Setting a bad example? - page 7

I am curious about what people think about working nurses who are extremely out of shape, obese, smokers, etc. I work in a CVICU where a good portion of the nurses are overweight and out of shape,... Read More

  1. by   LilgirlRN
    You want the good looking nurse to take care of you or you want the one who knows her/his ****? You don't always get both, very rarely as a matter of fact.
  2. by   Q.
    Just to bring up a point:

    Healthy does not equal good looking. Being physically attractive has nothing to do with practicing healthy habits.

    I think too many people think that healthy = beautiful, and thus get defensive about the whole concept.
  3. by   defibvt
    Originally posted by thisnurse
    seeing as how customer service is such a big part of our jobs now, how bout we let patients order their nurses from a nurse menu

    1. blonde, brunette, redhead, other
    2. diploma, adn, bsn, masters, other
    3. smoking, nonsmoking,other
    4. petite, small, medium, large, extra large, other
    5. PERKY, serious, ditzy, other
    6. male, female, other
    Sarcasm. I love it. You hit the nail on the head. What it comes down to is a personal choice. How I lead my life outside of work is my business, as long as, it doesn't affect the quality of patient care.

    I too work in an ICU, and I am not finding those teaching moments as Matt described. Most of my patients are sleeping at night or I "encourage" them too.
  4. by   OneChattyNurse
    Since I am both overweight and a smoker, I was not going to reply to this post for fear of being thought of as a defensive, fat, smoker. But...I feel I must make a couple of points.

    1) I have seen MANY nurses (that are all different sizes) that are very well groomed and extremely professional. On the other hand, I have seen MANY nurses (again, all different sizes) that are quite unkept, have wrinkled uniforms, and are downright nasty individuals, let alone nurses! As a patient, I would much rather have a professional, well kept, pleasant nurse caring for me regardless of his/her size.

    2) As far a being a role model or setting a good example for my patients goes........I am an overweight, smoking nurse...BUT...I do not drink excessively, do drugs, I am clean, well groomed, I am happily married with 2 great kids who I do not neglect, I do not cheat on my husband, and I am a very caring compassionate individual. I guess what I am trying to say is that I can be a very good role model for my patients in some ways even though I am overweight and I happen to smoke.

    3) I realize that eating disorders in which people are overweight are the most visible, there are also others that are just as serious, but do not have the overt negative views. How can an aneorexic or bulemic possibly be able to give appropriate patient education effectively since he/she does not practice healthy eating habits. This scenario does not have the negative connotations as the obese person because (except for extreme cases) these people LOOK like what society has deemed as normal.

    Anyway...I just felt like putting in my 2 cents worth.

  5. by   rosy
    Originally posted by oramar
    I thought all the nurses at Lake Woebegone were above average.
    Only the ones who grew up there
  6. by   mcl4
    Again, this conversation stems from your apparent surprise that teaching (on any unit) is done (ever) on night shift. Teaching is done 24/7 on Labor and Delivery. And I don't think we are bad nurses and you should have been MORE shocked if we would have sent them home rested, but CLUELESS about thier own body and thier baby. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I never stated you are bad nurses and I spoke from my own experience. I also believe most, not all, moms are better educated today about their bodies and seek out information during their pregnancy.
  7. by   mcl4
    You are the one who brought up the notion that teaching in the middle of the night was somehow odd and that instead we should be promoting sleep. Maybe on surgical units that may be true, however, even having NOT floated to another unit I am quite aware that things may be different. I am shocked that you even floated to post-partum, because it is more than bringing in babies and checking bands. I have gotten most of my teaching done during breastfeeding interactions - and it's more than how to latch on - but about adequate nutrition for the mom which translates into adequate nutrition for the infant. Moms have to increase their caloric intake by 500kcals/day while breastfeeding, also need to increase fluid intake. Also smoking is extremely discouraged while breastfeeding. Post-partum moms need to exercise if they want to retain their shape prior to delivery, but need to know when they've had enough in relation to increase bleeding. There are a whole host of things that need to be taught to moms in the short 24 hour period. I would be doing them a disservice if I didn't teach them. And videos don't always cut it.

    No, I don't go in a 2am and click on the lights and begin lecturing. When I bring babies in for beastfeeding, or when it's time for their assessments, or for god's sake, some mom's deliver at 11pm and are still in recovery at 2am. Teaching is done THEN. So no, sleep is not primary right after birth and during breastfeeding (sorry, that's life) - if anything, sleep can be done during the day depending on what time the patient delivered.

