Obesity in the hospital

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husker-nurse

husker-nurse, LPN, LVN

Specializes in med-surg. Has 8 years experience. 230 Posts

I'm not thin. My family is not thin, and I know and see many people (including nurses) every day who are not thin. I don't find that obese patients are more of a challenge, or ruder than any other patient. But my opinion doesn't really matter because I am an RN, and as an RN, I should not judge my patients. I also feel I should not insult, humiliate or condemn my patients.

Really, you guys, this thread is embarrassing...I always considered our profession to be above this.

I have no intention of humiliating any patient. My main concern is, when I have anywhere from 6-9 patients to care for in an 8 hour time frame, how many of my other patients will get less care than they deserve because of the extra time that the extremely obese patient demands? Not to mention the other staff members' patients who will get less care because they are kind enough to help me with this patient.....

CHATSDALE

CHATSDALE

4,177 Posts

there were several things that came up in the thread....hospitals ,except in icu or other critical care units, do not take into account the amount of time a patient will need when assigning nurses...in one hospital a report q am had to be filled out with the number on 'bad' pts several items were factored in, such as dressing changes, T-C-DB, etc...but when it came to assignments you got the number of pts divided by number of nurses...if you were lucky you worked with someone who would pitch in if you were overloaded...if an obese pt needs more care ideally you should get more health...please no groaning...i know reality as well as you

i do hope that there is more research which will help eliminate the problem..food dependency is more difficult to overcome than cigarettes or ethanol etc because you can give up the others but you have to eat to survive

Celia M

Celia M, ASN, RN

Specializes in M/S/Tele, Home Health, Gen ICU. Has 26 years experience. 212 Posts

Yes you will be taught to lift and position patients properly in school. i t is a very important lesson. Always follow the steps you were taught, never try to do it alone, take the time you need to do it properly and use all the help and equipment you need. Also staying strong and flexible is helpful, good strong quads and abdominal muscles are a great help. Good luck :)

MelissaRN

MelissaRN

145 Posts

I did a clinical rotation as a student in the ICU and just about all the patients admitted were morbidly obese. They actually ran out of the "big boy" beds and had to put one of the lighter patients (350 lbs) in a regular bed. He broke two of them. I saw one very obese lady sitting in high fowler's extremely short of breath from fluid overload because her heart could not pump blood efficiently.

I'm not condeming the obese, but I'm not in denial either. Our society is one that feels we can abuse our bodies and then expect doctors to fix it :nono:

Peeps Mcarthur

Peeps Mcarthur

1,018 Posts

Hasn't Medicaid just listed obesity as a disease and therefore tx for it will be reimbursed?

I'm going to EMT-B school in the fall. I know from lurking on some boards for EMS that the abuse of the system is rampant. One story just happened to be about an obese person calling for an ambulance for chest pain at a local mall.

Except for some diaphoresis from all the activity she displayed no other signs or complaints except for insistance on going to the hospital. After considerable time and effort to transport this person she got out off the gurney at the ER doors and SHOPPING BAGS AND ALL just started walking to her home which was close by. :angryfire

That EMS work sure seems rewarding!

There's a difference between caring for someone that realizes it's a pain in the butt and appreciates you and the same that is PLAYING the PC card to manipulate you.

I don't care what kind of fine individual you are, that would just peeve you off.

Gompers, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. 2,691 Posts

A year as a float-pool CNA was enough to scare me out of adult care. There never seemed to be enough people to reposition some of the larger patients, and someone was always complaining about a back injury. The thing is, I'm only 4'10", so the bed needs to be very low for me to do something and still have proper body mechanics - and most of the staff I worked with was, of course, taller than me so in the end, someone was going to end up not alligned properly. I just didn't want to risk having a bad injury someday, and I knew it would happen if I stayed in adult care. I already thought I wanted to do NICU, but just the mere fact that I was almost sure to get a back injury in adult care was enough to solidify the decision. It just seemed that the majority of the patients on any adult floor were obese. Makes sense that it's disproportionate to the general population - obesity causing health problems and all.

But after reading this post, I feel guilty that I am able to pick most of my patients up with one hand! I'll literally hold a vented baby in one hand and do a complete bedding change with the other. My back feels greeeeeaaaat!

SmilingBluEyes

Specializes in Specializes in L/D, newborn, GYN, LTC, Dialysis. Has 25 years experience. 20,958 Posts

I am with those who feel staffing for acuity MUST consider the numbers of obese patients on a given floor. I am NOT going to put down the heavy; they have their issues that got them there and they have my compassion. I have hurt my back more than once, holding up the legs of very morbidly obese patient delivering a baby. It's hard enough in OB when they are all dosed up in epidural anesthesia and we have to move them in the bed or to a gurney for a csection. I can only imagine on floors where total cares must be done how hard this is. I feel for staff coping with this daily. I also feel for the morbidly obese laying on the other side of that bedrail. There but for the grace of God.......

Food addiction (and other unhealthy habits/addictions) aside, they need our compassion, but we also NEED HELP taking care of them! SOMETHING has to GIVE; let it NOT be our BACKS! :o

All_Smiles_RN

All_Smiles_RN

Specializes in Cardiology. 527 Posts

I have no intention of humiliating any patient. My main concern is, when I have anywhere from 6-9 patients to care for in an 8 hour time frame, how many of my other patients will get less care than they deserve because of the extra time that the extremely obese patient demands? Not to mention the other staff members' patients who will get less care because they are kind enough to help me with this patient.....
This argument doesn't cut it for me. Someone in renal failure is going to require more care than someone with a broken leg. Patients should get the care they need based on the severity of their injury/illness/disease.

...Jennifer...

VA_CCRC

VA_CCRC

24 Posts

I work on a med-surg unit that performs gastric-bypasses rather routinely. I don't mind this pt population, and when the outcome is good you are thrilled that the pt has a chance of a somewhat normal lifestyle.

As a general rule all of our GB's are up out of bed within 8hrs of surgery. We all dread the first time! Our hospital is wonderful with supplying us with all the 'equipment' needed BUT hey man we need manpower too. These pts sometimes look at you like your nuts when you tell them it may be a while until you can help them up because you have to round up the posse. I don't like their sense of entitlement and their demands they place on staff at times. (I am not including all GB's in the word 'their' just some)

My personal pet peeve: suddenly these pts 'forget' how to wipe their own bums! :angryfire

Mary Austin

Mary Austin

40 Posts

(My personal pet peeve: suddenly these pts 'forget' how to wipe their own bums! )

Isn't this amazing when this happens? You know darn well they have been doing it all along at home!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience. 142 Articles; 9,974 Posts

Or not........... :stone

VA_CCRC

VA_CCRC

24 Posts

Or not........... :stone

Ewwwwww :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

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