smokers

  1. 3
    I'm not a Nazi about anti-smoking, it's a personal choice and I don't believe there are any healthcare professionals who smoke without understanding the potential ramifications.
    Here's my thing: Am I the only one who thinks it must be nice to run outside every couple of hours and hang out there for 20+ minutes??? what if every few hours I said "I'm going to go downstairs and just get some fresh air and look at the sky for 20 minutes." I bet it wouldn't go over very well.
    there are only 2 nurses (out of 27) I work with who smoke, but they definitely get their breaks in, regardless. I'm not angry or venting at all, but someone just came up to me and said they'll be back in a few minutes and it got me thinking.
    Also, any time we are allotted for breaks is way-exceeded by people smoking cigarettes. About 14 years ago, I did an informal study on someone who was burning about an entire pack during the 12 hour work day. I documented him spending an average of 3 hours per shift outside smoking. To me that's outrageous....of course the person was a supervisor and I was accused of trying to "stir the pot" so nothing was done.
    Oh well, when they get COPD I'm sure I'll still be here to hook up their O2, etc....
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  4. 1
    I know, this is so horrible. Thank god my hospital has totally banned smoking on campus. It's a good 15 minute walk to the nearest smoking "section" which is the parking lot of a restaurant Also, stiff penalties are given if someone is caught smoking on campus (including getting fired which has happened twice already)
    Daisy Doodle likes this.
  5. 0
    Wow...two people fired?? You'd think that the example of the first person would be enough to make the next person not do it.
    But then I'm sure you (like myself) have watched people during the last few minutes of their life from end-stage lung disease and their final purposeful movement was flicking ash from an imaginary cigarette.
    and my hospital has banned it too, I don't have any idea where they go. maybe stand around in the parking lot near their cars or something?? That's probably why they're gone so long.
  6. 6
    There is nothing wrong with grabbing a non smoking buddy and getting off the unit and taking a walk and a break as you well deserve. There is no reason for you to not take care of your needs.

    Now if this is just smoking related, know that your other fellow nurses may be the non compliant diabetics, overweight or eaters of junk food, or those that skip meds. There are many things I've seen peers do, that know better, that lead to poor health as well as those smokers.

    Take care of you, decline to offer watching patients if you haven't had your break yet and know that you can't control what peers do on breaks, or what they should be doing for thier own health!
    abbnurse, Tait, Bill E. Rubin, and 3 others like this.
  7. 0
    That is why my hospital system went "no smoking on campus". The productivity $$ saved is tremendous.

    If they want to smoke, its a 1/2 mile trudge to the corner off campus. By the time they get there, break is over.

    Moreover, if they are caught on campus...there is no 3 strike rule. It is one strike.

    and you are out.

    They always made ways to assist employees in stopping smoking. 30% of people have done it.
  8. 8
    Here's the scoop. I don't every complain about our smokers. Why? Because occasionally people need an extended break. When I was breastfeeding, especially early on, as I returned to work 3 weeks post partum, I needed a 25-30 minute pump break every 2-3 hours in the beginning. As my baby got older, my breaks were less frequent and shorter, but still more frequent than my usual (as my baseline is a rare break, I don't like to leave the floor). Everyone accommodated me without so much as blinking. I breastfed until my baby was two...so two years of accommodating my frequent breaks, without a mean word or glance from anyone.

    They could have NOT been so accommodating, or they could have covered me, but let me know how much of a hassle it was. No one did; everyone went out of their way to help.

    So, I'll not gripe about your frequent smoke breaks, my fellow smoker co-worker, if you don't gripe about others' breaks. Mental health breaks so that you can cry about the day or your horrible mean patient, an occasional long lunch so that you can eat with a friend or spouse, pumping milk, or just getting in a walk in the fresh air to keep yourself mentally awake and alert.
    kaliRN, cmonkey, abbnurse, and 5 others like this.
  9. 2
    Yeah but there are state laws in place to accomodate breastfeeding mothers reasonable break time to express milk. I used to hate it when the smokers I worked with got to take 8 breaks a day when I only had time for 2 being a nonsmoker. Management started cracking the whip and now we all have the same amt of breaks at scheduled (staggered) times. I think people can chain smoke at home if they want, and not at work.


