of bush crops.  For more information about the website, contact Giulia Earle-Richardson, Write Resources, gwrite@stny.rr.com.

3