views on overweight nurses - page 2

I am getting ready to start nursing school and am overweight. as a matter of fact I am considered morbidly obese. my question is what are your views on nurses who are overweight and how does/can it... Read More

  1. by   VampyrSlayer
    But it's accurate for me. Although I do have quite a bit of muscle under my padding (I'm quite strong) it definitely is not what is tipping the scales.
  2. by   EMR*LPN
    I was refused entry into a 3 year RN diploma program because my weight "was not in proportion to my height" I would need to be 7 feet tall for that to happen. LOL. Anyway, I applied for and was accepted into an LPN program and never had the desire to return for my RN. That being said, my weight has fluctuated drastically through out the 30+ years in my career. And only recently, because I travel a lot, has it become an issue, which I am working to rectify. Good luck to you.
  3. by   msmit108
    thank you all so much for your support and honesty. I am glad I became w member here
  4. by   RN2BE93
    I don't have any negative views on overweight nurses, we are human. And we all come in different shapes, sizes, and colors. As long as you can be an effective and efficient nurse who genuinely cares about your patients then who gives a hoot. Ya know. And with your background in EMS, I think you will do just fine. There's always gonna be people that judge you right off back but you just have to shake the haters off. If you're comfortable in your skin and healthy then keep on keeping on. But if you're not healthy, just do simple changes to adjust your diet. I struggle with my weight too, so I completely understand. Modifying your diet is easier said than done. Trust me, I know all to well about that too lol but do it for yourself. Good luck in nursing school!
  5. by   msmit108
    thank you ! I am making small changes because based on what you all are saying my weight could get in the way of pt care and I do bot want that
  6. by   motherof3sons
    A few months ago we had a very obese nurse come to where I work. She shouldn't have been hired b/c she couldn't move well due to her weigh. She had to have something to lean against when standing, she couldn't get down the hallway quickly for a resident who fell, she had to sit down everytime she went into a resident's room and so on. She couldn't go downstairs to the supply closet and relied on CNA's to get her supplies. She ended up being fired for reasons not to do with her weight.
    I am overweight and I see how my weight could be seen as an obstacle for work but I still get down on my knees to assess a person who has fallen, run if needed, reach, pull or push,ect.
    If you are unable to get up/down, kneel, squat and lift, ect then there should be some reconsideration, if not then go for it!
  7. by   mmc51264
    I am older and overweight. Sometimes I feel invisible, the new residents know the younger nurses, not me, but I also don't have to put up with the butt grabbing, inappropriate comments, lack of respect d/t youth. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the other nurses, in fact I get very protective of the younger ones who get bullied by patients.
    I can relate to many of my patients and the to me. Some are less self-conscious being around me. I am strong, worked on a farm for years before being a nurse. I have great body mechanics and know how to use my size for leverage moving ortho pts w/o getting hurt.
    It takes all kinds. We all have something to give.
  8. by   Here.I.Stand
    In my setting (surgical/trauma/neuro ICU), I can honestly say we spend 0 minutes educating people on how/why to lose weight. It's just not a priority at the point in time when we see our pts.

    I'm not sure in other settings if or to what extent pts disregard the advice of overweight nurses; I imagine it would depend on the pt. One who is truly motivated for change will be more open to teaching/support in this area. I once worked w/ an RD who wasn't skinny, but had lost 40 lbs through a lot of effort; she was able to use her success to help motivate people. "If I can do it, anyone can. Yes I'm an RD so I knew what things I SHOULD be doing, but I love candy bars and fast food!" type of thing.

    A pt who is not will probably be more likely to focus on this hypocrite in scrubs, rather than on him/herself. They may see your physique as an excuse--"S/he is an RN and doesn't even make these changes," but honestly that is on them. Everyone ultimately is personally accountable for lifestyle choices.

    On the topic of teaching/coaching in the wt loss area though, I wouldn't think it would be effective to just waltz into a pt's room and start educating them on wt loss. A better approach is to ask if this is a goal for them, and would they like some info and support? (I am almost willing to guarantee that they already know being obese increases their risk for x, y, & z. They've probably heard it a million and one times already.) You *may* then choose to say something about putting some of the tips into practice for yourself--it may or may not enhance rapport with the pt, but if nothing else you acknowledge the importance of practicing the things you're preaching.

    Of course, maybe your pts will be in a place where they're truly not giving a second thought to their RN's appearance.

    Otherwise, like the previous posters have said, as long as you're physically able to meet the job requirements, you should be fine.
  9. by   J Colt
    I am also morbidly obese--the last few years I've ranged from 50-70lbs over what the BMI says is in my healthy weight range. I also think of myself as someone who is "functional fat." Yes, my feet are extra sore at the end of the shift. Sometimes my back hurts, as I carry most of my weight in my front. But I can and do squat, bend over, lift, and run. I work in high-risk L&D, so the running happens most days, in fact. I've never felt judged by my patients for my obesity. All they really want is someone who is compassionate and competent.
    I think I can honestly say that I wouldn't be a better nurse if I lost weight--but I would probably feel less sore at the end of the day.
  10. by   Nola009
    If you're able to run down a hall and perform CPR, I couldn't care less what your weight is.