Should smokers be admitted into the nursing program?

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Frederique-NL

Frederique-NL

Specializes in PACU-general. Has 17 years experience. 45 Posts

Bad idea. Smoking is a bad habit. The smoker knows that. Point made. Says nothing about the person ands his or her professional performance. You must have very very good arguments to not get yourself in a sticky situation. I think another subject is a better idea....

I'm surprised the original poster hasn't replied yet.

Angie1967

Angie1967

3 Posts

As an RN and a smoker, I find the paper you intend to write not only insulting but ridiculous! I have been working as an RN for the past 4 years on a busy step-down surgical floor. I made this career change later in life because I truly care about helping people. For you to state that I "give hypocritical advice" to my patients is absurd! I encourage my patients who have been in the hospital for any length of stay to continue to stay off cigarettes once they are discharged. I, as a smoker, truly know how these patients feel when giving up smoking. I have tried once or twice myself. I have stayed by their side during their cravings and talked them out of the urge...at least for the times I was their nurse. I know all the health risks involved with smoking. You state you are a pre-nursing student. Go through your "competitive" school, become a new nurse, then work 4 years and then perhaps you will understand the pressures of the job and just maybe you will understand why some of us have vices. I am a damn good nurse. Yes me the nurse who smokes. My name has been mentioned many times in patient satisfaction questionnaires and call backs.

You also mention that by not letting smokers into the nursing program you can cut down on the competition. Why not weed out the lazy, non motivated, uneducated, only in it for the money applicants? If you, the non smoker make it through school, pass your boards, and work on a busy unit you will see just how many lazy, non caring, big mouthed nurses there are...and I can guarantee most of them are non smokers!

I am not proud being a smoker but I resent comments from someone like you, a PRE nursing student to judge me! It makes one wonder where your compassion level is. You'd be great with your patients on a CIWA protocol.

pb1960

pb1960

1 Post

As a Coronary Care Nurse, I spend a great deal of my day educating patients about lifestyle management; including dietary, exercise, weight, and yes, smoking. Trust is an integral part of the therapeutic relationship between nurse and patient; credibility being an essential element of trust. It is far more powerful to lead a patient in any particular direction when you are already there yourself. Meaning, you cannot give away what you don't possess. Practicing health management ourselves is the most effective weapon. How can I educate a patient who just had an MI about smoking cessation when they can smell the smoke on me? Lean on evidenced based practices. The evidence is there for ceasing smoking, optimum weight control, exercise, and dietary choices.

It appears you are missing the point. Smoking cessation is about HEALTH; this is not a judgment but a fact. Hospitals are finally following national standards and making their sites non-smoking, which will influence hiring practices.

limestone

limestone

1 Article; 29 Posts

I find the idea of employers' discrimination for engaging in a legal behaviour to be quite bizarre. What next? I suspect that BMIs or cholesterol levels will be the next exclusionary tactic in the power trip that HRs everywhere are on.

With only the medically perfect left to staff our hospitals (and other workplaces) there's going to be a mighty small workforce left. I guess the rest of us can chill at home with a beer, chips and a smoke while the Models of Perfection toil on our behalf.

I think the Franciscan Health System HR Dept should get over themselves--sheesh!

And to the pre-nursing student who started this whole thread, whoever put you up to this should be ashamed of themselves. A paper on maybe compassion or ethics would be far more useful and appropriate.

Metody

Metody

31 Posts

This kind of idea might appear good on the surface, but is the start of a very slippery slope. Once you start forcing your nurses to be healthy, well, why not the patients? Shouldn't we hold them to the same standards of self-care as we hold ourselves? We'd save an awful lot of health care dollars and lower nurse-patient ratios right quick if we refused to treat smokers, the obese, risk-taking teenagers, alcoholics...

A person's private life should remain private, and we are long past the days when we demanded that nurses should be paragons of virtue. So long as someone's vices and addictions don't affect the quality of the care they give out, they aren't anyone's business but the nurse's.

MissPiggy

MissPiggy

Specializes in Psychiatric, Home Health, Geriatrics. Has 25 years experience. 181 Posts

I have met some horrible nurses that do not smoke.

Conversely, some of the best nurses I have met ARE smokers.

billyboblewis

billyboblewis

251 Posts

Not allowing smokers will not stop them or anybody else from smoking. I dont smoke out of choice but it has no effect on my nursing.

Seth O Scope

Seth O Scope

54 Posts

While I agree that smoking is bad and very hypocritical when done by people in the medical field, you can't base acceptence based on bad habits. At orientation at my school they told us that whether we smoke or not is our business. However they said if you are wearing the schools uniform scrubs and are caught smoking either in front of the school or in front of any of the clinical setting you may be subject to suspension or even expulsion since what you do is a reflection of the school. I still don't understand how people can smoke after learning and seeing first hand what it can do to you, but I guess the power of addiction is just that strong.

bell1962

bell1962

Specializes in family practice and school nursing. Has 30 plus years experience. 345 Posts

When I firststrated nursing ( early 80's) patients were allowed to smoke in their rooms and the nurses' lounge was filled with smoke....

KenH

KenH

91 Posts

The way some are posting, smoking makes them a better Nurse,

Nursing schools can and do set subjective admission standards that keep certain people out of Nursing and that includes people who choose to smoke.

There are hospitals that will not hire you if you smoke, if you get caught smoking or smell of it, you will be terminated. Other places you cannot smoke on the hospital grounds, even in your car in the hospital parking lot.

Speaking of lazy, and being non-motivated,

No I will not take care of YOUR patients while you go out and smoke. yes, you do smell, and you are being cruel to your patients who do smoke, when you come into their room when you stink of it and they cannot go out and smoke.

Smoking and Diabetes = job security

dollbaby

dollbaby

Has 11 years experience. 30 Posts

Of course smokers should be admitted to the nursing program. If they are struggling to quit they can offer unique insight to their patients who may also be struggling with this addiction. Even if they are not trying to quit they will have empathy for hospitalized patients who are smokers and are going cold turkey while they are inpatients. Even though I am an ex-smoker and have no patience for this vice I also subscribe to the philosophy "Live and let live.":smokin:

Ava M.

Ava M.

15 Posts

I'm not a smoker either but what a person chooses to do in their personal life and time should not determine whether or not they should be in the nursing program. In nursing the primary focus is patient care. And yes, nurses are role models as well but as long as they do not advocate for smoking, I don't see what the problem is. The real problem is having a nurse who's decisions and actions are harmful and detrimental for their patient. (For, example a nurse who steals their clients medications for their own recreational use.) Why do you think they have drug screenings!? I am a student and from my experience one of the best nursing professors that I had and learned so much from is a smoker. Aside from that, I know many other nurses who provide excellent patient care and are smokers.