'Unhealthy' nurses...bad examples? - page 11

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone,but I have noticed a lot of the nurses I know are overweight,smokers or both. Obviously people become nurses because they completed school,and are qualified to... Read More

  1. by   busyrninva
    Quote from cookielady,rn
    I've worked with nurses who can barely walk they've neglected themselves so long. I hate to see it, and I hate seeing them as patients because I know how embarassing it is for them.

    I personally take offense to the comment that a skinny nurse would be incompetent. One can have beauty and brains.


    At first I thought I would sit back and read the responses to the ridicualous inquiry. However, what you wrote had me to respond. Nurses who can hardly walk, from "neglecting" themselves? Maybe if the nurses with the "beauty" would come out from applying their lipstick they wouldn't be running up and down the halls without the help.
    Why do you think the overwieght nurse is thought of as disabled, yet a thin nurse is thought of as beauty? Last shift I worked patients weren't there to get a date, they were there for treatment.
  2. by   busyrninva
  3. by   jackson74
    Judging from what I've read in this thread most people are ill informed regarding the underlying pathology of obesity and smoking. From what I've seen and experienced it comes down to addiction in both cases, not just a matter of poor decision making. I think that science will one day prove that people who smoke or overeat have a chemical imbalance that leads them to easily become addicted to these substances. Once caught in the trap of addiction, most people make numerous attempts at reducing or quitting which usually ends in failure. In my opinion, this is a disease much like cancer, chf, etc. Would we blame a cancer patient for developing a tumor? No. But I consistently see nurses gossiping about their coworkers who are overweight or smoke. Do you think smokers and fat people really enjoy being that way? Hell no! They are driven by forces beyond their control. Many people I'm sure will scoff at this notion....but look around you...how many people do you know have tried dieting or abstaining from smoking only to repeatedly fail at their attempts? You all have mentioned in this thread how these activities set a bad example for patients. I contend that intolerance of our coworker's health problems also sets a bad example.

    For you people who look down your noses at smokers and overweight people: Did you ever think that perhaps the reason you don't suffer with these conditions is because you have a different chemical makeup than those with these problems? I don't think its because you are that much smarter or simply make wiser decisions. I've worked with some brilliant, capable smokers and fat nurses whose only shortcoming is their addiction to food or cigarettes.
  4. by   leslie :-D
    i don't think anyone is disputing one's credentials, whether a smoker or overweight.
    it's a matter of credibility.
    but there are many situations where a nurse can effectively educate and coach her pt w/o sacrificing credibility.
    i think it's all in the delivery.
    i don't care if you are the picture of perfection or have visible flaws.
    if in your teachings, you empathize in sharing the challenges in any proposed, life-style changes, then weighing 120 or 220 will be a moot point.

    leslie
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from jackson74
    Judging from what I've read in this thread most people are ill informed regarding the underlying pathology of obesity and smoking. From what I've seen and experienced it comes down to addiction in both cases, not just a matter of poor decision making. I think that science will one day prove that people who smoke or overeat have a chemical imbalance that leads them to easily become addicted to these substances. Once caught in the trap of addiction, most people make numerous attempts at reducing or quitting which usually ends in failure. In my opinion, this is a disease much like cancer, chf, etc. Would we blame a cancer patient for developing a tumor? No. But I consistently see nurses gossiping about their coworkers who are overweight or smoke. Do you think smokers and fat people really enjoy being that way? Hell no! They are driven by forces beyond their control. Many people I'm sure will scoff at this notion....but look around you...how many people do you know have tried dieting or abstaining from smoking only to repeatedly fail at their attempts? You all have mentioned in this thread how these activities set a bad example for patients. I contend that intolerance of our coworker's health problems also sets a bad example.

    For you people who look down your noses at smokers and overweight people: Did you ever think that perhaps the reason you don't suffer with these conditions is because you have a different chemical makeup than those with these problems? I don't think its because you are that much smarter or simply make wiser decisions. I've worked with some brilliant, capable smokers and fat nurses whose only shortcoming is their addiction to food or cigarettes.
    Thank you!!! This is the most sensible thing I've read on this entire thread, and I congratulate you on this most excellent and articulate post.

    Having battled ETOH, cigarettes, drugs, and food during the course of my own life, I've been able to beat everything but overeating. Why? Well, for starters, you can STOP drinking, smoking, drugs etc., but you still have to eat in order to live. Secondly, as someone with underlying depression, I have a chemical imbalance to begin with, and the meds I take to combat it tend to put on even more weight.

    Now, I will never give up on myself while I'm drawing breath, or accept weighing 300# as my fate; but even as I pursue health with the gradual changes I'm making in my diet and activity, I realize that if I had been meant to be thin, 25 years of dieting would surely have accomplished the deed. Guess what, it ain't gonna happen.

    So I will continue to go about my life, as well as the business of tending to those entrusted to my care, with the very best I have to give each day; and if being obese makes me unworthy to be a nurse, well, I guess I'm guilty as charged.

  6. by   jebrn2
    Personally, I've always heard the saying, "do what I saw, not what I do".
    I am a somewhat overweight , smoking High level care nurse. BUT I am a very good nurse. It's not like I imform my patients, I"m going to smoke now, or I'm going to eat a fat ladin burger. I know these things are bad for me, and I'm not trying to justify being unhealthy. I just know it has no effect on my performance.
  7. by   Lainy
    Quote from cookielady,rn
    You seem to imply that those of us who DO care about our figures and work at them sacrifice bedside skills

    I also can't stand not being able to breathe around coworkers becasuse they smell like an ashtray.

