Am I too small to be a nurse? - page 2

Long story short, I went for my nursing school physical this morning and the doctor said she has concern about my size. I'm 5'3" and 92 lbs with a bmi of 16. She still cleared me for the program but... Read More

  1. by   AceOfHearts<3
    Quote from Sbhayes09
    Thanks everyone. I think her concern was mostly about my weight and her incorrect thinking that I wouldn't be able to lift and turn patients. I feel that if I learn the correct way to do these tasks that I won't be any less capable than any other nurse. Plus, it's not like I'm alone in the hospital. I can always ask my coworkers for help if I have an exceptionally large patient.
    Quote from Sour Lemon
    Size is not an issue, but health certainly can be. When you say things like what's quoted above, it can be concerning. I hope you are healthy, mentally and psychically ...and if you're struggling, I do hope you'll seek help.
    I was rather skeletal-looking and under 100 pounds (at 5'6") until my early twenties, but I was a ferocious eater and full of energy. The "problem" corrected itself as I got older. I don't think you need to try to gain weight unless your health care provider directs yo to or you feel unwell, otherwise.
    I agree with Sour Lemon- I wouldn't necessarily try to gain weight unless your HCP says you should. What I would work on gaining is muscle mass. I'm working on that myself (trying to gain muscle and reduce fat) and just started a new workout that I'm loving- it works my entire body, gets my heart rate up, and will help me strengthen all of my muscles.
  2. by   Purple_roses
    I work with someone even smaller than you and she's an excellent nurse! During code situations, just push the drugs or document instead of doing compressions.
  3. by   Susie2310
    Quote from CCU BSN RN
    Funny how we don't demonize overweight nurses who smoke and are in terrible shape (like myself, I can't do more than 2 minutes of chest compressions effectively), but it's societally okay to suggest that you're 'too small'.
    Bolded is mine. This made me smile, and having experienced similar as a small person I have to agree.
  4. by   luvmyc
    You're 3 inches taller than me and I've done just fine in nursing. During the first code I helped in, I just climbed on the table and did compressions. It worked and my patient lived. I work with another RN who is even shorter than me. 4'10" I think. She's great. Strength is the most important thing, imo. Not size.
  5. by   JBudd
    Shoot, I'm 6 feet tall and still use a stool sometimes for CPR, some of our trauma beds just don't go that low.

    Slight sideways remark, okay, totally sideways remark about height; when I first met him I thought "He's cute but too short to date". So I married him less than a year later
  6. by   TheUnseenButSeeing
    You'll be fine. I have a coworker that's 4'9" but tough as nails.
  7. by   Nalon1 RN/EMT-P
    I work with a nurse in the ER who is maybe 4' 10" and 90 lbs. She is a bundle of energy, we call her the hummngbird. She just zips around and is constantly talking. While I can't recall ever seeing her do compressions, there are plenty of other things she does during a code.

    No she is not as strong as me, but she knows her limits, and has no problems asking for help, and she also has no problem for those that ask her for the return help (she was my go to nurse if I had issues with cathing a female, her little hands helped her a lot in that aspect).

    Quote from CCU BSN RN
    Funny how we don't demonize overweight nurses who smoke and are in terrible shape (like myself, I can't do more than 2 minutes of chest compressions effectively), but it's societally okay to suggest that you're 'too small'...
    Umm, really? I hear it all the time.
  8. by   Julius Seizure
    In the category of struggles for tiny nurses: Finding gloves small enough to fit! Nobody wants to stock size XS!
  9. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from CCU BSN RN
    Funny how we don't demonize overweight nurses who smoke and are in terrible shape (like myself, I can't do more than 2 minutes of chest compressions effectively), but it's societally okay to suggest that you're 'too small'.

    I've known plenty of nurses who were barely 5 feet tall and scrawny. A lot of them wound up in NICU, where their patients typically weigh 1-7 pounds.

    Honestly other than needing a stool for CPR and being moderately irked when I can't reach the top shelf of the Pyxis, my limited height has never posed any issue that I'm aware of.
    If you truly believe that we don't demonize overweight nurses, you haven't been reading AN for very long. Suggesting that overweight nurses shouldn't BE nurses seems to be the last bastion of bigotry.

    To the OP -- your size should not be an issue. You may have difficulty reaching the top shelf on the Pyxis, but I have difficulty counting the narcotics in the bottom drawer. We can help each other.
  10. by   shelw067
    Not at all. I'm right around your weight, and a little shorter than you. It has not been an issue for me.
  11. by   angmcav
    Just because you're small doesn't mean you can't be quick on your feet or handle the demands of patient care. Let me give you an example that goes in the opposite direction - 18 years ago I gave birth via c-section. I bled internally for 9 hours before I almost passed out due to blood loss. My post partum nurse and I was reminiscing when I told her I was getting ready to go out. She jumped out of her chair, ran to the foot of the bed and cranked the bed by hand at crazy speed to keep me from passing out. No, she wasn't 92 lbs. More like 392 -
    425 lbs. She was amazing. I had been complaining for hours to my former nurses and not one of them did anything but give me more meds. Then my new nurse who I've had before with a previous birth saves my life. Don't let anyone tell you you are too small. Size doesn't determine if you can do your job competently.
    Last edit by angmcav on Nov 1 : Reason: Spelling error
  12. by   Sour Lemon
    Quote from Ruby Vee
    If you truly believe that we don't demonize overweight nurses, you haven't been reading AN for very long. Suggesting that overweight nurses shouldn't BE nurses seems to be the last bastion of bigotry.
    People feel much more entitled to criticize "too thin" women to their faces as opposed to behind their backs. Both groups are criticized, though. There's no doubt about that.
  13. by   ProperlySeasoned
    I have worked with a nurse who had congenital dwarfism. She was great! Last I checked "what is your height" is not a question on the NCLEX.

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