Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Link between Cancer and Nurses?

Here's a scenario...A fellow co-worker recently has a neck injury. She goes to the doctor and finds out that she has several disc problems in her neck. Usually no problem, surgery to commence soon. As she was getting worked up with the usual labs and basic chest x-ray... BAM! She has two large areas of suspicion in her lungs that she didn't know were there. Not much of a medical history to mention. She never calls in sick. What's going on here?

Ever wonder why health care providers, especially nurses, seem to have higher incidences of cancers? I have worked with several who have been diagnosed with different cancers, mostly breast. How many of your co-workers have been treated or are currently in treatment?

My sneaking suspicion is that there are a few reasons. I am certain they are not novel ones. We take care of everyone else but ourselves. We don't go to the doctor. We keep working even though we are dog sick because we don't want our fellow nurses to work short. It's a backbreaking profession.
A second reason is the fact that we tend to bury our feelings. We may be having a horrible day at work but we plaster on a big smile so that our patients won't know. We may be having a horrible day at work but we do the same burying of feelings when we go home because our family just can't truly understand the stress.

There have been studies linking stress to cancer. Makes sense, doesn't it?

I was talking to a few other co-workers and a new idea came up. What about sick building syndrome? What are our hospitals built on? Ever wonder? Also, is there a link between handling certain medications? I hope everyone puts on their gloves before handling any meds. How many times do we find out side effects much later in time?

Just some thoughts.. Got any yourselves?

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