It may surprise people to know that individuals who work in the medical field are very likely to suffer from specific maladies related to their occupation. An interesting medical phenomenon that applies largely to nurses is infrequent voiding syndrome, which the medical profession knows as “nurse’s bladder.” 

According to a 2016 study, surveyed nurses reported delaying the urge to void as the most commonly experienced urinary symptom. According to the International Continence Society, practical changes in work environments as well as a shift in nursing culture are necessary to protect the urinary health of nurses. 

How can the work environment affect voiding?

Many surveyed nurses reported that their work environment was not conducive to regular voiding. There were multiple reasons for this, and many respondents focused on a lack of time for bathroom breaks. Since nursing involves completing many vital tasks within a certain time schedule, multiple nurses reported delaying a trip to the bathroom for hours. 

Much of this is due to insufficient staffing. It is necessary for a hospital to employ enough nurses to offer adequate patient care as well as give the nurses time to attend to bodily functions like voiding. 

How can a shift in culture affect voiding?

Outside of practical concerns, nursing culture may also influence individuals to put the needs of patients before themselves. While having a patient-first approach is beneficial in many ways, in some environments this focus has overridden healthy self-care practices on the part of nurses. 

Nurse’s bladder is a serious occupational hazard, and many nurses deal with urinary leakage, pain, and pressure that greatly affects their quality of life.