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Overweight RN talked about

Posted

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

I work in LTC and we had a pretty overweight RN who applied for a position. I noticed that when she was shown around the building (only because one manager started the interview and another joined in halfway through and had to review the notes the first manager made, and asked her to show the RN around). As they stepped out of the interview room, they stopped to say hello to me at my med cart, and I wished her luck and happened to look at the nurses' station and saw several RNs and LVNs trying hard stifle their laughter!! I was horrified for this woman.

We all know that those of us who care for others should be healthy and fit, but what happens when a nurse is overweight or even obese? Does she automatically become unworthy of working as a nurse? Not sure what I'm expecting from writing this post, just that I thought it was a rather sad way to treat a human being. Needless to say, she didn't get the position, and although I'd like to think it was for some other reason, I can't help but wonder if it was because of her weight.

Emergent, RN

Specializes in ER. Has 28 years experience.

I remember at one job, there was a gal who was actually probably morbidly obese. A funny thing that I noticed was, the heavy coworkers were the ones who made fun of her behind her back. I never saw thinner nurses do it. it was kind of like the syndrome where people kick the dog who are victims themselves.

I agree with you, it's cruel to mock anyone for their physical appearance behind their back.

Palliative Care, DNP

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

This is how adults are acting in the work place and yet society wonders why bullying is such a problems for children in school. I find this appalling, immature, unacceptable, and overall pathetic. Regardless of your opinion this interviewee is a person with feelings deserving of respect. If this nurse can perform her job functions then it is really no ones business what her weight is. The fact that employees were not called out on this bad behavior is why it continues. Personally, I would have said spoken up about the issue to those at the nurse's station. What a welcoming work environment.

I'm trying imagine a group of women mocking and taking shots at another human being, nurses at that, and it just doesn't reconcile. I've never worked with anyone like that. I can't even say that I've known any group of women who have done something like that. I've certainly heard women express their thoughts but not laugh.

What Emergent said about people who kick dogs might ring true but it must be very hard for you to regard them with any respect now.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

We all know that those of us who care for others should be healthy and fit, but what happens when a nurse is overweight or even obese?
Here is some news...the majority of nurses in the US are already overweight or obese. Nurses' weights reflect the trends of the general population. Two-thirds of all Americans are overweight or obese, and nurses have been touched by this upward trending in weight.

I was overweight/obese throughout most of my nursing career. I entered the nursing profession standing 5'1 tall and weighing approximately 216 pounds. Since I live in one of the fattest states in the country, I did not feel ostracized due to my obesity.

I now weigh 118 pounds and receive more attention than ever because most nurses in my area are overweight or obese. You see, the majority does not stand out...

Anyhow, a nurse's body weight does not affect his/her skill set, intelligence level, competence, proficiency, intuition, educational attainment, personality, or the attributes that really matter in the nursing profession.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

I'm curious, where's the evidence that the nurses in the nurses' station were laughing at the applicant?

I'm trying imagine a group of women mocking and taking shots at another human being, nurses at that, and it just doesn't reconcile. I've never worked with anyone like that. I can't even say that I've known any group of women who have done something like that. I've certainly heard women express their thoughts but not laugh.

Is this satire?

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

The fact that employees were not called out on this bad behavior is why it continues. Personally, I would have said spoken up about the issue to those at the nurse's station. What a welcoming work environment.

Palliative Care, DNP, I completely agree. And what was really sad is that management talked about her and her weight as well!

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

I remember at one job, there was a gal who was actually probably morbidly obese. A funny thing that I noticed was, the heavy coworkers were the ones who made fun of her behind her back. I never saw thinner nurses do it. it was kind of like the syndrome where people kick the dog who are victims themselves.

I agree with you, it's cruel to mock anyone for their physical appearance behind their back.

Very true, EmergentRN. And very sad.

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

I'm trying imagine a group of women mocking and taking shots at another human being, nurses at that, and it just doesn't reconcile. I've never worked with anyone like that. I can't even say that I've known any group of women who have done something like that. I've certainly heard women express their thoughts but not laugh.

What Emergent said about people who kick dogs might ring true but it must be very hard for you to regard them with any respect now.

