Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief
In a recent entry I reported on a 'wee' problem for nurses and it seems that this is quite a popular topic as we have just published another article in JAN, this time from Australia by Pierce et al (2019) titled: 'Culture, teams and organisations: a qualitative exploration of female nurses’ and midwives’ experiences of urinary symptoms at work.' The aim of the study reported here was to: 'explore nurses’ and midwives’ experiences of urinary symptoms at work'.
Focus groups were held with nearly 100 nurses and the main finding among them was that delayed voiding was the phenomenon related to their experiences of urinary symptoms and this was related to the pressures of the job and putting patients' needs before their own. One nurse reported: 'We cannot make any changes because … when we look after our patients we are not concentrating on ourselves, we are concentrating on them. So unless the nurses should think that it's my health too, I have to go to the toilet, we have to get some time to go. Sometimes when the ward is busy we cannot think anything about you know bladder care, (laughter) nothing you know. We're focusing on patient care.' another reported: 'You just don't feel like you can leave the room. You feel like you can't—you've got to hold it.'
The authors conclude: 'A nurse's ability to have autonomy over bladder function in the workplace is an urgent health priority and an unrecognized workforce occupational health issue. Nurses’ experience of urinary symptoms at work and behaviours in response to sensory cues for bladder emptying, are largely dependent on socioecological influences. Nurses themselves indicate that suppression of urinary urge and delayed voiding arise from a work culture of “patient‐first” care, reflecting a dilemma of patient care at the expense of self.'
You can listen to this as a podcast
Pierce, H. , Perry, L. , Gallagher, R. and Chiarelli, P. (2019), Culture, teams and organisations: a qualitative exploration of female nurses’ and midwives’ experiences of urinary symptoms at work. J Adv Nurs. doi:10.1111/jan.13951