Extended Work Hours and Physical Health Status of Registered Nurses Working in Community Hospitals, Thailand

Thursday, 25 July 2013: 3:35 PM

Treeyaphan Supamanee, PhD, RN
Pongsri Keitlertnapha, EdD, RN
Wipada Kunaviktikul, DSN, RN
Faculty of Nursing, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to develop the presentation skill for international conference.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to exchange knowledge and discuss a wide range of nurses' physical health status with other researchers across countries.


Community hospitals in Thailand have faced nursing shortage. This shortage causes long working hours of nurses that affect their physical health. They endanger to various physical risks such as sharp and needle-stick injury and musculoskeletal disorders about pain in the neck, upper back, lower back, refer down the leg, and calf of the leg. 


This study aimed to describe nurses’ extended work hours and physical health regarding sharp and needle-stick injury, and musculoskeletal disorders, and to examine the relationship between extended work hours and physical health.


 Self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from the 335 registered nurses working more than 40 hours/week in five regional community hospitals in Thailand. They were analyzed by using frequency, mean, standard deviation, and correlation.


 It was found that nurses had extended hour of work between 8.82-19.34 hours per week with the average of 14.00 hour. The incidence rates of sharp and needle-stick in the last year were 24.80 % and 27.80 %. In term of musculoskeletal disorders, nurses experienced in the calf of the leg pain 69.00 %, neck pain 57.90 %, upper back pain 46.10 %, lower back pain 45.10 %, and refer pain down the leg 25.10 %. There were no relationship between extended work hours and sharp and needle-stick injury, pain in the neck, upper back, and calf of the leg. However, it was found that extended work hours were associated with lower back pain (r=.12, p=.05) and refer pain down the leg (r=.17, p=.01).


These finding indicate that risk preventing system should be set to protect nurses form hazard. Nurse administrators should specify risk management policy in their organizations.