Thyroid gland disturbances in pediatric shift work nurses employed in clinical hospital centre

Lalić Hrvoje


The aim of this paper is an attempt to explore the cause of thyroid gland disturbances in female pediatric nurses employed in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in an Eastern European hospital. A group of twenty hospital nurses was studied of whom fourteen suffered from some type of thyroid gland disturbances and a group of twenty primary care nurses with only sporadic incidence of thyroid disturbances. Regarding hypothyroidism they differ statistically significantly, p = .0399, as to obesity p = .0017, comparing thyroiditis p = .0374, and by goiter p = .008. Pediatric hospital nurses’ occupation requires contact with sick newborns and small children for 12-hour shifts. Thyroid gland disturbances are not fully explained, they vary from genetically origins, autoimmune processes, environmental stressors. Daily high level stress exposure of the mentioned hospital nurses can contribute to developing thyroid disturbances. Trained medical staff under the pressures of caring for this population may become sick. In such departments more nurses should be employed if shift work is performed under elevated stress. Signs of this stress might include inadequate nourishment causing obesity and cigarette smoking especially in night shifts. It is the task of Occupational Medicine to determine if stress exposure causes thyroid disturbances, especially in 12 hour shift workers, resulting in interventions to enhance preventive measures.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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