The American Journal of Nursing recently published a continuing education article on Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (AJN, March 2007, Volume 107, Number 3, Pages 40 - 47). Although the medical community has yet to recognize MCS as a valid physical condition, AJN has chosen to publish an article which clearly outlines the symptomatology of MCS, explains the controversies vis-a-vis its etiology and validity, and concludes with concrete steps that healthcare providers and facilities can take to accomodate patients who report having MCS. The article comes across as relatively non-biased, presenting information based upon fact, published data, and direct caregiving experience, using a cae study as the focal point of the article.
As a nurse with mild MCS, married to someone with more severe symptoms, I was undeniably pleased that AJN would take such a step, and I praise them for their efforts to educate nurses about a condition often denied both public and professional attention. The perceived thesis of the article: "What must nurses know in order to safely accommodate patients with MCS?", is a breath of fresh air to this nurse who is constantly striving to educate and enlighten others.
The article concludes thus: "Clearly, further investigation and research are needed in order to establish the best practices for caring for these patients. In the meantime, facilities should consider adopting protocols that establish comprehensive policies and procedures in order to protect chemically sensitive patients in all departments. While some accommodations may seem complex and exacting, many are straightforward and fairly easy to accomplish through thoughtful planning and interdisciplinary collaboration."