Smokers

  1. Just wondering if anyone knows why so many of us nurses smoke??? Couldn't be the STRESS could it?? At all of the places I've worked, almost all the nurses smoked, including me. Seems kind of odd being in healthcare and all.
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  2. 118 Comments

  3. by   hogan4736
    it (nursing) is stressful, but I don't smoke...I wish smoking could be banned everywhere in public...Leave 'em to their cars and homes...

    my parents smoked for years...I smelled like a bar growing up

    they both were smoking on Sunday, and quit Monday morning. 11 years later...not one cigarette...a psychological addiction at best...
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Jan 17, '02
  4. by   hogan4736
    mmmm
    Last edit by hogan4736 on Jan 18, '02
  5. by   traumaRUs
    You don't even want to get me started!! I don't smoke, never have, never will. And, what's more I resent the smokers that have to run outside every two hours "to have a break". Yikes - the nonsmoking nurses then watch their patients and don't get a break!! WRONG - the smoking nurses in our ER (and there aren't many) don't ask me to watch their patients so they can go smoke!!!

    That's totally ridiculous!!!!!
  6. by   thisnurse
    well thats all good. dont ask me to watch your patients while you take a break or go to lunch.
    i dont take a lunch and i never sit down 15 mns at a time or even 10. and dont ask me to watch your patients while you go to the bathroom, or have to go to another unit for some reason.
    i smoke and i dont take advantage of ANYBODY. i hate nonsmokers who lump us all in one catagory.
    some nonsmoking nurses are one hell of a lot worse than the smokers. they sit on the damn phones making personal calls for hours or chat endlessly with other staff members while their lights are blinking away.
    i can totally understand not being able to smoke indoors. absolutely. and i can totally understand being restricted to certain areas outside but banning us to our cars? you own the outdoors now?
    i dont impose my beliefs on the nonsmokers and i dont want their beliefs imposed on me. if i am not bothering you then let me alone.
  7. by   mario_ragucci
    Smoking is an American custom, from way back, and people smoke cigarettes if they want. I understand about folks who use smoking as a way to interupt an event, or expect total consideration at interval breaks, when others still want to stay ontask. Smoking should not interfere with co-workers communication; common sense/courtesy applies to everything, duh. If you can't surpress your cravings for a break <3-4 hours, well, I should not/can't judge (lest I be judged :-). Yall know what I mean. Smoking is personal, not to interfere with your responsibilities at work (duh).

    Why do nurses smoke more? Maybe because it sticks in peoples minds more if they see a nurse smoking since excessive (any)smoking is linked with unhealthy lifestyle. Maybe if your sterile all day you feel like being unsterile for awhile (?). Who knows.
  8. by   Katnip
    It is odd why nurses smoke. I don't anymore, been 20 years. I think it's even stranger to see respiratory therapists smoking.
  9. by   CATHYW
    My guess is that it is from stress and repressed feelings of frustration. That would be frustration with work, home, and life in general. There is also the element of recreation-being able to let go and just relax for a few minutes. However, there is also the element of addiction, which explains why smokers begin jonesing and getting a tad cranky when they're 7 hrs. into their 12 hr. shift, haven't had lunch, OR a smoke break!
    I used to smoke 1 1/2 pks a day, until I ran out at 11 p.m. on Valentine's Day 1995. Since I live way up in the mountains, there wasn't a 7-11 I could run down to. I tore the house and my car apart, looking for that extra pack that I always had. This time I didn't have it.
    The next day at work, we had one of those days from he**, and we didn't eat or take breaks. It was all we could do to get to the BR! I took it as a sign that the Lord wanted me to quit, and was making it happen this way. For 2 weeks I didn't even allow myself to stop for a soda on the >1 hr. drive home, because I was afraid I'd buy cigs.
    I miss smoking. sometimes, especially stressful times, I miss it a lot. I know health practitioners are supposed to be examples of good health habits, but I think when you are immersed in some of the most stressful times of life of everyone you come in contact with, you can't help but absorb some of it, and add it to your own private stressors. Nurses have to have a way to wind down, and unravel their hectic day. Some of us just find it easier to do when we smoke.
    But-please don't smoke around me! It could go either way-I usually can't stand the smell, but if it is a day that I'm wishing I never quit, watch out! I might grab your smoke!
    Last edit by Cathy Wilson, RN on Jan 17, '02
  10. by   RNforLongTime
    I have to agree with thisnurse. I too am a smoker. At my facility, we are allowed a half hour unpaid lunch break and a 15 minute paid break. Rather than be off of the floor for a full 1/2 hour, I take 3 10 minute "smoke " breaks. Sure, if I am way busy, my work comes before smoke breaks. But since a half hour is unpaid then I am usually gonna take my lunch break. I am never inconsiderate of my fellow nurses that don't smoke and I don't expect them to do my work for me. Alas, it is me who is usually the biggest help to everyone else on the floor.

    I am tired of being treated like a second class citizen just because I smoke. I don't smoke around others that don't. I will usually go outside to smoke as I don't even smoke in my own house. But it is MY right to smoke just as it is your right not to smoke. I try to be considerate to my fellow man.
  11. by   KC CHICK
    No disrespect to hardworking smokers out there, but I agree that many get more 'break time' than us non-smokers.
    I have been assigned to an OR before with a preceptor who smokes. She didn't hang around long to help me......due to the smoke breaks she took on a regular basis. There were times when I just finished out the case on my own because she didn't come back. And what's with the 'herds'? If you're going to go on a 5-10 minute smoke break, why take 1/3 of the dept out with you? I have seen 3-4 people go on a 'smoke break' together at a time when they could be assisting others in one of the rooms we still have running. (***These are times outside of regular break times.....they take those breaks too.***)

    As for the 'addiction theory'. Don't we as heathcare professionals know about the existence of niccotine patches and gum??? Why take breaks to go outside for the niccotine when you can chew it or slap it on your arm while continuing to contribute with your colleagues by staying in the dept.??

    An oral fixation??? Try a toothpick or straw.

    My two cents.
    Anne
    Last edit by KC CHICK on Jan 17, '02
  12. by   Q.
    The only thing that bothers me about smokers are those who are inconsiderate. It bothers me when I see someone smoking in thier car and then throw the dead butt out on the street. Since when is the world your ashtray?? That bothers me. Why not put the butt out in the car ashtray? Or those who smoke in the NON-smoking section of a restaurant.

    I DO think that smokers get more frequent breaks than non-smokers - and probably because those who smoke make sure they get that break because, hey, it's an addiction! If I were addicted to..umm..I don't know....roses outside, I suppose I would be out there smelling 'em and would MAKE SURE I got out there to do it!
  13. by   RNforLongTime
    Yes, I will admit that there are some nurses that work on my floor that take WAY too many breaks simply because they smoke. But I am not one of them and I get angry when my head nurse says something like --you smokers take too many breaks. I then tell her that I take only the breaks that I am entitled to and no more. Then she says, well not everyone is like you . Then I say, well that's not my problem.
  14. by   NursNikNak
    I'm a hospice nurse and have seen some of my patients gasping for their last breath (literally) trying to get out to the smoking lounge for another puff or two (declining wheelchair assist). So I should CERTAINLY know better, right? Well, what does anyone make of this: I ONLY smoke at work...I work 2 double shifts back to back, so I have 5 totally smoke-free days a week...I don't even think about smoking until I go to work...I just can't figure it out...any ideas out there??

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