Comments about personal appearance

Posted
by AOx1 AOx1 Member Educator Nurse

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience.

Uuugh! Ever wonder why patients feel the need to comment on personal appearances of the staff? I was at work last night and my patient asked "What's wrong with you?" and when I asked what she meant, asked point-blank if I was ill because I am "too thin." I am a healthy weight, same as in high school. My oh so helpful coworker piped up "She's a vegan!" after which I got to endure a long lecture about how "unhealthy" my lifestyle choices are by my patient, a 400+ lb cardiac pt. I just wanted to say "I don't make fun of your appearance, please do the same!"

This seems so common! Why on earth do people feel this is necessary? More a vent than anything.... It was a looong night! This and people who try to tell you how to do your job (but aren't nurses) drive me nuts! And no, I don't need a transfusion, I'm Irish!

gentlegiver

gentlegiver, ASN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Geriatrics. 848 Posts

At times like that don't you wish you could say "and your lifestyle choises that got you to where you are now are better... HOW?????"

Huggs for your bad night!

2011NursingStudent

2011NursingStudent

346 Posts

Maybe projecting the weight issue to thin people makes her feel better about her weight? I think its called "denial".

=)

AOx1

AOx1

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience. 3 Articles; 961 Posts

Thanks!!! Hugs are most welcome! *Sigh* At one point I just wanted to throttle her.... She hit the light and asked for her nurse "the sickly looking redhead" lol. Um, thanks!

canesdukegirl, BSN, RN

Specializes in Trauma Surgery, Nursing Management. Has 14 years experience. 8 Articles; 2,543 Posts

People in general notice the things that they WANT. They take note of nice jewelry that someone is wearing, or shoes that they wish they had. Some will actually comment on it. Most just admire and wish they had the same thing.

Your pt commented on your figure because she probably wants the same figure. She knows that being 400# is not healthy. I agree that she should not have gone into a lecture about your being vegan, but she was spouting off because she was probably envious and wanted to make herself feel better by judging you on your lifestyle choice.

This tells me that she already feels bad about herself. She has a lot to endure from society simply by being overweight. Let it go, and be thankful that you have chosen a healthy eating regimen that works for you. I know that you were venting...and probably didn't need to hear my advice. Vent away sista!

Sorry you had such a frustrating night, dear.

stephie_love

stephie_love

Specializes in L&D. 100 Posts

I consistently get the "ARE YOU EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO CARE FOR ME" comment...I'm 31!

Guess I shouldn't complain...heheee...but, it still makes me feel as thought the person thinks I am inept to provide good care!

Shrug it off, dear! Some people run without a filter on their mouth :doh:

AOx1

AOx1

Specializes in ER, ICU, Education. Has 15 years experience. 3 Articles; 961 Posts

Advice is always welcome! Although I am mainly just whining. Good point about the shoes....total shoe fiend here and I stare at other people's shoes ALL the time.

headinsandRN

headinsandRN

138 Posts

Any documentation available to teach about discharge instructions for chf or morbid obesity?

Maybe this will help put things in perspective and turn on the lights for that dimly lit house that patient lives in.

Edited by headinsandRN

Old.Timer

Old.Timer

Has 25ish years experience. 338 Posts

Thanks!!! Hugs are most welcome! *Sigh* At one point I just wanted to throttle her.... She hit the light and asked for her nurse "the sickly looking redhead" lol. Um, thanks!

As far as a response goes , maybe something like:

"oh, how sweet of you to take an interest in me...... but I'm much more interested in checking on you and seeing how you are doing. :) Let's take your vitals and see how that BP is doing" ;);)

netglow, ASN, RN

4,412 Posts

Yeah, I'm naturally thin, not emaciated, but on the thin side. I can eat ANYBODY under the table. I've pretty much retained that ability and only go up like 6-10lbs every so often then I settle down. Had one of my clients say something jokingly about how I must be bulemic if I can truly eat like I do and not get fat :rolleyes:

Blackheartednurse

Blackheartednurse

1,216 Posts

Heh, I get commented on my looks a lot-you are too thin, you are this and that-I dont let it bother me. I also get hit on on the streets (I do home health care) and at times it can be quiet uncomfortable...

tyvin, BSN, RN

Specializes in Hospice / Psych / RNAC. 1,620 Posts

As said; people will notice that which they covet. I like the one about projection as well (LOL).............I was a fat eating nothing but meat human until I went to college in a yuppie vegetarian town (Ashland, OR). I then (due to the influence of the surrounding environment) turned vegetarian.

I had my fun; now days I can barely walk by the rows of meat in a grocery store. It reminds me of all those horrible videos on how we as a planet procure our meat (I wish I'ld never seen them). I did turn in my vegetarian card and now eat hamburgers and chicken, fish, etc... on a very low scale and local free range animals when possible. I feel better and have lost my high blood pressure that was due to the extra 40 lbs I was carrying around (essential HBP). I didn't essentially need it (LOL). It's a HBP joke nursing students (look it up) anyway.......

You sound like you love life and the jealously only occasionally bothers you. It's alright; you're as good as you feel. :up: