'Unhealthy' nurses...bad examples? - page 13

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   CuriousMe
    Quote from Corvette Guy
    Your right, smoking/obesity does not have a direct correlation with nursing skills, however it does have an impact on the example we nurses set regards to wellness & good health.

    IMHO, I think the reason so many here are offended is due to a misunderstanding. The way I interpret the title of this thread; Unhealthy nurses...bad examples?, has nothing whatsoever to do with the nursing skills a nurse does or does not possess.

    For example; If, an auto mechanic owned a car that ran poorly would some question his/her abilities as an auto mechanic? Maybe the concern would be incorrect since the auto mechanic in question is known by his/her regular customers to be an outstanding auto mechanic. If an Orthodonist had terribly crooked teeth would that cause some concern? Again, maybe he/she is an excellent orthodontist. Yet, would new clients be concerned. Would they be passing judgement, I don't think so... JMHO.

    If a nurse specializes in oncology, yet is a heavy smoker & carries the lingering odor as proof, then would not family members of a dying patient of lung adenocarcinoma be a little concerned... would they be passing judgement... I don't think so, but JMHO.

    If an RN specializes in bariatric surgery clients, then should this nurse be obese, too? On the otherhand, it is true we all have our own issues and nothing can replace compassion, nursing skills, and empathy for one another.

    Nonetheless, it is good that we all in our own way practice wellness & good health.
    Ok, I'm pretty tired tonight (lots of OT, I'll come far to close to 70 hrs this week :|) so I don't know if this will make as much sense as I'd like.

    There's an old saying, "The cobbler's children have no shoes". It's a common thing for whatever you specialize in to suffer the most in your life. The fact that my auto-mechanic's car doesn't sound great doesn't absolutely mean that he doesn't know how to take care of it, it could be that he doesn't have time to take care of it. And yes, I think if you decide the level of his professional skill from the state of his car, that is judgemental (you seemed to phrase all those questions as rhetorical, as if there was only one right answer). I don't think I have to right to inspect my plumber's plumbing....he's a grown man and gets to make his own decisions. I think that what you do for yourself is not necessarily what you know how to do for others.

    The first thing we tend to do (well I know I do anyway) is take on a commitment to someone else and let one to myself slide. So, what we do for ourselves, is often a far worse job than we would ever do for anyone else.

    Peace,
    Cathie
  2. by   mellomom
    Interesting thread. I appreciate the many atriculate and thoughtful comments.

    I absolutely do not think we should pander to our patients and their biases. I've had patients who are racist, too - and I ignore their comments just as I would ignore any ignorant comments about my appearance. I've had patients who have refused to be cared for by a man, "a foreigner," a woman; who think their caregiver is incompetent because s/he is too young or old, and on and on.

    Patients often ask me the nationality of my coworkers, and I smile and say, "I am fortunate to work with such outstanding people." The message is received. The question is not usually asked again.

    I aim to deal with people politely and professionally. I expect that in return.
    Ultimately, what other people think of me is of much less interest to me than what I think about myself.
  3. by   Elisheva
    I wonder how many nurses there would be if all the nurses who were overweight or smokers left the profession. Would the nurses who remained be the better nurses?

    I wonder if nursing schools should use weight/smoking as a criteria for entry into their programs. But...why stop there? How about gambling, profanity, involvement in abusive relationships, social drinking, multiple sexual partners, or just bad taste?

    You can't legislate morality or personal habits. You can educate and advocate and maybe people will change their behaviors but to generalize and call an entire group of nurses who are overweight or smoke "the rogues of the profession" is uncalled for. The definition of rogue is "vagrant, tramp, dishonest or worthless person." And, yes, this was in an earlier post, and, yes, it does seem to have disappeared. Merits an apology, I think.
    Last edit by Elisheva on Sep 21, '06
  4. by   georgeswife
    Actually I wish that someone would have gotten after me when I was in my 20's and 30's about losing weight and exercising. I have lost 75# over the last 3 years and have just recently started walking almost everday. I take my own healthy food to work. But obesity's complications have caused me to have 7 knee surgeries and now have spinal stenosis. Losing weight has caused me to get rid of the 2 bulging disks that I had but these problems are no fun. I am 52 and work the night shift at a nursing home as it is the easiest on me with my physical problems.
  5. by   Diahni
    Its common knowledge that smoking and/or obesity can kill you,but I would think those in the healthcare field would have a more acute idea of how health is jeopardized by these things. I am asking one out of curiousity,and secondly because I myself am overweight. I was just wondering if anybody has ever gotten any flak from patients or higher-ups? Or do you feel you aren't taken as seriously because of how you look,or because you need a cigarette break? I hope this hasn't happened,since its discriminatory and wrong,but we all know that doesn't mean much! [/quote]

