Obesity - Implications For Nursing

Nurses General Nursing

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I was just wondering what everyone thought the implications of the rise in obesity has been for nurses/nursing?

Obviously with the rise in type2 diabetes, strokes, heart problems etc we have more to care for

And the cost of it to the NHS is going to mean more money is spent on that than other much needed areas.

Bigger beds are needed, larger comodes etc.

What else do you think the implications are/have been?

Specializes in Jack of all trades, and still learning.

Firstly, in order to consider it, we have to consider ourselves ie who is within acceptable BMI range? I'll bet most of us aren't

In saying that...

1. On the news tonight apparently research is showing that obesity has a greater role in causing cancer than smoking. Haven't looked that one up myself, so I don't know how accurate it is...

2. Obesity in women can be related to polycystic ovarian syndrome, which can affect one's ability to have children through changes in hormones, specifically LH and FSH. Men too are less likely to be fertile. I wonder if there is a corresponding increase in the percentage of infertility to that of the presence of obesity. (I have PCOS btw)

3. I think as it becomes a greater problem, alot more research will be poured into both the cause, effect and "cure", meaning more money. But no real effort will be put into actually promoting good health apart from tv commercials.

4. More quack diets will abound...

You every try to move a 300 pounder alone?

More back injuries for us.

my back is already out.

Specializes in ER/EHR Trainer.

If someone is enterprising, it's a million dollar opportunity.

Job Opportunity: Design a low cost, zero gravity, hospital room to care for our patients. No more bedsores, no more turning, am care ez, no more injured backs.

Seriously, patients will be sicker and sicker. Nurses will be caring for multi morbidities, law suits will increase, and honestly I think more and more doctors will be checking out. As it is, GP cannot manage comorbidities-I can't imagine one dealing with DM,htn,oa,endocrine side effects, sob, cardiac issues, rashes, sores, blah blah blah.

It is a pretty scary thought....


Its about time you all had a "No lifting" policy. Its a disgrace the way some patients expect a nurse, even if they are similar weights, to lift them. We never lift patients. Have all sorts of devices to get them out of bed & up and about, but never, ever lift.

Pam, we all have no lift policies. But they still need to be turned, rolled into the Hoyer pads, yada yada yada.


Do you have to turn and roll patients into Hoyer pads as SueSquatch noted? Or are there devices to help? I am waiting to attend nursing school and have worked as a nurse assistant. I have hurt my back twice, once when catching a slightly over normal BMI patient when she started to fall, and another time when I tried a pulling technique a male coworker demonstrated (I wasn't strong enough in the arms to do it his way without hurting myself). I don't feel that rolling obese patients is as risky, especially when you get two or three people to help (which I do). It isn't easy. I sure would like to see Hoyer lifts in all the hospitals.

Additional impacts bc of obesity - hospitals need to stock larger pull-ups and other sorts of briefs, larger gowns. Another worry is if a strong and obese patient were to get violent, they might be rather difficult to stop.

Question: Do hospitals have Hoyer Lifts?

Pam, we all have no lift policies. But they still need to be turned, rolled into the Hoyer pads, yada yada yada.

If they need turning, they are put on pressure beds to minimise the impact on the nurses backs. I dont work on the wards any more... got into the quality side of things... but will find out what nurses do exactly & let you know.

Glad to hear you all have No Lift policies though!

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC.

Not sure what Hoyer pads are but in the hospitals I have worked in within the UK and when it came to moving patients onto their sides I found slide sheets great and also when ever possible the patient helped. At times we even hired special beds where it was recommended not to turn them although I always did some element of turn just to check skin. We have all sorts of devises to assist in the movement of patients hoists, slide sheets, beds (have been known to tilt the bed head first to assist in the movement of patient's up the bed) transfer boards to name a few. All patients and relatives where informed of the no lifting or minimal moving on admission. Saying that I did start nursing many years before the policy came in and did injure my back on a few occasions although thankfully not badly, one of my colleagues wasn't as lucky and ended up with spinal surgery and having to give up her job at age 21 and still walks with the aid of a stick several years later

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