Practicing nurses aged 45-55 wanted

Professor Rhonda Wilson

A Central Coast based Professor, Rhonda Wilson, is keen to hear from practicing nurses from the region, aged 45-55, who are willing to join a focus group discussion on the topic of the effects of menopause on nurses in the workplace.

“It’s a life phase that half of us will experience, if we live long enough, but most people don’t know much about it,” Wilson said.

“When it’s mentioned in the workplace, it’s often in a joking, dismissive kind of way.

“But the transition through menopause, which can take up to 10 years, can significantly impact the well being of female employees.

“Hot flushes, night sweats and unpredictable periods are the most familiar symptoms of the first phase, which is called perimenopause.

“Less well known are the common psychosocial effects of the hormonal upheaval, such as sleep disruption, fatigue, irritability, headaches, problems with memory and concentration, low mood, anxiety and reduced self confidence.

“Stigma, embarrassment and the current lack of awareness make menopausal symptoms more difficult to handle in the workplace.

“Three in five women aged 45-55 say menopause has negatively impacted them at work.

“This is a worrying statistic, especially for workforces dominated by women, like nursing, because these highly experienced, skilled employees may decide to manage their distress by reducing their hours or retiring early.”

Researchers at the University of Newcastle are collaborating with colleagues in five other countries (UK, USA, NZ, Denmark, Finland) to investigate registered nurses’ experiences of menopause and find out what e-health strategies might support them and improve their quality of life.

Professor Rhonda Wilson is keen to hear from practicing nurses to join the discussion with a venue and time to be chosen to suit participants and contributions anonymous.

Wilson is a Wiradjuri woman, experienced nurse and an internationally recognised mental health nursing scientist.

Her work in e-health is paving the way for new digital therapeutic interventions that promote and support patient centred care and increased wellbeing.

The research has been approved by the University of Newcastle Human Research Ethics Committee.

Media release, Jul 12
Newcastle University