    This is the impression you've given me is that you go in, light up the room and lecture moms for a significant period of time at 2 a.m. I float to the nursery and each of the mothers on the floor also have another nurses assigned to them that does their assessment. I've been in the rooms at the times of assessments and while they will answer questions and help the moms, they do not go into lengthy conversations about their diet and exercise since it done during waking hours unless asked. If you know anything about sleep, our bodies are programmed to sleep during the night. Teaching can be done during the day since patients are more awake and there is more staff to do so. In addition, my impression is most moms, like myself, are very tired during transition and after delivery. I'm not seeing this as an opportune time for teaching other then pertinent information needed at that time. Perhaps for some moms, but I'm guessing many are exhausted especially if they had a lengthy labor. I also believe moms know smoking isn't good for themselves as well as the dangers of smoking around babies and nutrition is important PP.

    You also must remember that moms are able to call their physicians office or the floor when they get home if any problem arises that they have questions. Mothers are not left out there by themselves after they go home and this is part of discharge instructions. If there are problems breastfeeding, lactation nurses are available now at many hospitals and they too will follow up with the progress of the moms at home. My point is that teaching is done well passed discharge by clinic nurses and physicians.
  8. by   mcl4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Susy K
    [B]No, I haven't floated to any other unit - because I am a Labor and Delivery nurse. I would be useless to an ICU, just as an ICU nurse would be useless to Labor and Delivery.

    Nurses, including labor and delivery nurses, float throughout the hospital at some facilities. They are not assigned ICU patients, but they are expected to be able to care for a patient on a telemetry, surgical, medical or pediatric floor. These nurses do great both in labor and delivery as well as being on other stations. After all, they didn't just go to nursing school to be a L&D nurses and it is a good way to keep up the other skills that they learnt in nursing.
  9. by   mcl4
    Think of this: People will joke about getting marriage or sexual advice from a Catholic priest, saying, "Well, how would he know what he's talking about?" I have a feeling that some patients might feel the same way about getting health information from an overweight, or smoking, nurse. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Priest are asked about the moral issues with sexual advice and just because a priest has never married, does not mean they can not help a couple through a difficult time in a marriage. I'm fairly sure they have an educational background in counseling.
  10. by   SHANA BANANNA
    I completely agree with this one. let's be many fat DR's have i had tell me to eat well and many who were skinny as a rail, lived on tuna and plain lettuce have told me the same thing? Lots also. I have my own brain, I figure it out for myself. and lets not leave chemical dependency out of the picture..........and we all know you cannot see that on the outside. sooooo for me? I'd rather eat an oreo now and again and be content..........I give my pts 110% no matter how I look..that's the bottom line.......besides. I HATE TUNA! )

    Originally posted by fergus51
    I think we tend to forget that weight does not equal health. The least healthy nurse on our unit is as skinny as can be, but outeats her husband at MacDonalds and smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish. I could care less if a nurse is overweight or smokes as long as she does her job. If anything I would think a patient is better able to relate to a nurse with some faults rather than a superhuman
  11. by   mcl4
    Finally, my co-workers do know my position on this topic. We frequently have conversations about how to better influence our patients. Actually, our conversations are much more constructive than this one is turning out to be. [/B][/QUOTE]

    Perhaps one of the overweight, out of shape, smoking nurses at North can post these constructive conversations on this board Matt. Perhaps you can add the nurses who have an associate degree in nursing give their thoughts on how you've judged their level of education.
  12. by   Q.

    I really liked your post. I did. But I do want to point out the parallel you made r/t health, and a well-groomed, professional nurse. Did you intend to make them related? Because they aren't.

    The question was about health, not attractiveness. They are not one in the same.
  13. by   mcl4
    That's why, thanks for your input. And you too VAC. Awesome comment about how birth and breastfeeding ARE major lifestyle changes.

    One in which nurses in L&D or PP plays a small role in. Teaching goes well beyond the hospital stay which will influence parents through the next eighteen years and beyond. I
    think you have a minimal role over a patient in the hospital for six hours, a day or two and in reality health professionals in a clinic setting will have far more reaching influences
    in teaching them about health issues in their families lives. I would change this opinion if a child was in NICU where these nurses do impact these families with the length of the
    babies stay.

    A baby at two months, mothers are not going to call their L&D nurse with questions, they call their clinics and talk to these nurses. Mothers tend to develop relationships and receive much of their teaching from a clinic nurses or their family physician especially if they have chronically ill children. A peds nurse might also develop a relationship/influence on a family if there child is in the hospital often. That is why many families invest time in searching for a ped/family physician since this relationship is so important with this major life change when a child is born.