Setting a bad example? - page 3

I am curious about what people think about working nurses who are extremely out of shape, obese, smokers, etc. I work in a CVICU where a good portion of the nurses are overweight and out of shape,... Read More

  1. by   magRN
    As long as the nurse who cares for me is clean, compaaionate, neat, and esp. knowledgable...I don't care what size he or she may be. I just want good care!
  2. by   Jenny P
    We nurses are also human, and we are as susceptible to human failure as any of our patients are. As long as we don't look (and act!) like Jabba the Hutt; why should it matter to our patients and co-workers as long as we look and act like professionals and try to do our job to the best of our ability? I do feel that there has to be a tie-in with being caretakers; that we take care of everyone else before ourselves, and maybe don't have time or energy to care for ourselves when we finally get to the end of the list.
  3. by   mcl4
    Originally posted by Susy K


    I disagree with this. I worked third shift labor and delivery/post partum and nursery. Teaching was done at every opportunity - whether it was about breastfeeding, exercise, nutrition, etc. As a nurse teaching is one of the most important aspects; it differentiates you from a UAP for example. You need to accomplish teaching at every available moment. I am shocked that you don't practice this as well.
    Do you think telling a smoker that smoking is bad (with the reasons why it is bad for you) and they should stop or a person who is not their ideal weight that eatting fatty foods is not good for you is a new concept for them. How many patients would be receptive to this type of teaching of major life long lifestyle changes in the middle of the night when they are not fully awake.
  4. by   EXOTIC NURSE
    Everyone is not meant to be skinny or small or petite. There are a variety of sizes of all things in life and so on that note. It is the quality care one as a nurse give the patients we are not parents and they are not our children and we as nurses have our own lifestyles outside of work so if one chooses to smoke or if one is pleasing plump then it is not up to anyone to judge it is a personal thing and when that person is ready to stop smoking they will and when the pleasing plump person decides to lose weight they will....I am pleasingly plump and I am very confident of myself and my teachings and my performance as a nurse although I am not a smoker but that is my choice.
  5. by   3651bht
    someone who is overweight is the best person to teach another about nutrition... Been there done that.. Also, unless you have walked a mile in my shoes don't even pretend to understand me... And like others are so fond of telling me Maybe you should go somewhere else.. Over half of the American public is overweight and I wish you luck in finding a skinny environment.. I hear they are hiring in the gastric bypass field...

    bobbi ( I'm here too.)
  6. by   mcl4
    Originally posted by Susy K


    I disagree with this. I worked third shift labor and delivery/post partum and nursery. Teaching was done at every opportunity - whether it was about breastfeeding, exercise, nutrition, etc. As a nurse teaching is one of the most important aspects; it differentiates you from a UAP for example. You need to accomplish teaching at every available moment. I am shocked that you don't practice this as well.
    I am shocked you wouldn't consider the middle of the night a time for patients to sleep. If you read a previous post, pertinent teaching is done on the night shift. Sleep is very important to aide in recovery and more and more studies are being done on the effects of poor sleep patterns related to health. My own experience with having children at three different area hospitals, diet and exercise was addressed during the day/evening hours when I was fully awake. In fact, nutrition as well as exercise was taught long before delivery with the assistance of my ob/gyn office personnel and my own research.
  7. by   RNKitty
    Yes, I feel we do have some obligation to teach our patients healthy lifestyle habits - at the appropriate time when they are receptive to learning. How about teaching by example. NOT the nurses setting the example, but the HOSPITAL CAFETERIA AND FOOD SERVICE. Do they have to send up crap loaded with chemicals and refined foods? It is really hard to teach "whole grains" when the closest thing to a whole grain on the plate is a refined, bleached white flour pasta with a refined bleached white flour roll.

    How about sending up 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day? How about clear liquid diet trays being real vege broth, not rehydrated chemicals. After all, the hospital employs nutritionists who have studied the subject extensively. Lets use them as part of the team instead of making our job that much harder.

    It would be so much easier to convince the cardiac patients that good healthy food can be simple, wholesome, and tasty if the hospital would send them good food. Plus, if the cafeteria offered something other than fried foods for the staff, do you think they could make healthier choices as well? Let's not add to our job description - let's utilize all the resources available.
  8. by   psnurse
    What a ludicrous bunch of nonsense. My job is not to set the perfect example.... my job is to present the facts. The decision about what to do with those facts lies with the patient. There is personal responsibility involved when making health care decisions.

