'Unhealthy' nurses...bad examples? - page 10

I hope this post doesn't offend anyone,but I have noticed a lot of the nurses I know are overweight,smokers or both. Obviously people become nurses because they completed school,and are qualified to... Read More

  1. by   wilbur's mom
    Hi!
    I think being overweight, (don't smoke though, chol. ok), is connected to our overwhelming and never relenting work load, rotating shifts, double shifts, holiday potlucks at work, doing 5 things at once because the housekeeping and respiratory therapy staff is cut to the bone, stress, more stress and the growing fear of making med errors or judgement mistakes, when we work too much overtime because our relief has called in sick, or to make our pay more of a living wage, because there are so few nurses staying in the profession, and why I believe so many of us are overweight, and not healthy. Just check out some of the data coming out of the Nurse's Health Study. And yes, I am as overweight as the above run on sentence. :wink2:
  2. by   Margaretm
    Quote from ktwlpn
    Professional competency is important to me-that is what matters to the patient's outcome..
    Hey there everyone,http://www.littleflower.org/devotion...DATE=9/20/2006[BANANA][/BANANA]

    Bad habits are bad habits period. Everyone has them, no exceptions. That is fact. Yes, some are more obvious than others, some more harmful. We are a nation of overindulgers, why wouldn't nurses be any diffferent???
    We all like people for who they are.
    A great nurse is still a great nurse encompassing those qualities we need when we are ill.
    When we do not like someone ( eg. nurse) we will focus on the traits they have, that we do not like and I think that is where the judgement comes from, that is "unhealthy" nurses..bad example
    Maybe we should look at our own bad habits sometimes
  3. by   MD1211
    I would probly feel a bit hippocritical doing teaching on diet & exercise and smoking cessation if I myself didn't follow those rules. But personally, if that nurse is providing good care, I could care less what she does in her time away from the hospital, clinic, etc.
  4. by   bbfw2
    Wow, this discussion has certainly gone on and on. Here is a point to ponder; do you not suppose the life style (on duty I'm talking) of nurses contributes very much to each and every nurses' state of health? Something more of us should take forward to supervisors and hospital boards. We work too long of hours, with no appropriate length of breaks (stretch, nutritional, mental health). Everything we teach our clients, out patients, we are unable to do ourselves. Understaffing have anything to do with it? Quite probably.
    Perhaps the media could help us take this one on.
  5. by   Margaretm
    I agee 100%
    something about taking the high road, there are certainly many times where we need to be judgemental and/or critical
    A job well done is always a job well done
  6. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from NREMT-P/RN
    I don't think the OP meant for this thread to become a, "Well, my ___ is doing just great, despite ___ ...." or whatever. But, hey GREAT and good for all of you that have the success stories.

    I think the intent was to ask if healthcare providers that are overweight/obese (sometimes obviously unhealthy) or smokers (also sometimes obviously unhealthy) set a "bad example" as they care for patients.

    Well, the simple answer is YES. Of course, it is not just a "bad example", but both are proven to have a negative effect on health (yes, I know there are great exceptions, but can't we agree that neither practice ENHANCES health?)

    As a nurse I always offer and place an emphasis on patient education - my solution is that education should always be practiced with empathy. I recognize that it is difficult to stop smoking (I've never smoked - but, I've seen many struggle to quit). I also recognize that reaching a healthy body weight can be a struggle too. I enjoy the feeling that aerobic activity gives me (but I find I have to make the time, at times). I'm aware that it is a struggle for many to get started. Most of us have very demanding lives, and finding the "time" or keeping the motivation can be tough. So I offer education to extent that my patients "want" it. It is always a personal decision.

    Now, to the brass tacks.

    SMOKING - Many hospital campuses are becoming "smoke free". Hurrah!
    I do not smoke. I will avoid being near smokers if at all possible. There are more non-smokers than smokers - so not to open up WWIII here - I think if you want to smoke that's fine. I support free choice in life. But I should not have to alter my practice (by odor or break issues) based on your decision. But, my issues are this --- for the record, I have seen truly excellent clinicians that choose to smoke. This is not a competency issue.

    I cannot imagine being "sick" and trapped in a hospital bed and having my "nurse" who has just been on the "ciggy" break coming in to care for me reeking of cigarettes. The smell alone on the uniform, hair and breath can be overwhelming. And it is proven that "precipitants" from smoke remain on clothes and can provoke RAD and asthma in fragile populations.

    As to my care - I would most likely ask for another nurse to care for me (no kidding - if I'm sick enough to be in the hospital, I'm just sick enough that although I would never be abusive or unkind - the smell just sickens me). Note that I would just be direct about the reason though.

    As to those who smoke and then provide direct care to those "fragile" patients, I guess my question is WHY would you put your patients at risk?

    WEIGHT MATTERS - I've been a bit fluffy before and it does make doing a physical job more difficult. If you think weight DOES NOT impact your practice as a nurse you are wrong. It hurts your knees, hips and heart. I know many an excellent nurse that struggles with weight and most will admit that ...