Thanks, Libby1987. I honestly can't help but wonder how they treat their overweight and obese patients. Maybe they can dissociate from their negative feelings when it's a patient, but it still makes me wonder.

As a nurse, you ARE supposed to know what it is you are giving to the patient and why you are giving the medicine. The PA was unprofessional calling 'nurses stupid', but responding with a "I don't know" is definitely not a good representation of a 'nurse' because you ARE supposed to know! If it was important, there are also side affects that need to be on the watch for, so yes, that was the wrong answer.

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

..... I now weigh 118 pounds and receive more attention than ever because most nurses in my area are overweight or obese. You see, the majority does not stand out...

Anyhow, a nurse's body weight does not affect his/her skill set, intelligence level, competence, proficiency, intuition, educational attainment, personality, or the attributes that really matter in the nursing profession.

TheCommuter, I agree that a nurse's weight does not affect his / her skill set, intelligence, competence, etc. Unfortunately it seems that those I work with think otherwise, and this includes management. I hope someone in a more compassionate environment will hire her and give her a chance.

On another note, congratulations to you on your weight loss. That's amazing!

VegGal, BSN, RN

Specializes in LTC Management, Community Nursing, HHC.

I'm curious, where's the evidence that the nurses in the nurses' station were laughing at the applicant?

Evidence? I didn't realize I had to provide evidence in a simple comment I shared. Is several nurses looking at one particular person and giggling / stifling their giggles not enough evidence? Then watching her walk away as they rolled their eyes and made other comments not enough evidence? I don't need them to include me in their comments in order to know what they're talking about, or who they're laughing at.

Is this satire?

Not satire. I don't have any rotten sorts in my circles but yes of course I know they exist. Never in any working environment though, if they did I would light them up, most of the people I come across are out there doing their best.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

As a nurse, you ARE supposed to know what it is you are giving to the patient and why you are giving the medicine. The PA was unprofessional calling 'nurses stupid', but responding with a "I don't know" is definitely not a good representation of a 'nurse' because you ARE supposed to know! If it was important, there are also side affects that need to be on the watch for, so yes, that was the wrong answer.
I think you are responding to the incorrect thread. Your reply ended up on this particular thread, which is discussing an overweight RN who applied for a position.

The thread about the PA who called nurses 'stupid' can be located by clicking on the link below:

https://allnurses.com/nurse-colleague-patient/dr-told-patient-1079389.html

Sour Lemon

Has 9 years experience.

Evidence? I didn't realize I had to provide evidence in a simple comment I shared. Is several nurses looking at one particular person and giggling / stifling their giggles not enough evidence? Then watching her walk away as they rolled their eyes and made other comments not enough evidence? I don't need them to include me in their comments in order to know what they're talking about, or who they're laughing at.

I thought the same thing. What seems obvious may or may not actually be true. Most of us have experienced a time when someone thought we were laughing at them or thought we were talking about them ...and it just wasn't the case.

There may be elements in these observed interactions that you didn't include in your original post ...but as it was written, it's only clear what you perceived to be happening, not what was actually happening.

djh123

Specializes in LTC, Rehab. Has 5 years experience.

I wasn't this smart when I was 20 (or even 30, probably) - but we ALL have problems, make mistakes, struggle with this or that. I'm not saying a critical thought about someone never comes to mind, but I certainly would never ridicule anyone, and if I start to think too critically about someone else, I think 'Oh yeah, what about your own faults?'. Life is short. Better to treat others as you'd rather be treated. No, I'm not perfect about it, but I try to remember that.

heron, ASN, RN

Specializes in Hospice. Has 40 years experience.

Evidence? I didn't realize I had to provide evidence in a simple comment I shared. Is several nurses looking at one particular person and giggling / stifling their giggles not enough evidence? Then watching her walk away as they rolled their eyes and made other comments not enough evidence? I don't need them to include me in their comments in order to know what they're talking about, or who they're laughing at.

I didn't intend to initiate a big debate. Your OP only stated that you saw the nurses laughing ... none of the other non-verbal clues you added in the post I just quoted. I was wondering what it was that convinced you that their laughter was mockery aimed at the applicant. You were there, I wasn't. Just looking for the reason you interpreted the behavior the way you did.