    It is unrealistic to think that someone is going to leave the hospital and make a drastic turn around no matter what their nurse looks like or smells like. The fact is lifestyle changes are very difficult to initiate and maintain. Speaking from experience, I can say these things and then get into the area of strategy because to introduce a whole lot of changes at once just dooms a patient to failure.

    I work often in a cardiac unit and advocate for patients to picks 3 or 4 things that they are confident they can change immediately and to build on those when they go home. This is a much more logical approach than the all of nothing approach I hear touted so often.

    My bad habits often open up avenues of conversation that more healthy nurses might not be privy to. Patients have even said, "That other nurse asked me about that, but how would she know anything about it?" I always say that she might know more than you think before diving in head first. I think the same courtesy should come from the "healthy nurses".

    I don't strive for the perfect body, simply a body that is strong enough to do what I want it to do. And it does. I shovel snow, lots of it this past week. I walk, I run, I lift, and I can run circles around several of the "healthy" nurses I know.
  9. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by mcl4


    I am shocked you wouldn't consider the middle of the night a time for patients to sleep. If you read a previous post, pertinent teaching is done on the night shift. Sleep is very important to aide in recovery and more and more studies are being done on the effects of poor sleep patterns related to health. My own experience with having children at three different area hospitals, diet and exercise was addressed during the day/evening hours when I was fully awake. In fact, nutrition as well as exercise was taught long before delivery with the assistance of my ob/gyn office personnel and my own research.
    Mcl4 on a L&D or PP floor a lot of teaching can be done at night because these women are not going to be getting any sleep anyways. Some are awake to breastfeed, others are in the transitional stage and getting their vitals done every fifteen minutes. A lot of new moms don't get the same level of prenatal care you obviously had and we have to grab every teachable moment there is whether it's 3 am and they have a baby on their breast or it's one in the afternoon. I understand how it can be different from other floors, but teaching in the middle of the night is not unusual on an OB unit.
  10. by   fiestynurse
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    Last edit by fiestynurse on Mar 31, '04
  11. by   3651bht
    That's what I wanted to talk about FOOD...


    bobbi
  12. by   hapeewendy
    it is a fact of life that in all/any aspect of a persons life they are judged, predjudged sometimes based on their appearance.

    whether it be fat , skinny, tall, short whatever, the hospital is no exception to these judgements.

    I can understand the point trying to be made about smokers and overweight nurses being less effective health teachers etc. however, having been a patient, to tell you the truth , when the nurse came in to do health teaching post surgery I wanted to get better, and quickly, her looks had no bearing on what she was saying, she could have had a third eye poking out from her forehead and it wouldnt have mattered to me because I was LISTENING to what she was saying as opposed to forming opinions of her in my mind.

    I think if we examine everyones lifestyle in detail there will be some unhealthy aspect to each and every nurses lifestyle...smoking, overeating are just the easiest two to pick on... its not healthy to starve yourself either in the pursuit of being thin is it ? yet we assume that a thinner nurse is a healtiher one despite the fact that she may only eat take out on the fly and regularly skips meals. what about poor personal hygeine? i think that is even worse than being a smoker or overweight, when a nurse shows up with an unkempt look or dirty uniform (it happens , I've seen it) that sets a worse example to me than someone who may be overweight in a nice clean uniform, and so what if someone pops down on their break to have a smoke..... everyone knows that smoking is a hard habit to kick.

    I am not justifying being overweight or being a smoker, I am neither to tell you all the truth, although I have gained some weight since becoming a nurse etc etc. I just think that nurses need to support one another, whatever size or lifestyle habits might be involved.

    you may not agree but lets put your lifestyle under the microscope for review then...

    one more thing, right now on our med/surg floor we have a patient who weighs 240 lbs, overweight clearly, well this patient has the best lab values and vitals you could ever see, yes being overweight puts you at a greater risk of heart disease etc etc but so do other lifestyle choices we all make.

    I for one hope the nurses that Matt works with dont know his feelings on this issue, that would probably make for a poor work dynamic and seem that he - along with the rest of the world- is passing judgement on them based on their weight.
  13. by   Q.
    Originally posted by fergus51


    Mcl4 on a L&D or PP floor a lot of teaching can be done at night because these women are not going to be getting any sleep anyways. Some are awake to breastfeed, others are in the transitional stage and getting their vitals done every fifteen minutes. A lot of new moms don't get the same level of prenatal care you obviously had and we have to grab every teachable moment there is whether it's 3 am and they have a baby on their breast or it's one in the afternoon. I understand how it can be different from other floors, but teaching in the middle of the night is not unusual on an OB unit.

    Thank you, Fergus.

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