The Fat Doctor: Can You Trust Out of Shape Health Workers? - page 2

I think people who propose "Healthcare workers should be fit otherwise they can't be trusted." or "I can't trust a fat doctor." have not properly thought out the situation. The statements are front... Read More

  1. by   newmail445
    Quote from Holt147
    Being force feed too many calories most days does tend to make us overweight.
    Oh wait. We usually put the food into our own mouths.
    Sixty-nine percent of the nation is overweight, and most of them by choice.
    We choose to consume one extra 100 calorie cookie;
    We choose a large fries;
    We choose regular milk;
    We choose not to exercise on our days off.

    Use small food & life changes, plus a little exercise to keep theweight off.

    Save 100 calories a day to lose 11 pounds per year. Yes, life is that simple.
    Add exercise form say "5K Fitness Run" (substitute walk for run) and you'll see steady results and stick to a better lifestyle.
    Pretty soon, your patients will not give you a peculiar look when you give advice about how they can reduce their LDL, or heart attack risk, reduce their BP etc.
    Holt,

    Nice addition to the conversation. I agree we have a deep responsibility to our own health. To reiterate, my intent with the article was to present a more well-rounded discussion as to why out of shape health workers can still be valid communicators of health promotion and not to provide excuses to be used when faced with the discomfort of hypocrisy in patient care.
    Last edit by dianah on Mar 10
  2. by   adoyo
    I have been a nurse for over 40 years now and have been overweight all my life despite following g all types of reducing diets to taking herbal teas, doing regular exercises and at times dropping carbs in the name of following doctor's advise but all in vain!:
    I believe that my bodyweight is an inherited thing from my dad as he was overweight the whole time I knew him before he passed on at age 105 years! My mom was a slim lady , though she passed on at a tender age of only 6 2years due to a mismanaged health problem!
    Throughout my nursing career all those 40 plus years , I have never heard of any discrimination against my being overweight from my patients or work Coleagus! Am shocked to hear somebody connecting being overweight with being a doctor or any health peoffesional!
    Anyway , opinions are not facts and it is good that others may also tell their experiences!
  3. by   Glycerine82
    Quote from wafa44
    good artical . but we need to be agood health,good body, no overweight because she can work easily no complains from any problem
    You can be overweight and still be healthy - "good body"

    You can be fit and have a back problem "bad body"

    Being in good health isn't a luxury everyone has and certainly doesn't mean someone who isn't can't be a nurse.
  4. by   newmail445
    Quote from Glycerine82
    You can be overweight and still be healthy - "good body"

    You can be fit and have a back problem "bad body"

    Being in good health isn't a luxury everyone has and certainly doesn't mean someone who isn't can't be a nurse.
    Indeed there are many young nurses who aren't overweight that complain of back pain from moving patients around and take Motrin for relief.
  5. by   RobbiRN
    You make some excellent points. I certainly agree that a good doctor or nurse can help motivate others regardless of his or her own physique, whether by example, contrast, or caring. A person's size alone will not determine that provider's ability.

    For some reason though, your title made me flash back to Michael Moore's "Sicko." (2007) It was a great movie in so many ways, calling out the failings of our healthcare system on several levels. But I found myself repeatedly distracted by Michael himself, a grossly overweight guy who looked like he was one cupcake from a coronary lumbering around in front of the camera narrating for two hours. It wasn't just a matter of trust. He made some excellent, believable arguments. But, there was an unavoidable credibility gap, a mixed message: "You want us to fix healthcare, but you're breaking the most basic rules." In the end, it appeared that he was blaming the government and the system for his lifestyle choices.
  6. by   newmail445
    Quote from RobbiRN
    You make some excellent points. I certainly agree that a good doctor or nurse can help motivate others regardless of his or her own physique, whether by example, contrast, or caring. A person's size alone will not determine that provider's ability.

    For some reason though, your title made me flash back to Michael Moore's "Sicko." (2007) It was a great movie in so many ways, calling out the failings of our healthcare system on several levels. But I found myself repeatedly distracted by Michael himself, a grossly overweight guy who looked like he was one cupcake from a coronary lumbering around in front of the camera narrating for two hours. It wasn't just a matter of trust. He made some excellent, believable arguments. But, there was an unavoidable credibility gap, a mixed message: "You want us to fix healthcare, but you're breaking the most basic rules." In the end, it appeared that he was blaming the government and the system for his lifestyle choices.
    Interesting perspective on "Sicko"! I've not seen it, but it does create cognitive dissonance when trying to establish an authority figure's credibility; whether they're a doctor or movie director.

    An interesting perspective would be how the out of shape healthcare worker feels telling people to be healthier. Personally, I know quite a few staff members who -do- feel hypocritical and withhold effective patient education because of it.