    What image does it project to the patient and family if every time their "nurse" enters the room they are huffing/puffing and sweaty just as they meet the demands of their job. If moving around the (sometimes very crowded) small patient room becomes a challenge, even as you provide the most basic patient care.

    I think patients (and families) all notice these things - you may be the most excellent of all clinicians, but what would be be like if we cared for ourselves as well as we care for our patients?

    What image would you project?
    What image would you want to project?

    Think about it.

    Stay Safe! Practice Safe! Be Healthy!
    OUTSTANDING POST!!!

  7. by   acosgro
    Different strokes for different folks. Some will judge by us by our appearance while others will be more interested in our knowledge, skill and the caring nature of our heart. Perform your job well and show you care and even those who judge by appearance will come around.
  8. by   beckybee
    I am not overweight, but smoke....the only flak I ever received was from co-workers. Yes, I do know better, it's just a habit that's hard to break.
  9. by   banditrn
    Quote from NREMT-P/RN

    As to my care - I would most likely ask for another nurse to care for me (no kidding - if I'm sick enough to be in the hospital, I'm just sick enough that although I would never be abusive or unkind - the smell just sickens me). Note that I would just be direct about the reason though.
    While I don't smoke 'I'd' be more likely to ask them to leave if they came in smelling of some of that foul lotion that some of them love to slather on - or aftershave - all that stuff makes me sicker than a dog, so I imagine it's a matter of perception
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from Corvette Guy
    I have a hobby... physical fitness & wellness. :wink2:
    :yeahthat:
  11. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from acosgro
    Different strokes for different folks. Some will judge by us by our appearance while others will be more interested in our knowledge, skill and the caring nature of our heart. Perform your job well and show you care and even those who judge by appearance will come around.
    I pass judgement on no one, including patients, co-workers, and people I pass on the street. Setting an example and being judged are two seperate animals.

    PEACE
  12. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Quote from NREMT-P/RN
    I don't think the OP meant for this thread to become a, "Well, my ___ is doing just great, despite ___ ...." or whatever. But, hey GREAT and good for all of you that have the success stories.

    I think the intent was to ask if healthcare providers that are overweight/obese (sometimes obviously unhealthy) or smokers (also sometimes obviously unhealthy) set a "bad example" as they care for patients.

    Well, the simple answer is YES. Of course, it is not just a "bad example", but both are proven to have a negative effect on health (yes, I know there are great exceptions, but can't we agree that neither practice ENHANCES health?)

    As a nurse I always offer and place an emphasis on patient education - my solution is that education should always be practiced with empathy. I recognize that it is difficult to stop smoking (I've never smoked - but, I've seen many struggle to quit). I also recognize that reaching a healthy body weight can be a struggle too. I enjoy the feeling that aerobic activity gives me (but I find I have to make the time, at times). I'm aware that it is a struggle for many to get started. Most of us have very demanding lives, and finding the "time" or keeping the motivation can be tough. So I offer education to extent that my patients "want" it. It is always a personal decision.

    Now, to the brass tacks.

    SMOKING - Many hospital campuses are becoming "smoke free". Hurrah!
    I do not smoke. I will avoid being near smokers if at all possible. There are more non-smokers than smokers - so not to open up WWIII here - I think if you want to smoke that's fine. I support free choice in life. But I should not have to alter my practice (by odor or break issues) based on your decision. But, my issues are this --- for the record, I have seen truly excellent clinicians that choose to smoke. This is not a competency issue.

    I cannot imagine being "sick" and trapped in a hospital bed and having my "nurse" who has just been on the "ciggy" break coming in to care for me reeking of cigarettes. The smell alone on the uniform, hair and breath can be overwhelming. And it is proven that "precipitants" from smoke remain on clothes and can provoke RAD and asthma in fragile populations.

    As to my care - I would most likely ask for another nurse to care for me (no kidding - if I'm sick enough to be in the hospital, I'm just sick enough that although I would never be abusive or unkind - the smell just sickens me). Note that I would just be direct about the reason though.

    As to those who smoke and then provide direct care to those "fragile" patients, I guess my question is WHY would you put your patients at risk?

    WEIGHT MATTERS - I've been a bit fluffy before and it does make doing a physical job more difficult. If you think weight DOES NOT impact your practice as a nurse you are wrong. It hurts your knees, hips and heart. I know many an excellent nurse that struggles with weight and most will admit that ...

    What image does it project to the patient and family if every time their "nurse" enters the room they are huffing/puffing and sweaty just as they meet the demands of their job. If moving around the (sometimes very crowded) small patient room becomes a challenge, even as you provide the most basic patient care.

    I think patients (and families) all notice these things - you may be the most excellent of all clinicians, but what would be be like if we cared for ourselves as well as we care for our patients?

    What image would you project?
    What image would you want to project?

    Think about it.

    Stay Safe! Practice Safe! Be Healthy!


    Excellent post.
  13. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 42 (6:23 EST)

    Can't tell me that this is totally a 'live and let live' issue.

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