How much do you think Weight affects hiring?

  1. I know that we are in a shortage right now and everyone is hiring anyone with a liscence, BUT, How much do you think a person's weight affects how they are percieved at their job, how they are hired, and even say, school applications? I'm a bit chunky, but not too bad, but I have noticed that several of the more overweight nurses where I work are stereotyped as lazy, and are often given the less energetic assignments. Anyway, I'm going to be doing some school interviews and have decided that I need to lose about 8-10 pounds to better my chances of getting financial aide (I've already been accepted, though I do have a few more of those as well, to make the best choice). Do you think I am crazy? What have you seen/experienced? Thanks guys
  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   CEN35
    on a personal and/or professional basis..........weight should not matter? why would you treat or perceive anyone differently based on weight?

    just my two cents.....

  4. by   MPHkatie
    Rick, I don't think that weight should matter, on a personal or professional basis, but I have noticed that the world doesn't always live by that ideal. I'm just wondering if anyone else has seen this at their job/school etc.
  5. by   delirium
    I have to say that I haven't.
    The sad fact is that there are more and more overweight people in this country, and that is represented in every sector, every occupation....
    We have some heavy nursing students. We have heavy instructors. I work in a busy ER where we have quite a few 'fluffy' women, and they can run a code, run to a code, and take care of a patient just as well as the thin nurses can.
    I can't say that I will see any of these people (or myself, for that matter) on the cover of Cosmo, but there doesn't seem to be any concern as to whether they can do their jobs effectively. As long as you can work effectively in the space you have, and are mobile enough to get somewhere in a hurry if you need to, I don't see that it would be a problem.
    If you want to lose weight, that's wonderful. Do it for your health, your self-esteem, whatever. Don't do it because you think you'd be more likely to get financial aid.
  6. by   momrn50
    Worked for a man once who during an interview with a very qualified RN said, "I notice you're pretty overweight. Will this affect the way you do your job??" Needless to say she got up and left and we lost a good RN because of a stupid, needless remark.
  7. by   zumalong
    It should not make a difference.....but has any of you ever seen a overweight pharmacy rep come into your facility????

    I have been struggling with weight since my babies were born--I don't feel it has affected my ablility to nurse or get a job. But I also think it is how confident you feel about yourself. I prefer to think of myself as "adiposly challenged".

    Have to agree with MsPurp--don't do something unless it is what you want. If you only need to lose 10 pds then lose it cuz you want to not because you think it will give you more power in the world of nursing.
  8. by   CATHYW
    Originally posted by MPHkatie
    Rick, I don't think that weight should matter, on a personal or professional basis, but I have noticed that the world doesn't always live by that ideal. I'm just wondering if anyone else has seen this at their job/school etc.
    Yup, Katie and Rick, I have, unfortunately. I am a large woman, but not lumpy fat. I have always been perceived as strong (correct perception), thank goodness.

    I have worked with a few exceptionally large women, and they seem to nurse the desk. "While you're checking your patient, would you look in and se if my patient in room 5 needs anything?" That is where the lazy rep comes from, I think.
  9. by   fergus51
    I think it's all in the presentation. If you seem messy or slouch and haven't taken care of your appearance you will be treated accordingly whether you are a size 2 or a size 20. If you present yourself with confidence you'll be treated accordingly.
  10. by   mattsmom81
    A few bad apples spoil the barrell...yes, I've worked with a few morbidly obese nurses like you describe, Cathy. They have trouble moving about and it's easier to sit, they get short of breath moving too fast and scare everyone. They become a burden, and yes, I feel sorry for them BUT...

    I think the question of whether the obese nurse could do the job was a fair one....and one we are all asked on hiring, aren't we?
    Why didn't the overweight nurse simply say 'Yes, of course I can do the job" ? I would have.
  11. by   Furball
    The best nurse on my floor is obese. She is so calm and damn smart, especially during codes. If any of my friends or relatives were admitted to my floor I'd try to "arrange" that she'd be their nurse. She's all heart too.
  12. by   caroladybelle
    I weighed about 95 lbs (at 5 foot, 6inches tall) until I was 32. I didn't have the energy that I have now. I didn't feel good about myself, I didn't feel attractive, I couldn't find clothes that fit, I got sick very easily. Then I had to go on prednisone for a medical problem, and went up to 185lbs rather quickly. I am down to 165 now, but much better, healthier, sexier (I have curves now) than I did before. Go figure!!!!!
  13. by   Zee_RN
    Interesting topic. In my current position (and I can't wait to get out*), I hire nurses and nursing staff. Obesity does not hinder anyone's chance of employment with ME. However, slovenliness does. And you don't need to be overweight to be slovenly--individuals who can't take the time and care to clean up for an interview are not likely to do so for their job either. I do get concerned when I walk an applicant down the hall to meet the unit manager and the applicant is huffing and puffing and sweat starts to bead up on his/her forehead. That's not going to prevent a QUALIFIED individual from getting the job though. And the opposite is also concerning...A VERY thin nurse comes in and applies. Hmmm, drug addict? Anorexic? Also is very nervous and fidgety. Concerning, no?

    As someone else said above, one of the best ICU nurses I know, and one that I would want to take care of any family member of mine, is obese. But she's the best.

    PERSONALLY, though, I'm very concerned with the obesity problem in America. How many of your ICU patients are very overweight? We have a saying for our common admissions -- FFOV (Fat Female on the Vent). There are so many health complications with obesity. As we all know. My sister is chronically ill and is not expected to live many more years as a result of complications of obesity. It scares me.

    *(I have 8 more work days before I can't get out of this dang administrative position and return to the controlled frenzy of ICU!! I cannot wait; it's driving me crazy!!)
  14. by   stressedlpn
    I agree with Caroladybelle at 5 feet 8inches I weighed a whole 110lbs people alway thought that I either had an eating disorder or was on speed, however I was always sick mainly because I did not eat right anyway I am now 150lbs and happier than ever.I work with a nurse that is overweight and let me tell you she can run circles around me. I also work with a nurse that is overwt and let me tell you she thinks that we should all get up and do her wk for her not to mention get her drinks food and ect. that is the kind of nurse that give other overweight nurses a bad name. I agree with mattsmom81 we are all asked if we are able to do the job, I would have said yes and then proved it to them but thats just me oh when I was really thin I was always asked if I was sure I would be able to handle all the lifting that the job required My answer was always If I can carry 2 kids a large diaper bag my purse and other assorments of odds and ends that comes with being a mom than surely I can handle anything you throw at me ha ha ha