    However, staff could approach education from a perspective of empathy i.e. "Trust me, I know how difficult it is to quit smoking. I started when I was 18 and I also know how bad it is for you. I have trouble just walking up the stairs to come here."
  7. by   Stepney
    This was a very nice article and it was so refreshing to hear the positive comments and perspectives of other writers. Health care workers who are overweight continue to have a professional responsibility to educate patients on weight loss, management of diabetes and cholesteral, etc. It may mean the difference between life and death. My father has been skinny all his life and has had heart disease since his 30's. People like him, and many others at risk, deserve education from overweight health workers the same as slender workers. It does not matter. I also find that I benefit from hearing other person's struggles with their weight or other health issues and what has worked for them. You don't always have to learn from your own mistakes if you can learn from someone elses. In addition, you learn more from teaching than being taught. Every time you share knowledge with your patients, you reinforce it for yourself.

    Saying all that, I must admit that most of our weight issues in this country is related to what and how much we eat. I was stick skinny until I became an NP and enjoyed daily rep lunch meals. At first I was delighted, until my clothes became tight. And night shift workers and those under a lot of stress are at high risk for gaining weight.

    I don't know if there are any studies related to the OP's orginal comments, but it will be very interesting to get a feel for widespread sentiments.
  8. by   newmail445
    Quote from Stepney
    This was a very nice article and it was so refreshing to hear the positive comments and perspectives of other writers. Health care workers who are overweight continue to have a professional responsibility to educate patients on weight loss, management of diabetes and cholesteral, etc. It may mean the difference between life and death. My father has been skinny all his life and has had heart disease since his 30's. People like him, and many others at risk, deserve education from overweight health workers the same as slender workers. It does not matter. I also find that I benefit from hearing other person's struggles with their weight or other health issues and what has worked for them. You don't always have to learn from your own mistakes if you can learn from someone elses. In addition, you learn more from teaching than being taught. Every time you share knowledge with your patients, you reinforce it for yourself.

    Saying all that, I must admit that most of our weight issues in this country is related to what and how much we eat. I was stick skinny until I became an NP and enjoyed daily rep lunch meals. At first I was delighted, until my clothes became tight. And night shift workers and those under a lot of stress are at high risk for gaining weight.

    I don't know if there are any studies related to the OP's orginal comments, but it will be very interesting to get a feel for widespread sentiments.
    Excellent points made Stepney! Yes learning from other people's experiences is quite effective.That's the value of reading books for example. We learn from the author's mistakes.

    I also agree it's true that teaching is more effective than being taught for your reason but also because it's more active. Teachers have to manipulate the information by learning various approaches for each patient learner.
  9. by   Tommy5677
    I guess I'm going to be the bad guy here. I lived in Hawaii for a couple years and culturally food is very important. As a result obesity and diabetes are rampant so I get that part. However, when you're coaching a person on lifestyle to help manage their disease it's not just about imparting factual information. You are actually trying to get the patient to change their behaviors. That's when you get into a sticky situation. If your patient is looking at an obese person who is trying to engage them and setting weight loss goals, well, they probably aren't going to take you seriously. There are plenty of thin seemingly fit people that are a mess on the inside due to lifestyle issues. The patient doesn't see it and it's not likely that nurse would have chosen health coaching as a specialty.
  10. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Concerto_in_C
    I think obese healthcare workers can be trusted like lean ones; I don't think trust is part of the equation.

    However, they set a bad example when they are supposed to be role models.
    No where in my job description does it say that I'm supposed to be a role model -- except that I'm to practice exemplary nursing skills to model good, safe nursing care to new employees, students and what not.
  11. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from Tommy5677
    I guess I'm going to be the bad guy here. I lived in Hawaii for a couple years and culturally food is very important. As a result obesity and diabetes are rampant so I get that part. However, when you're coaching a person on lifestyle to help manage their disease it's not just about imparting factual information. You are actually trying to get the patient to change their behaviors. That's when you get into a sticky situation. If your patient is looking at an obese person who is trying to engage them and setting weight loss goals, well, they probably aren't going to take you seriously. There are plenty of thin seemingly fit people that are a mess on the inside due to lifestyle issues. The patient doesn't see it and it's not likely that nurse would have chosen health coaching as a specialty.
    Again -- our job is to give the patient the information they need; it's not my job to "convert" him to a healthy lifestyle. That would be for a lifestyle coach or a health coach or whatever. My job -- saving your butt after you've had a complicated surgery -- does not require looking a certain way. Thank the gods!
  12. by   wonderwhy
    But Addiction is still Aaddiction. Some is just more accepted than others and the fact we have the will to stop makes it not a disease.
  13. by   Ruby Vee
    Quote from wonderwhy
    But Addiction is still Aaddiction. Some is just more accepted than others and the fact we have the will to stop makes it not a disease.
    Huh? Please use the "Quote" button so we at least know which post elicited this incoherent reply.

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