Smoking by Nurses Can Create Workplace Issues that Must be ...

  1. smoking by nurses can create workplace issues that must be ...

    medical news today - uk
    smoking by nurses can create workplace problems that must be addressed by health care systems to promote better interactions between nurses and their patients ...
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    About Brian, ADN

    Joined: Mar '98; Posts: 15,431; Likes: 16,404
    allnurses.com founder; from US
    Specialty: 18+ year(s) of experience in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele

    26 Comments

  3. by   oramar
    I once did a post about a big fight I had with a charge nurse that smoked. It was not the breaks she took but the fact she took all the other smokers on the floor out to smoke with her. Four times a day most of he NAs, nurses and secretaries disappeared. Of course the other problem was that I was working at a place at the time where managment was totally unsupportive of complaints. Any complaint by anyone was resented and the complainer tagged as a trouble maker. That was the real problem, not the smoking.
  4. by   hypnotic_nurse
    I don't know that nurses who smoke take MORE breaks -- most I've worked with just seem to be adamant about taking the breaks they are supposed to get. While I (and other nonsmokers) allow our break time to be filled up with tasks instead of making sure we take it.

    I do know that anyone who smokes would not be allowed to work in the place I work in now as some of our patients are extremely sensitive to the least scent, including perfume or strongly scented beauty products. Since working here, I've noticed that I'm much more sensitive to any scent, maybe because my nose is no longer being constantly bombarded.

    On the other hand, I am ambivalent about discontinuing smoking for adult psych inpatients. Yes, it's bad for them. But it is also something they look forward to as well, and seems to be calming for many.
  5. by   Plagueis
    Well, I guess hospitals can follow the lead of the company Weyco that just fired four people for smoking away from work, if they want to ensure that smoking doesn't affect nurses' duties. I can understand if they did their smoking on the job, but away from work? I wouldn't be surprised if hospitals and nursing homes started requiring all potential employees to be non-smokers.
  6. by   lapappey
    I sure don't take extra breaks ... I get the lion's share of my smoking done before and after work, with a couple of cigarettes during break and lunch---when I get break and lunch! A nurse who takes 'extra breaks', whether for smoking, talking on the phone, going to the bank, whatever either (a) is abandoning her patients or (b) has coworkers who are enabling her. Either one makes for a messed up situation.

    As for psych inpatients? I think they have bigger things to worry about, health-wise, than cigarettes, and if cigarettes contribute to a calm, orderly unit, good for cigarettes! Other ambulatory or w/c bound pts can ambulate downstairs and outside to smoke (and do so with all the impedimentia of their care--IV's, tele boxes, vac dsgs, you name it), and psych patients cannot---so give them a room. Stopping them from smoking smacks of paternalism.
  7. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from Tommybabe
    Well, I guess hospitals can follow the lead of the company Weyco that just fired four people for smoking away from work, if they want to ensure that smoking doesn't affect nurses' duties. I can understand if they did their smoking on the job, but away from work? I wouldn't be surprised if hospitals and nursing homes started requiring all potential employees to be non-smokers.
    Dont be, because there are already hospitals that do this. They test for nicotine in the urine, right along with other drugs in the urine screening prior to hire. Nicotine in the urine is an automatic NO HIRE. What they do past that point, I don't know. I guess they just figure they will find people who lied to the "do you smoke?" question on the application because they do not tell people upfront that the drug screen tests for nicotine.
  8. by   lapappey
    Whoa. We don't even do urine testing for DoA where I work. The day I have to give my urine to my employer without basis is the day that I am seeking a new place of employment. Let alone if they're testingfor nicotine.

    Quote from RN4NICU
    Dont be, because there are already hospitals that do this. They test for nicotine in the urine, right along with other drugs in the urine screening prior to hire. Nicotine in the urine is an automatic NO HIRE. What they do past that point, I don't know. I guess they just figure they will find people who lied to the "do you smoke?" question on the application because they do not tell people upfront that the drug screen tests for nicotine.
  9. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    The day I have to give my urine to my employer without basis is the day that I am seeking a new place of employment.
    I signed a consent, that said i could have"the cup thrown", meaning they can hand me a cup at anytime. I have no problem with this. I know i'm clean (i'm only on 2 meds, one of for female-related issues, the other for my SVT).
  10. by   lapappey
    Quote from Marie_LPN
    I signed a consent, that said i could have"the cup thrown", meaning they can hand me a cup at anytime. I have no problem with this. I know i'm clean (i'm only on 2 meds, one of for female-related issues, the other for my SVT).
    I'm clean, too. Hate drug abuse. But should I have to answer my employer if I have a migraine on my own time, and elect to take two Vicodin that I have left over in my medicine cabinet (no current Rx ... or, God forbid, borrow someone's), because I have run out of my sumitriptan, rather than suffer through? Obviously the vikes at work would be a no-no, but come on.

    Beyond any particular situation, I also look at it as a privacy concern. And if I show up at work an appear impaired, I expect the cup to be thrust in front of me. And if I refuse, I expect to be shown the door. Random testing is another matter, as far as I'm concerned.
    Last edit by lapappey on Feb 9, '05
  11. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from lapappey
    I'm clean, too. Hate drug abuse. But should I have to answer my employer if I have a migraine on my own time, and elect to take two Vicodin that I have left over in my medicine cabinet (no current Rx ... or, God forbid, borrow someone's), because I have run out of my sumitriptan, rather than suffer through? Obviously the vikes at work would be a no-no, but come on.

    Beyond any particular situation, I also look at it as a privacy concern. And if I show up at work an appear impaired, I expect the cup to be thrust in front of me. And if I refuse, I expect to be shown the door. Random testing is another matter, as far as I'm concerned.
    I would be out of luck for employment if I stuck to that. EVERY facility (LTC, surgery centers, hospitals, all of them) around here makes you consent to random testing as a condition for employment. However, only one of them actually conducts random testing (it's the same one that tests for nicotine - biggest h*llhole in town, too. I wouldn't take my dog there for care, much less go there for myself)
  12. by   Sis123
    RN4NICU, where are you? Could you say what state you are in?
  13. by   steelcityrn
    I really hate cigarettes....Was raised with two parents that smoked at least 2 packs a day each. When I see a nurse smoke it makes me sick. I would think it would be hard to teach your lungers to avoid smoking when you smell like a old butt. I wish for all of you who smoke to have success when you decide to quit. Your lungs will thank you for it!!
  14. by   LPN1974
    Quote from lapappey
    I'm clean, too. Hate drug abuse. But should I have to answer my employer if I have a migraine on my own time, and elect to take two Vicodin that I have left over in my medicine cabinet (no current Rx ... or, God forbid, borrow someone's), because I have run out of my sumitriptan, rather than suffer through? Obviously the vikes at work would be a no-no, but come on.

    Beyond any particular situation, I also look at it as a privacy concern. And if I show up at work an appear impaired, I expect the cup to be thrust in front of me. And if I refuse, I expect to be shown the door. Random testing is another matter, as far as I'm concerned.
    We have random testing at my facility. My DON has stressed many times in inservices, to NOT take meds that aren't prescribed for us. She says we WILL be fired if we are tested and something shows up that we don't have an RX for.
    So yes, we do have to answer to our employer at my facility if we get caught at it.
    Personally, I'm clean, so I don't have to worry about it.

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