Escort patients outside to smoke

  1. I wrote a new note about escorting patients ouside to smoke at the VA. Please read on that and provide some input. This would be over in the general discussion.

    To make a long story short, We nurses are told that we are supposed to go out with patients and remain with them in the smoke huts whilw they smoke (very close confines). We had a short reprieve after an incident in that very smoke shelter, then poof some complaining to the pt. advocate and the smoking is back on. We cannot find that as part of our employment that we must be subjected to sidestream smoke, however we are mandated by the chiefs of medical and the director that we must be in there with the patient while they smoke.

    I know these are Veterans and they should have everything they want. So I guess there is no changing it unless we find another job. Just was interested in some of your takes on this matter.
  2. Visit edchunt profile page

    About edchunt

    Joined: Jan '06; Posts: 130; Likes: 17
    psych-nurse mental hosp


  3. by   elkpark
    "They should have everything they want"???

    I read your other thread, also. If your bosses are requiring that you stand around and breathe second-hand smoke, I'd be inclined to contact OSHA about that. Second-hand smoke is a well-known health hazard and I imagine OSHA would have something to say about your being forced to be exposed to it. In my experience, the few remaining hospitals that haven't gone entirely smoke-free take the position that any risks involved in smoking (including falling on the way to the "smoke shack", setting themselves on fire, etc.) are freely assumed by the person who wants to smoke, and they're on their own if they want to go out to smoke.

    Of course, if the administration is adamant about this, you can always "vote with your feet" and find another job. Of course, that's a hard decision to make. I certainly would not find that an acceptable work situation. Best wishes!
  4. by   LovePurple
    Where I used to work if pts went out to smoke, that was their decision but we had no part in it. We would advise them not to and let them know the health risks and that they would not pick up on the monitor if they went outside (and something happened to them, we would not know). If they still went, that was their choice, but we just documented what we told them to cover our end!
  5. by   caliotter3
    I turned down a well-paying job recently because I would have been subject to second-hand smoke. As much as I needed the income, I can't breathe as it is and told them I couldn't take on cigarette smoke for 12 hour shifts.
  6. by   lexaa777
    The Hospital I work at is smoke free. If pts want to smoke they have to sign a release that we/hospital are not liable. However, if they want to go outside, down the hill, and stand on the sidewalk while pushing IV poles, we have to do an incident report that they have taken hospital equipment off hospital property. paperwork! uuuggggg!!!!