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Can nursing schools kick out students who are overweight?

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by veritas veritas (New Member) New Member

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Let's face it...... overweight/obese people are discriminated against, and probably always will be. As my overweight friend used to say, we are treated like second class citizens in many situations. It's impossible for those who have not suffered from weight issues to relate to this. It's one of the few genetically predisposed addictions which can not be hidden from society. It is right there for everyone to see, which only adds to the humiliation.

I was the heaviest person in my nursing class, and I had no trouble keeping up. My plantar fasciitis was acting up, but otherwise I was fine. I also feel that I was one of the best nursing students in my class, with high grades, as well great rapport with patients, staff, instructors and peers. I passed the NCLEX the first time with 76 questions. I have had people be very rude to me in day to day life. After I had my son the OB who did my c/s said that he didn't want to see me back until I needed a tummy tuck. I saw different docs during my pg and he was the only one who constantly brought up my weight, even though I had a healthy pregnancy. It was obvious that he was simply repulsed by heavy people. While pg and waiting in a restaurant I had a stranger offer me half of her sandwich, and then burst out laughing. I was so stunned I acted like I didn't hear her.

So, take it from someone who has lived it, there are MANY MANY folks out there who just don't like heavy people, and they often judge them based on looks or preconceived notions, not on their abilities. I'm not saying that having extra pounds doesn't affect you at all. I'm sure our energy levels are not as high, but it doesn't mean we can't be excellent nurses in spite of it.

I absolutely know what you are talking about - unfortunately we are a society that is obsessed with 'youth and beauty'.:uhoh3:

I've known people who had the attitude you OB-GYN did, and in my opinion, there is something wrong with HIM.:angryfire

I am happy to say that not one of my boys married skinny women - they seemed to be listening when I lectured them that beauty comes from the heart. And I have some beautiful DIL's!! :)

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santhony44 works as a FNP.

6,966 Visitors; 1,703 Posts

imy point is, looks are deceiving.

and ibw does not necessarily mean good health.

leslie

Very true, Leslie. I'm surely not the only nurse who has had slender patients with horrible health problems, from strokes and MIs to COPD. I've seen "healthy looking" diabetics walking around with A1C's of 14, hypertensives with blood pressures over 200/100, etc.

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santhony44 works as a FNP.

6,966 Visitors; 1,703 Posts

Let's face it...... overweight/obese people are discriminated against, and probably always will be. As my overweight friend used to say, we are treated like second class citizens in many situations. It's impossible for those who have not suffered from weight issues to relate to this. It's one of the few genetically predisposed addictions which can not be hidden from society. It is right there for everyone to see, which only adds to the humiliation.

After I had my son the OB who did my c/s said that he didn't want to see me back until I needed a tummy tuck. I saw different docs during my pg and he was the only one who constantly brought up my weight, even though I had a healthy pregnancy. It was obvious that he was simply repulsed by heavy people.

Unfortunately, his attitude can be detrimental to his patients' health. I've had a number of patients tell me that they have stopped seeing health care providers because of the way they've been treated or talked to. That's a shame.

And I agree, someone like him has at least as much of a problem as his overweight patient!

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1 Article; 7,751 Visitors; 372 Posts

An obese nursing student discrimination case reached the U.S. Supreme Court in 1985. Sharon Russell was told by her nursing school to lose 2 pounds per week or be dismissed from the program. She couldn't do it, and had to finish school elsewhere. She sued, and won.

"... what should be particularly troublesome for nurse educators, is that the nursing profession prides itself on providing caring and compassionate treatment for all patients, yet in this case it failed to extend this same sensitivity to a future colleague."

Weiler, K, Helms, LB (1993) Responsibilities of nursing education: the lessons of Russell v Salve Regina J Prof Nurs 9,131-138[Medline]

Thanks, I knew this happened in RI.

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13,993 Visitors; 4,177 Posts

FAIR HAIRED CHILD = A FAVORITE

RED-HEADED STEP CHILD = DISLIKED as in beaten like a red headed stepchild

back to subject: overweight restrictions are on their way, many companies [not necessarily health related] already charge much more for health insurance for obese, highh cholestreal, hpt, hiv+ and other conditions which would cost the insurance co down the road smokers are out of jobs as per another thread

we are losing control like the camel nudging the arab out of the tent and we won't notice it until we wind up out in the cold

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GadgetRN71 has 10 years experience and works as a RN.

2 Likes; 13,732 Visitors; 1,820 Posts

I really do think that it is unfair to pick on someone due to their weight however I do think that many people who are very overweight get picked on in all kinds of situations, not just in nursing school. I even saw an advertisement for nurses (Canada) that stated that only physically fit people need apply. Scary!
You're right, it is scary since some of us that are overweight can keep up just fine. I am overweight(about a size 14/16) and am trying to lose weight. At the gym, it is hysterical, because I have a lot of stamina-I have no problem going on the elliptical trainer for 30-40 minutes at a fairly high speed. I have had the little skinny minnies next to me looking at my screen with disbelief. They then up the level on their machine as if to say "can't let the fat girl beat me!". I think that as long as you can function, they should leave you alone. I've also seen nurses on the other end of the spectrum ie. with anorexia/bulemia who had far more difficulty with nursing duties due to fatigue, etc. Prejudice against overweight people is one of the few socially allowed biases, sadly. Also, I've seen quite a few obese docs(males) who then ridicule their overweight patients. The argument that a nurse can't be competent because she/he is fat doesn't hold water with me. You don't see docs worrying that they don't set a good example if they have bad habits-why are we held to a different standard?

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1 Like; 53,409 Visitors; 11,191 Posts

when we were in our 20's, my older sister and i used to go for long walks together.

she has been heavy all of her life.

yet, after walking a couple of miles, my legs would feel like rubber.

she could go on and on and on.

i'm sure it's because i'd been smoking 10 yrs already.

if i had to stereotype, i would gamble on working with an overweight nurse than a skinny, smoking one.

i've just seen too many healthy and heavy vs. skinny and sob.

it's true, our society is cruel to those who aren't young, beautiful and 100 lbs.

enough of these shallow obsessions!

give me an oz of integrity over 100 lbs of lean muscle mass, anyday.

leslie

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3,038 Visitors; 173 Posts

What does this have to do with the color of one's hair? I've never heard this term.

i think it's because blonds were more favored or seen as favored, like hitler wanted blond nordic babies ( bad example), blonds were used to depict angles, ect...

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1,305 Visitors; 87 Posts

I've known people who had the attitude you OB-GYN did, and in my opinion, there is something wrong with HIM! :angryfire

Yes... thank you for that. He was obsessed with my weight, yet sent me home without checking my labs. I was discharged with a 7.7 hemoglobin!! I was ready to pass out and could barely breathe while visiting my baby in the hospital. Let me tell you, I have never felt that bad, and I was really scared. I dragged myself to a general practitioner in the same facility who looked up my labs and could not believe I was discharged. :o

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1,305 Visitors; 87 Posts

Unfortunately, his attitude can be detrimental to his patients' health. I've had a number of patients tell me that they have stopped seeing health care providers because of the way they've been treated or talked to. That's a shame.

And I agree, someone like him has at least as much of a problem as his overweight patient!

I agree, it truly is a shame. I have to say, I dreaded having to see him. At the time, I felt very vulnerable being pg, so I didn't speak up. I think if I saw him now I'd let him know exactly what I think of his bedside manner! :down:

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1,305 Visitors; 87 Posts

enough of these shallow obsessions!

give me an oz of integrity over 100 lbs of lean muscle mass, anyday.

Leslie, I couldn't agree with you more! :)

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