    Quote from BluegrassRN
    Here's the scoop. I don't every complain about our smokers. Why? Because occasionally people need an extended break. When I was breastfeeding, especially early on, as I returned to work 3 weeks post partum, I needed a 25-30 minute pump break every 2-3 hours in the beginning. As my baby got older, my breaks were less frequent and shorter, but still more frequent than my usual (as my baseline is a rare break, I don't like to leave the floor). Everyone accommodated me without so much as blinking. I breastfed until my baby was two...so two years of accommodating my frequent breaks, without a mean word or glance from anyone.

    They could have NOT been so accommodating, or they could have covered me, but let me know how much of a hassle it was. No one did; everyone went out of their way to help.

    So, I'll not gripe about your frequent smoke breaks, my fellow smoker co-worker, if you don't gripe about others' breaks. Mental health breaks so that you can cry about the day or your horrible mean patient, an occasional long lunch so that you can eat with a friend or spouse, pumping milk, or just getting in a walk in the fresh air to keep yourself mentally awake and alert.
    leslie :-D and Bill E. Rubin like this.
  10. 8
    What about their poor patients that have to smell them after they come back from break?
    CuriousMe, LobotRN, cmonkey, and 5 others like this.
  11. 2
    Yep- I'm an evil smoker. Look at it this way- what I cost the world in health care expences I'll make up for by dying young and not drawing my pension or social security. You must work with some inconsiderate boobs. Our hospital banned smoking about 2 yrs ago. No smoking between the start of your shift and the end- even on lunch or breaks. All it did was ensure NO ONE got thier break time. Even when I smoked at work I took 4 or 5 10min breaks in a 12 hr shift. By contract I'm entitled to three 15min breaks and a 30min lunch. Now I'm lucky to get relief for 15 min all night. As far as "the smell" I always worn a cover-up and used mouth wash before returning to the bedside. I work cardiac- Most of my my patients have lived with the smell of tobacco for years. Considering the multitude of foul smells in a hospital I faint whiff of tobacco isn't too much to bear. The problem isn't just smokers. Grill jockys at the burger joint get thier lunch and break time. As nurses, the health care system expects our "dedication to the patients" to relieve them of any obligation to provide lunch relief. They are right. I don't think many nurses would leave thier patient if they thought there wasn't safe coverage while they were on thier break. I've never heard a nurse say : " sorry the patient died- but I was on my lunch".
    Muffy5 and zamboni like this.
  12. 6
    I am a NS and the hospitals we do clinical at are non-smoking campuses. Because I am in the EVE/WE program, out clinicals are 12 hr shifts. I usually smoke on the way to work, during lunch and on the way home. I have altoids on hand at all times!

    Back when my mom was a GN she actually started to smoke because only smoking nurses got breaks! Of course, she quit when she got PG with my sister. We joke about her now....because out of the blue she will take one of our smokes and smoke it and then not do it again for a year! LOL

    Yes, we know that smoking is bad for us. Just like all the overweight nurses know how bad that is for them.

    Not to justify the choice, but the reality is that only 15% of smokers develop lung cancer or emphysema. Nurses see that 15% and we (yes, the smokers too) think about how could someone do this to themselves. Denial is a powerful motivator.

    IMHO, banning smoking from the workplace is justifiable. I have a personal issue with the "you can't smoke on campus" thing. It is a back door method of controlling the smoker. Would anyone think it fair for the hospital to say all overweight personnel are not allowed to eat on campus? They have to walk a 1/2 mi to get to a restaurant so that they can eat (shortening their lunch break). Heck it would be healthy for them to have to walk there and back.

    There are employers who will NOT hire smokers at all. The employees are tested and if there is evidence of smoking, you are fired. They justify it with the money saved in medical insurance and the increased productivity of the employees. So, when one considers that obesity costs MORE than smokers....how far are we away from having weight requirements to be an employee?

    Another thing that I think odd.... the medical community will think that a fellow medical person who became an addict has an illness. We look at the overweight and have empathy. Why is it that folks look at a smoker with hostility? Isn't that a tad hypocritical? Nicotine is addictive.

    Climbing off soapbox!
    EMR*LPN, cicatrixx15, abbnurse, and 3 others like this.


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