    Someone once said you can't love someone else til you love yourself. How can you competently care for someone else and neglect yourself? You can't for long.
    Someone else said that Prednisone is both the best thing that can happen to you and the worst thing that can happen to you. Not every one who becomes 'unshapely' is a result of bad habits or neglect. This absolutely does NOT automatically equate to self hatred. That is a self-absorbed attitude.

    You can't make assumptions. Some "unhealthy" nurses are living examples for their patients--perhaps we can inspire and encourage our patients.
  8. by   JannaBannana
    I am still overweight, but probably would be called formerly morbidly obese. I have lost 95 lbs in the last 13 months the old fashion way. First eating right, portion control etc. then after recovering from abd hysterectomy last December I started adding more physical activity. I have fibromyalgia, it intensified I got heavier. I left hospital nursing due to exhaustion and became an advice nurse, I added more weight. I had an elevated crp, I still did not motivate myself. I know that my desires to finally change the outcome of my life will have nothing to do with what changes it for someone else. I never imagined a year ago that I could change my life like this. I am still the same person, I am still exhausted, I still have sleep problems and pain issues. I do know that people treat me different, they smile at me more. I don't think that's really fair, but that's the nature of things. I am sick of this saggy skin and thrilled to be getting a mid body lift this January, pricey, but I'm investion more in myself now, afterall, I still have half my life to enjoy this new body. I don't bug my overweight friends. I am compassionate to the situation. I still look at a chair and wonder if it's okay to sit down on it. I am still surprised at how easily I fit in a theater chair. My mind is still obese, I think it will stay that way for a long time and that's okay as long as I keep eating healthy, excercise, get my weekly massage and take better care of myself. My crp went from 17 to last check of almost normal at 3.7 (that was 6 months ago). I have always had a good cholesterol, but again 6 months ago it had dropped to 139! My blood pressure had been pushing to near 140, now I am under 120! I'm 42 and I see now that I can live a long healthy life with my husband and 4 children if I stay motivated.

    My point, we all find our own way and no one knows what each of us is dealing with in life. Be kind, understanding and supportive of one another.

    P.S. I'm still obese at 195 lbs and 5' 7" tall.
  9. by   Corvette Guy
    JannaBannana - I admire your honesty, motivation, determination, and success towards a more healthy life. You are a success story in progress!

  10. by   wyrrdwomyn
    We are living in such times of intolerance. I believe that there is a tradition of not throwing stones until one is sure the glass house one abides in is perfection.
    Every human on this planet (whether a nurse, doctor, lawyer, psychiatrist, social worker, accountant, police officer, teacher, etc., etc,) has life issues...substance/chemical abuse, food abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, fears, phobias, delusions, sexual dysfunctions, anger management issues, etc. etc. The list could exponentially go on and on. These issues could impair one's ability to function, operate, or perform a job to utmost capacity or there could exist a perception that this impairment is potential or actual.
    Where do we draw the line? Does every citizen require a pedigree, including several background checks, lifestyle investigations, bloodwork results or DNA certifications to perform specific jobs/functions?
    This topic smacks of discrimination/persecution/big brotherism at it's very darkest depths. We should be more tolerant of each other, willing to accept/understand our weaknesses, yet encourage and support each other to achieve self-actualization. Compassion and empathy go hand in hand with our everyday tasks, why else are we in this profession? We are the nurturers, the givers, the "healers", the practitioners of those qualities.
    On the other hand, it has been written that those qualities are what make nurses so dysfunctional and co-dependent. We are only human after all, frail at best, but trying to achieve so much more.
  11. by   nurse4theplanet
    Everyone has bad habits or physical/emotional problems that they struggle with each day. Nurses are not immune. I don't see any correlation between providing competent care and one's weight/smoking, etc. Those who CHOOSE to descriminate/judge are setting the bad example.

    Just my 2 cents.
  12. by   Corvette Guy
    IMHO, I think the reason so many here are offended is due to a misunderstanding. The way I interpret the title of this thread; Unhealthy nurses...bad examples?, has nothing whatsoever to do with the nursing skills a nurse does or does not possess. Rather, if an auto mechanic owned a car that ran poorly would some question his/her abilities as an auto mechanic? Maybe the concern would be incorrect since the auto mechanic in question is known by his/her regular customers to be an outstanding auto mechanic. If an Orthodonist had terribly crooked teeth would that cause some concern? Again, maybe he/she is an excellent orthodontist. Yet, would new clients be concerned. Would they be passing judgement, I don't think so... JMHO.

    If a nurse specializes in oncology, yet is a heavy smoker & carries the lingering odor as proof, then would not family members of a dying patient of lung adenocarcinoma be a little concerned... would they be passing judgement... I don't think so, but JMHO.

    If an RN specializes in bariatric surgery clients, then should this nurse be obese, too? On the otherhand, it is true we all have our own issues and nothing can replace compassion, nursing skills, and empathy for one another. Nonetheless, it is good that we all in our own way practice wellness & good health.

    - PEACE
  13. by   elizabeth321
    I have my doubts that patients or family give much thought at all to their nurses weight, health, habits etc....if they are....they likely are not sick enough to be in hospital.

    I have always made a habit of maintaining a professional relationships with my patients...my time spent with them is about them....they may not remember my name, or think I told good jokes but they will always remember that they were well looked after while I cared for them. I have never had a conlict with a patient or family in 25 years of caring for people. If they thought I was too heavy, too serious, too short, too slow, too fast, too tall, etc I will never know.

    L
    Last edit by elizabeth321 on Sep 20, '06

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