Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Jodi Sherman

Second Advisor

Mark Russi


Objective: This research study aimed to explore pharmaceutical waste prevention and disposal practices in nurse populations.

Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional survey was employed through the Qualtrics survey system. The survey questions were designed to probe knowledge, behavior, and attitudes of nurses towards pharmaceutical waste. Participants included intensive care unit nurses

and perioperative nurses in the Yale New Haven Health System.

Results: A total of 104 surveys were collected. Nurses were asked about the importance of proper waste disposal, and 95.2% of nurses (N=99/104) believed that appropriate waste disposal is important to “protect the environment health.” The survey also asked about the top reason that contributes to improper waste disposal practices, and 56.7% of nurses (N=59/104) believed that the “lack of knowledge about waste segregation” is the top reason for improper disposal practices. Nurses were also asked about reasons that contributed to avoidable waste, and 37.5% of nurses (N=39/104) indicated that “the order for medication that is less than the available package size” is the top reason contributing to avoidable waste.

Conclusion: The survey uncovered a considerable gap in nurses’ knowledge of pharmaceutical waste management and shed light on specific behaviors that can potentially lead to improper disposal practices. Findings of this research study suggest that the

implementation of pharmaceutical education and training may result in waste prevention which in turn could improve waste impacts on the environment and public health.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access

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