What do you think? Honestly

  1. Just like the title asks, I want an honest answer.

    I have been contemplating this dilemma for some time and actually about asking you guys what your thoughts are. I want some direct, honest responses. I recently finished nursing school and have passed NCLEX. 3 years ago I worked as an EMT-1 in an ALS crew and I did it for a year before moving into a better paying job that I had to take in order to pay bills.

    The dilema deals with my weight and my passion of emergency nursing/medicine. If I had a choice, I would love to start my career as an ER nurse, but I am scared what the staff and other personnel might think about my functionality as an RN.

    I am 6'2" and weight 380lbs, Pretty big dude huh? My scrub tops are usually 3XL and some even 4XL. During nursing school I never never had an issue with my weight, I performed amazing, was able to do all routines/procedures and even nurses and personnel loved having me in their floor because I could do a lot with moving and helping patients. My clinicals were twice a week 8-9 hrs per day and even when I did my preceptorship, which I was working 12s, which in reality were 13s I had no problem functioning at all! I am not going to lie, there were times when I got home and was pretty tired, but not immbile! lol

    Due to this dilemma and insecurity of mine, I am applying to med/surg floors where I know it can also get crazy, but maybe not as intense as the ER. I joined a gym last week and started working on myself more to health reasons and to be able to do my job better, but do you think I should let this hold me from applying to the ER? What are your honest thoughts and advice?

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    About LatinRN1

    Joined: Jan '13; Posts: 7; Likes: 2


  3. by   jtruland
    First off, congratulations on passing your NCLEX! I am also a bigger nurse, at 5'9 and 350. I started out last year in an LTACH (basically vent rehab/tele outside of hospital). I stayed there for about four months and then got into an er position. Best move I've ever made. Even on busy days, I never feel as drained as I did working the LTACH. If your passion is ER, go for it. Good luck in the search!
  4. by   jtruland
    Oh, and as far as co-worker or patient respect... I've never had an issue with either aside froma comment or two from elderly dementia patients.
  5. by   Altra
    Don't let this stop you. If you've functioned as an EMT ... pre-hospital is much more physically demanding than working in the ER. The ERs where I have worked have been full of folks of all shapes and sizes.

    Congrats on joining the gym - it's something I recently did too. Behavioral change is a real kick in the pants, but usually worth it in the end.

    Good luck to you!

    (p.s. ... the super-fit guys/gals are usually tapped out after 12 hours in the ER, too)
  6. by   hiddencatRN
    I work with all body types and have never noticed any correlation between weight and nursing ability. I think you should go for it!
  7. by   sandyfeet
    My honest opinion is that I would welcome you in my ER. People will notice your size, and the good thing is that it will intimidate some of the patients (drunk, high, etc) into better behavior. From your writing you come across as conscientious and intelligent--these things matter much more than your weight with your fellow nurses. I say go for it too!
  8. by   SweetCorn
    Our larger nurses can really crush it too. I wouldn't let that stop you.

    Kudos for trying to get into better shape, but you don't really need a gym to do that. Just start getting active (when you have time off, do something besides watch TV or anything else passive) and cook all your own food if you aren't already. Start with walking, then walking some more, eating better, then maybe some light jogging or other cardio exercise. Finding a group to do this with, kind of like Biggest Loser type situation is a really good idea. Other people are great motivators for losing weight.
    There are some other sections of this forum about weight loss that probably has a lot of really good info.
    edited to add link: http://allnurses-breakroom.com/weight-loss-diets/

    Really if you can start to get more active and eat well, you are off to a really good start.
    Good luck to you!
    Last edit by SweetCorn on Feb 1, '13 : Reason: added link
  9. by   KittyinNj
    big guys are always welcome, i worked on a busy neuro ortho floors and always loved the help of the male nurses helping me reposition that 150-200 lb pt ( im 5'8 120 skinny minnie nurse lol ) plus all those pts will be scared of you if they are misbehaving
  10. by   livingthedream77
    I can't imagine that anyone would give you a hard time if you can do your job....but do be prepared if you have to counsel a pt to lose weight to help their condition. We have a couple large docs and they get no respect when talking to a newly dx DMII pt to lose weight. "You're a doctor and you're fatter than me!!! How dare you!!" etc. It's the same that if you come into a room reeking of smoke and tell someone to quit smoking. But, it is politically incorrect to comment on weight and not so on smoking. As I'm sure you know, hospitals get medieval on smoking, not so much weight. My thought is, you're a nurse, you know what can happen from smoking and being overweight....it's your business to do it or not.

    I have a nurse friend who is about 5'5" and maybe 350 lbs....I flat asked her how she handled it when she had to tell a pt to lose weight, especially if they are smaller than she....she begins with, "I know I am not a good example of this now, but I am working on it. I know how hard it is to eat right..." The same can work for smoking. If they smell it, tell them, "yes, I know, I smoke too, and it is very hard to stop, but I am working on it...."
  11. by   justluke
    OK pretty big dude, I kinna got you a little here. Let me say, I am a bit bigger than you. 6'5" and add an unspecified amount of weight but more. I like you, am not afraid to get my butt down the hall and get it done. I work as hard as anyone else. Yes I am tapped, but as mentioned above, if you are smaller and pull 12 hours hard like we should, 100%, then you should be tired. If you are feeling the desire to lose weight, and feel like it after work, a short slow 20 minute walk is good for ya, and will help you mentally unwind. Best of luck to ya, there is one thing. Do not look at your time on the med surg floor as anything less. We ER nurses are good at what we do, but so are they. And there are times, when I look at them and say, there is no way I would want to do that. Good luck little man.
  12. by   ergoddess
    Don't let your size keep you from your dreams! In my ER, sometimes we RELY on our big guys...as a source of intimidation, if nothing else! Also, running the halls of the ER will drop the pounds. I started the ER in August at 5'11" 326 lbs. I'm down nearly 50 lbs
  13. by   BSNbeauty
    My honest answer: Nursing is not a one size fits all. We have people of all shapes and sizes who work in the ED. As long as you are physically able to do the job than it shoudn't matter.
  14. by   LatinRN1
    Thank you guys for the responses; you guys have honestly giving me the confidence and push I need it to apply and go talk to the ER manager and tell them I want to work in the ED.

    You know, you guys are really amazing and for that, I thank you with all my heart!