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Cigarette Smoke in the Home

Home Health   (1,015 Views 7 Comments)
by DallasRN DallasRN (Member) Member Nurse

DallasRN specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

3,150 Profile Views; 132 Posts

I think I may have developed an allergy to cigarette smoke.  

I smoked for years but quit years ago. Now, it seems, I simply cannot tolerate even a little bit of cigarette smoke.  Each and every time I have to go into a home where a smoker resides, I end up with a sinus infection.  Thus far, not enough to require antibiotics, but enough to make me feel miserable for a few days.  And it seems to be getting worse.

Anyone else experience this and if so, what did you do?  I'm feeling seriously bad!  Thanks for any suggestions.

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1 Follower; 83 Posts; 670 Profile Views

That sounds awful.  I've not experienced developing any allergies from cannabis/nicotine smoke in the homes.  I've never been a smoker and don't care for it. Most of my clients try to be respectful and not smoke when I'm there.  I realize that doesn't get the smoke out, however.  When I leave a home, I tend to roll down my windows and let myself air out on the drive even in cold weather.  Hopefully others have a better answer for you!

 

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DallasRN specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

132 Posts; 3,150 Profile Views

Rolling down the windows isn't much of an option here today.  I think the wind chill was in the 20's.  Chilly, chilly!  But seriously, I have started carrying some of that Febreeze fabric spray with me but fact is, the smoke is in my nasal passages and nothing gets rid of it.  As I mentioned, I did smoke years back and I've always said I was born smoking...everyone in my family did.  I remember having colds frequently and also having those colds turn into chest colds in a flash.  Just seems odd that now I'd get so sick so quickly just from the exposure.

I know of a couple of nurses that refuse patients in homes with animals due to allergies.  I hate to think I may have to end up refusing patients in homes with smokers but based on the way I'm feeling now, it may be my only option.

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TAKOO01 has 3 years experience as a BSN.

155 Posts; 2,882 Profile Views

If you can refuse, then do so. I personally hated this part of home care, and i luckily only had a few pts who smoked. I never thought of outright refusal, and i should have. When it came to pets i told them they had to be restrained in order to have the visit. Would some vicks or other menthol product on your upper lip be helpful?

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DallasRN specializes in ICU/ER/Med-Surg/Case Management/Manageme.

132 Posts; 3,150 Profile Views

I don't know that Vicks, etc. would help.  The smoke odor (or whatever it is) gets into my nasal passages and that's it.  I'm done for.  It's gotten so I feel it almost immediately.

I'm good with pets (I'm a definite animal person) unless I'm doing wound care or the pet presents a trip/fall risk to patient. Just that blasted cigarette smoke.  I'm thinking of trying a mask.  I really hate to refuse a patient for this reason and not to mention that puts others in a bad position -  having to ask if there are smokers in the home.

Interesting the things we run in to in home care, isn't it?

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162 Posts; 7,251 Profile Views

Hi,

One thing that might help ( i use with pollen, allergy season) is a nasal rinse, like a neti pot/Neilmed sinus rinse. It flushes out your passages. good luck!

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fsudmbRN has 10 years experience.

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My agency won't allow me to refuse a visit, so I wear a mask in those homes. In addition, I ask that they not smoke while I am in the home. If they refuse, I tell them that I am sorry, but I have to leave their home. 

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