    Let's face it, America in general needs to knock off a few pounds. And yes, nursing can be stressful - many nurses do smoke - I'm in my last year of nursing school, and half the class pops out for a butt during breaks. That said, people don't change bad habits by others nagging them. You'd think we'd be more likely to not smoke, not just because we know the health risks intimately, but because we see patients with smoking-related illnesses. The solution? By all means bring up the subject. Allnurses.com is the forum, not nagging patients or supervisors.
    Diahni
  6. by   Jonny7
    i am not sure why but now that i am over 40 i find it much harder to make time and get motivated to exercise. i have been in really great shape at numerous points in my life and so i know i can do it.

    you would think that you should get better at the struggle of life with practice, however even for nurses this is seldom the case.

    good luck to all in getting your groove on though.
  7. by   Holdingthebag
    Crazy, just plain crazy and super judgemental.I too would rather have an overweight smoker taking care of me, instead of a skinney one that doesn't smoke, if she sat on her butt and let her patients feel neglected!!!!!
  8. by   Diahni
    [On the other hand (following your lead), I think Clinton did a much better job than Bush Sr, although the later did work with increasing exercise awareness and was in great shape, while the former would jog to McDonalds.[/quote]

    To quote my daughter, when my skinny husband would try to console her, "He's not squishy enough!"
    Diahni
  9. by   slinkeecat
    I could give a rat's tushy.....
    I just want the nurse to be competent...As long as the nurse is dressed appropriately and gets her work done that's just fine and dandy if she/he smokes and eats donuts......
    I have never been reprimanded for my weight or smoking....
    sheesh....
  10. by   juliaj75
    I just one quick response... We are all nurses right? We know that often times that a person can do all they can work out eat right and gentics just dictates that they will be heavier... Im not talking morbidly obese... but overweight.. I work out and play hard and still have a weight issue.. again not morbidly obese... but I have tried every thing to loose weight and as my doctor says as long as you eat healthy and dont put your self at risk by being morbidly obese then you are just a bigger gal. I would rather enjoy my life then die trying to fit into someone elses image of what is thin.

    A typical nursing student gains 20 lbs during school
  11. by   kalayaan
    Quote from Corvette Guy

    Nonetheless, it is good that we all in our own way practice wellness & good health.
    were missing the point here. its not fair to say that obese and smoker nurses are incompetent. its not a race or game as to how much better they are than the non-obese and non smokers.

    both issues are related to will power. you have to really want it and you have to really act on it to counter it.

    these issues are issues bec these are health issues and we are nurses in the healthcare field and we are role models. we have to realize that any 'flak' that came out of this forum is here bec we all should practice "wellness & good health".
  12. by   Diahni
    Quote from mercyteapot
    My husband was hospitalized for cardiac s/s and I couldn't believe what they brought him for dinner. Well, actually I have no idea what it was, but it was covered in gelatinous glop and could not possibly have part of a heart healthy diet. At least he would have enjoyed the pepperoni pizza.
    Not to be off topic, but I make my pizza from store-bought pizza dough, use tomato sauce and low fat cheese, topped with lots of veggies and very healthy olive oil. Let's not bash a great quick dinner that everyone loves!
    Hell, you can even get low fat pepperoni, and even vegan pepperoni, which isn't that bad.
    Diahni
  13. by   Corvette Guy
    Quote from Elisheva
    I wonder how many nurses there would be if all the nurses who were overweight or smokers left the profession. Would the nurses who remained be the better nurses?

    I wonder if nursing schools should use weight/smoking as a criteria for entry into their programs. But...why stop there? How about gambling, profanity, involvement in abusive relationships, social drinking, multiple sexual partners, or just bad taste?

    You can't legislate morality or personal habits. You can educate and advocate and maybe people will change their behaviors but to generalize and call an entire group of nurses who are overweight or smoke "the rogues of the profession" is uncalled for. The definition of rogue is "vagrant, tramp, dishonest or worthless person." And, yes, this was in an earlier post, and, yes, it does seem to have disappeared. Merits an apology, I think.
    Yes, I agree my earlier post warrants an apology. Therefore, please allow me to offer my most sincere apologies. I was guilty of misuse of the english language. My intent was to use the words hypocrtical rogue together as one thought, but later realized even that was inappropriate. I'm thankful one of the Mods via PM brought it to my attention how the phrase came across. So, I made an edit [Last edited by Corvette Guy : Yesterday at 01:26 PM. Reason: Upon Moderator request & alleviate any further misunderstanding...] I can assure I did not mean to inflict any deep wounds.

    I've tried to communicate my thoughts on this matter of health care professionals and bad habits of smoking, substance abuse, excessive eating to the point of obesity and the bad example of wellness such indicates. I never meant to imply any of these bad habits indicated, or had a prevalent correlation with poor nursing skills, lack of compassion, or empathy for their patient. All along I've maintained that such bad habits provide a bad example of wellness, and nothing more & nothing less.

    Again, my deepest apologies for any unintentional harm that I've caused.

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