Evidence suggests that the majority of clinicians feel that preventing firearm injury is within the scope of their practice, with heightened awareness to firearm violence as a public health problem and to the role of clinicians in reducing injuries and deaths from firearms. However, survey research has found that most clinicians don’t routinely counsel at-risk patients, often citing lack of education on how to do so as a primary barrier. Many clinicians also report not knowing how to identify risk for firearm-related harm among patients, not knowing how to open a conversation about firearms, not knowing what risk-reduction recommendations are appropriate, give patients’ answers about firearm access, and fear of alienating patients. Although the CMA, the AMA, the ACP, the APHA, the AAFP, and other major medical societies have endorsed clinicians’ role in reducing firearm injury, the topic remains largely absent from curricula to train medical and mental health care clinicians.
Through this presentation, learners will learn how to identify risk for firearm-related harm, ask about access to firearms, and work with at-risk patients to reduce their risk. Clinicians will be taught to have culturally appropriate and respectful conversations about guns in the home and to make evidence-based recommendations for keeping the household members safe. They will learn how to apply the 3A’s (an approach to reducing the risk of firearm-related harm) to a variety of clinical scenarios where the presence of a firearm puts the patient or someone else at increased risk, and tools to reduce that risk.