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smoking in the work place

Nurses   (4,858 Views 42 Comments)
by fat cat fat cat (Member) Member

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I would like to know if any one could advise me on how to go about making a change in a LTC facility where staff is required to take reisdents outside to smoke for monitoring them for safety which is required. I do not think that non smokers should be forced to be subjected to second hand smoke nor utilize nursing time frames to satisty a smokers habit. While there is a plethora of information available on second hand smoke it does not appear that non-smokers have complete protection/ legal rights in the workplace. I would like to see a law that would change this. Additionally in the entrance/exit area to clock in + out , is the designated smoke area for employees which offers a second exposure. There is not always a smoker on duty on the particular floor who can accommodate the patient so the nonsmokers who do not want to do this have no choice. I want to see an end to this. At other times the smoker employee can "enjoy " the continual "privilege" to take the patient to smoke causing the non smoker employee to be left to answer all of the smoker employee's call lights. Personally I do not beleive that the patients should be allowed to smoke at all. But it is my understanding that because the LTC facility is considered their "home" that they have a right to smoke. I would like to see a law enacted to protect the worker from second hand smoke. I would appreciate any suggestions.

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I like what you're doing. My asthma gets triggered by smoke on smoker's clothes...even hours after they have smoked. I agree with eliminating all accommodations (even for employees) for smoking from healthcare facilities.

Please keep us posted on your progress.

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I remember working nights in a facility where we had an addicted smoker that had to be monitored. One night the only person available to do this was a CNA who was on her way to pneumonia it seemed and we were having bad weather. Because of the smoker's behavior, we felt it better to allow her out for a smoke than to put up with her tantrums, etc. It was difficult getting her to realize that it might be nice to cut the session short so she wouldn't get sick along with her monitor. I hope your efforts are successful.

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I would like to know if any one could advise me on how to go about making a change in a LTC facility where staff is required to take reisdents outside to smoke for monitoring them for safety which is required. I do not think that non smokers should be forced to be subjected to second hand smoke nor utilize nursing time frames to satisty a smokers habit. While there is a plethora of information available on second hand smoke it does not appear that non-smokers have complete protection/ legal rights in the workplace. I would like to see a law that would change this. Additionally in the entrance/exit area to clock in + out , is the designated smoke area for employees which offers a second exposure. There is not always a smoker on duty on the particular floor who can accommodate the patient so the nonsmokers who do not want to do this have no choice. I want to see an end to this. At other times the smoker employee can "enjoy " the continual "privilege" to take the patient to smoke causing the non smoker employee to be left to answer all of the smoker employee's call lights. Personally I do not beleive that the patients should be allowed to smoke at all. But it is my understanding that because the LTC facility is considered their "home" that they have a right to smoke. I would like to see a law enacted to protect the worker from second hand smoke. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Bottom line, it's the resident's home, and if they want to smoke, they can. Also, playing devil's advocate here, you're complaining that non-smokers shouldn't have to take a resident out, but if a smoker is available, they can do it,,, then complain that non-smokers have to answer the smoker's call bells while the smoker is performing a nursing duty monitoring the smoker pt outside. You can't have it both ways.

I basically agree that smoking shouldn't be allowed in areas that may expose non-smokers to second-hand smoke, but the residents have the right to live as they like to in their own home, within reason. Would you like it if someone banned chocolate (or insert your favorite vice here) in your own home? I didn't think so. Let's try to be a little more accomodating to the residents in our care. Sometimes you have to pick your battles carefully.

And by the way, I'm a smoker, but do not smoke at work.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

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We have a number of supervised smokers in our facility-I have had to take them to smoke myself when I have had cna's refuse to do so.I object to that refusal on principle So you don't smoke? Neither do I-you probably don't crap and wet your pants either but you have to clean up the residents that do so...What's the difference? We do have 2 rooms in the facility outfitted with exhaust fans that look and sound like airplane engines and we are permitted to stand directly outside the door. I don't think staff's right to refuse to assist them out -weighs the resident's right to smoke if you have a safe set up...However I do believe that if the resident is not capable of safe independent smoking then the staff should not have to do it for them..I think it takes too much time away from seeing to the needs of the rest of the residents (the majority) I think this should be determined upon admission by OT and should be understood by the resident and their SO's before they get in the door....I really think there should be no supervised smoking-either the resident is capable of smoking independently or he/she should not be permitted to smoke in the facility.That takes care of the entire problem...OT can evaluate PRN and if safety becomes an issue then the smoking should be stopped which should be disclosed during the admissions process.I know there are plenty of interventions OT can come up with the maintain safety for a resident with any physical limitations to keep them safe as long as possible ... That's the policy I would institute in an LTC if I had the chance...

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crissrn27 has 8 years experience as a RN and specializes in nursery, L and D.

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If there are non-smokers in the house, then yes smoking can be banned in the home.

Yes, but it is my understanding that they are taking the smokers outside. I don't think you can ban someone from smoking outside their home. Not fair. We started a rotation at the last ltc place I worked because we had so many smoking residents. Different staff had different times assigned. Even the DON took a turn! Worked out pretty good, except weekends.

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ktwlpn is a LPN, RN and specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

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Yes, but it is my understanding that they are taking the smokers outside. I don't think you can ban someone from smoking outside their home. QUOTE] Actually any LTC can make their entire campus non-smoking-they must disclose this prior to admission. Any prospective resident had the choice to move in or look for accomodations elsewhere... I worked in one a few years ago that was non-smoking.The employees even had to leave the property on their breaks-they were prohibited from smoking in their cars in the parking lot...

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jojotoo is a RN and specializes in Emergency.

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If there are non-smokers in the house, then yes smoking can be banned in the home.

But they're not asking to smoke inside.

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My comment was directed at the argument that people should be allowed to smoke in their own home, and since LTCs are the residents' home they should be allowed to smoke. I have no problem with residents being taken outside to smoke, but I would refuse the task of taking/accompanying them for medical reasons: I am asthmatic and even walking past a smoker can set me to wheezing.

Several years ago Hubs and I went to Reno for the air races. I'd forgotten that Nevada is not a smoke-free state and I had trouble the whole weekend we were there, whenever we were inside a building. Outside I could move away, but inside I was trapped.

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jojotoo is a RN and specializes in Emergency.

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My comment was directed at the argument that people should be allowed to smoke in their own home, and since LTCs are the residents' home they should be allowed to smoke. I have no problem with residents being taken outside to smoke, but I would refuse the task of taking/accompanying them for medical reasons: I am asthmatic and even walking past a smoker can set me to wheezing.

I wouldn't expect a pregnant nurse to take care of somebody with chickenpox or measles, or for a Jehovah Witness nurse to initiate/ monitor a blood transfusion. So making accomendations for nonsmoking nurses seems reasonable.

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