Overweight issues; uncomfortable with being practiced on by another student - page 3

Hi Everyone, I am a very overweight nursing student, and am feeling uncomfortable in a number of situations. Can anyone relate? While I know that the nursing profession, and the medical profession... Read More

  1. by   nurseprnRN
    I haven't seen one thing mentioned here so far (forgive me if I missed it) but one thing your clinical lab is supposed to do is give you some empathy for your patient. Your patients may not all be "fluffy" or "big" (folks, we are clinicians: use the right word, which is "obese") but they may all have issues that I hear you mentioning: problems with with strangers touching them, caregivers assuming the right to access their bodies, people yelling down the hall, "Who's got the big girl cuff?", garb that doesn't cover them comfortably or leave them with much dignity, or having hidden things they'd just as soon stayed that way.

    If you can put aside your own feelings for the length of your lab, that's admirable. Can your patients? Should they think they have to? How might that feel? Think about that.
  2. by   EuropaRN
    I completely understand how you feel too. Talking about cardiac, I JUST did the cardiac (and lungs, together) section of my assessment class in lab yesterday. I am also paired up with a very thin girl, and so, of course the easiest way for her to listen to my heart (and back for lungs) was to take my top and bra off. I had a gown on and covered my breast with my hand, but still. I agree with what most of you have said. Pts come in all shapes and sizes, so I feel like I'm giving my partner the benefit of working with someone overweight so she can figure out how deep to push, etc.

    I was thinking for those of you with big breasts concerned with the EKGs, Keep your bra on! It might even be easier for the other student to place the electrodes if your bra is holding your breast out of the way. I'm sure it depends on the instructor, but I've seen a cardiologist perform an EKG with the pt's bra on.

    Finally, those of you who are uncomfortable with the stiff cotton scrub pants with NO stretch. Urbane scrub's Alexis pant is my absolute favorite. 9306 - Alexis Comfort Elastic Waist Pant | UrbaneScrubs.com They are wide leg, stretchy, but still look professional. The colors are limited but they have the basics. I wear white pants in my program and these are actually less see through than others I have worn. I wear a size 24/26 and I got a 3x and there is plenty of room.

    Good luck to all of you!
  3. by   Crazed
    I think the first step is accepting yourself. Regardless of where you'd like to be the first step is liking where you are.

    Because I honestly like who I am I can make jokes, wink, tease people, and just in general enjoy my life and life in my body. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has at least one thing about themselves that they don't like. I will tell you that my experince with my larger size makes me very relatable to patients who need teaching and are struggling just like me.

    Added bonus of hugging myself in the middle of lab and saying things like, "Man I just love ALL THIS Crazed."

    Then again people expect me to say things bluntly so they don't expect anything differently. Just keep focused on the end goal of being a nurse and let all those fears and misgivings fall to the wayside. Eventually the clouds will lift.

    Keep on keeping on, my plus sized sister.
  4. by   aachavez
    Im in the same position, and it's refreshing to see others that feel the same way. Overweight nursing student, couldnt fit into the uniforms, and feeling self conscious for sure!

    Fortunatly, we have a small group of 12. 1 male, the rest of us girls. We've been going to school together since January (most of us anyway) and we all seem to get along rather well, and are pretty comfortable with eachother. We havn't had to strip or do baths or anything, but we have done assesments, vitals and the like on eachother. I have severe psoraisis, and was having a pretty bad flare up on my scalp when for an assesment, and that was more embarrasing than anything we've done. Tons of flaky skin falling off my scalp... yuck!

    Anyhow... You aren't alone! Your classmates probably have some insecurities about themselves. Try to partner up with people that you know a little better, you may feel more comfortable with someone that knows you. Also, think of them as profesionals. As a patient, I don't mind nurses, doctors or whoever looking at whatever, becuase it's what they DO. Just think of your classmates as proffesionals, and get through it. You can!!!
  5. by   Swellz
    I'm overweight too, and have been on and off since I was about 8. Fortunately, I was able to weasel out of certain embarrassing things (having to show my belly for abdominal assessments, etc) by volunteering for other things. I can't imagine that they didn't have a larger blood pressure cuff for you; that is really awful on their part, not to mention embarrassing for you.

    I will tell you this though - working with overweight patients, who have those weight issues on top of other medical problems, has seriously motivated me to lose weight. I have lost 25 pounds since starting nursing school. It scares you straight, but also the stress kinda makes me want to binge eat all the time. Nursing school is crazy.