'Unhealthy' nurses...bad examples? - page 2

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   TazziRN
    Quote from ktwlpn
    I think my persoanl life is just that-unless I am impaired on the job.
    :yeahthat: :yeahthat:
  2. by   mercyteapot
    My Mom's sister has 3 girls. This branch of the family tree makes our branch look positively functional by comparison, although in reality we have experienced more than our share of dysfunction over the years. Anyway, two of my cousins by this aunt are morbidly obese. I haven't seen either of them in years, and I do know their weight yo-yos, but there have been times when both of them have weighed over 300 lbs. Their sister finds this appalling and will do anything to stay thin. Including starving herself, smoking like a chimney and working out like a fiend. Other than the smoking, there are those who would consider her a positive example because she is so thin. I have a sense she's probably going to be dead before her sisters.
  3. by   Midwest4me
    Quote from HeartsOpenWide
    I have a friend who once said that she would "not want a 'fat' nurse" but she also says she is going to have an elective c-section when she has a baby because "vaginal babies have funny looking head when they come out"...go figure. Weight does not affect intelligence, lack of it or too much. As long as they are able be to be mobile and move around efficiently and are clean and do not smell, who cares? I could see how a client might be reluctant to take Nutritional direction from an obese dietitian, but there are many factor that play into weight....
    As far as smoking, I know a very good doctor that smokes and drinks coffee like its water. He never smells either. What one does on their own time, whether it is drink, smoke or eat McDonald's is their business. Not every good mechanic drives a brand new sports car...
    Well said, HeartsOpenWide!!!! I do smoke and am slightly overweight (but have dropped 22# in the past 2 mos). Yes, I've "caught flak" on a few occasions from patients; mostly from co-workers(who, in reality, have their own vices). Everyone has a right to his/her opinion. I see no sense in taking offense to others' opinions.
  4. by   GooeyRN
    All nurses and doctors and anyone else in the healthcare field are HUMANS, with HUMAN addictions and HUMAN problems. NO ONE is perfect. No, it is not ideal for anyone, nurses included, to be overweight, smoke, not exercise, live on coffee and chocolate, etc. But, we nurses are just like the patients, that is, we all have our issues. If we excluded every nurse who had an unhealthy habit, there wouldn't be too many nurses left.

    Maybe next we can exclude nurses who don't have elaborate hairstyles and those who don't wear make-up, and males who choose to wear a beard.

    BTW... I am not overweight and don't smoke, but am struggling with overcoming anorexia. Should I be excluded since I have an unhealthy issue?

    (I am not being nasty to the OP, just the idea that nurses need to be perfect people)
  5. by   nightingale
    Regarding obesity and smokers in Health Care
    Quote from fifi2323
    I was just wondering if anybody has ever gotten any flak from patients or higher-ups?

    Or do you feel you aren't taken as seriously because of how you look,or because you need a cigarette break? (
    No... nor do I see it happening to others who "engage".

    No... nor do I see it happening to others who "engage".


    I am a professional and am treated that way (for the most part). Why do you ask? Are you concerned about this happening in your environment?
    Last edit by nightingale on Sep 17, '06
  6. by   PANurseRN1
    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.
    No one said that all skinny nurses are incompetent. A skinny nurse can be incompetent. So can a heavy nurse. A heavy nurse can be highly skilled. So can a skinny nurse. You are the one who suggested that heavy nurses aren't competent.

    For pity's sake, if we got rid of heavy nurses, imagine what your workload would be. To read some of the threads here, it seems like there should be a requirement that RNs can only be between the ages of 22-35 and must be thin and attractive. If you don't meet that criteria, you're out.
  7. by   mercyteapot
    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.
    It wasn't me who made that comment, and I agree that one can be both outwardly attractive and a competent nurse. However, one can also have weight management issues and be a competent nurse as well. How ironic that in one breath you protest being stereotyped and in the very next breath, you apply a stereotype yourself! The vast majority of overweight nurses I know are well able to handle the physical demands of the job. If there are those who can't, their situation should be addressed individually by management... just as thin nurses who may have difficulty with the physical demands of the job should be. The whole point is that weight, thin or heavy, doesn't equal competence. It just doesn't, and no amount of spinning will make it so.
  8. by   Elisheva
    This thread is really thought provoking. I worked with a nurse who could be a model. She was thin, attractive, didn't smoke and could be the poster girl for the perfect nurse. Her life behind the scenes was another story; the picture of unhealth, drinking, anxiety and an abusive relationship. But to those who judged by the outward appearance, she had it all together.

    You never really know anybody's life and how "healthy" they really are.
  9. by   Elisheva
    A careful re-reading will show that I didn't say that ALL skinny nurses were incompetent. I gave a scenario in which you could choose ONE skinny incompetent nurse vs ONE overweight competent nurse. No need to create drama where none exists.
  10. by   CuriousMe
    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.
    No offense to you...don't know you and I've never seen you

    But who said that skinny and beauty necessairly go together? I know plenty of skinny people that I wouldn't classify as beauty's, and plenty of people with more curves than angles who I would definitely say were beautiful.

    I just ask that we be careful with the associations that our society is littered with. Skinny shouldn't be a goal, healthy should. Skinny doesn't equal beauty, they are two different descriptors.

    And as far as embarassed....is that them or you for them? I've definitely got more curves than angles....and I'm often treated by folks who don't know me as if I should be embarrassed. I'm not, I am what I am until I take the necessary steps to change what I am. I scuba dive, hike and my most recent adventure is to learn to white water kayak. I think there's a message out there that I should be embarrassed and that I certainly shouldn't be out having fun until I lose some weight....but that's not how I feel.

    To the OP....the majority of Americans are overweight.....I wouldn't imagine that the percentages among nurses would be very far off from the national average.

    Just my .02

    Peace,
    Cathie
  11. by   Lara911
    Okay so what you say is that overweight nurse are bad examples??? So I imagine you would like to live in a perfect world where no one is too much stress, every body is goodlooking, exercice 3 times a week, no one smoke, no one drink too much at christmas party, no one drive too fast, no one eat too much, love chocolate or coffee, no one take sex risk, well...Welcome to reality of human being...who are we to judge somone else?...Thank god I'm not perfect, it help me to understand others who are not...
  12. by   PANurseRN1
    Funny how someone with a screen name "cookielady, rn" is judgemental about nurses with weight isssues.
  13. by   Josh L.Ac.
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Professional competency is important to me-that is what matters to the patient's outcome..

    I agree, but what is defined as professional competency [in any healthcare job] may include "healthy lifestyle", especially now with the obesity epidemic.


    On the other hand (following your lead), I think Clinton did a much better job than Bush Sr, although the later did work with increasing exercise awareness and was in great shape, while the former would jog to McDonalds.

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