NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

The nurse's contribution to the health of working women.

Kuchinski BB
NIOSH 1987 Jul; :142-150
Occupational health nursing in relation to the health of working women was discussed. A profile of the working woman was described. The overall health picture of women was considered. Men and women differ with regard to illness and mortality patterns and use of health services. Males have higher mortality rates and are frequently afflicted with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases. Females experience higher rates of short term illnesses and use health services more frequently. These differences are attributed to behavioral and role related factors in American society. Increased smoking by women in recent decades has resulted in sharp increases in lung and laryngeal cancer and significant increases in bladder cancer incidence. Biological factors and their implications for job selection in women were discussed. Reproductive issues were considered. Chemical and physical agents known to affect reproductive outcomes after maternal exposure were listed. Although both males and females are susceptible to reproductive toxins, concern about reproductive health is greater for females as they are the ones that carry the fetus into the workplace, placing it at risk to potential teratogens and transplacental carcinogens. This has created a dilemma for employers: whether to keep fertile women working at jobs that endanger the fetus or to remove them from the workplace. The role of occupational health nurses in protecting working women was discussed. Nurses are involved in delivering primary, secondary, or tertiary preventive health care. Primary prevention involves using medical and administrative controls to eliminate or minimize potentially harmful exposures. Secondary preventive care focuses on the early detection of disease. Tertiary prevention is used when a health problem or disease has reached an advanced stage and attempts to limit disability.
Occupational-health-nursing; Sex-factors; Employee-health; Health-protection; Reproductive-hazards; Medical-care; Health-care-personnel; Employees
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Horvitz IA
Fiscal Year
Priority Area
Special Populations; Work Environment and Workforce
Source Name
Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Nursing Symposium: State of the Art and Directions for the Future, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 1-3, 1983
Page last reviewed: February 11, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division