Jump to content
MadpeysRN MadpeysRN (New Member) New Member

Can a fat nurse be a good nurse?

Lounge   (45,424 Views 263 Comments)
11,296 Visitors; 12 Posts
If you find this topic helpful leave a comment.

You are reading page 7 of Can a fat nurse be a good nurse?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

I can appreciate many of the comments made and know some very good nurses who are "fat". We recognize their ability and know that people should be judged on their merits as a person and not their weight. Know, though, that there are many patients who will dismiss one on sight based on too much or too little weight. In addition to the patients, there are the other health care professionals to contend with. I have noticed in my area that nurses are far more likely to be overweight than those in other health professions. I am convinced that this is one of the major reasons Nursing has such a problem with being respected by other professions. While I realize that there are many factors that lead to weight gain, this image does hurt the profession. I have seen how differently physicians treat overweight nurses versus one who is in "good shape". Can a heavy nurse be taken seriously when educating a patient about making better lifestyle choices? We all know what the patient is thinking even if they don't say it. What happens more often than not is that the unhealthy nurse will avoid the education alltogether so as not to embarass herself. Presentation matters. The more we deal with people we don't know, the more it matters. My wife has worked in the medical field about ten years longer than me. When I started nursing school I asked her for some strong advice. The answer?? Don't be a fat nurse. People won't take you or your suggestions seriously. I have seen the wisdom of those words. As a student I've heard what the patient says when the fat nurse leaves the room after telling them what they need to change. Practice what you preach (as much as humanly possible) and people will take you more seriously. Just a fact.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I was in the hospital, either inpatient or for the IV chemo, last year some of the nurses were overweight- and outstanding nurses.

I'm overweight- and gained more with the chemo combination I'm on (and am horrified). I spent most of my childhood, adolescence, and young adult years either on forced diets/restricting as a child, or starvation diets as I got older...all that did was pack on more weight when I went back to actual meals, and screwed up a lot more than it helped.

I'm so glad I don't know IRL who the people here are who are so hateful towards those who don't fit into a neat little "normal weight" category.... and incredibly thankful for the overweight nurses (and patient care techs) who were so kind, competent, and caring when I've been in the hospital- very thankful the 'judges' weren't my nurses....

Compassion can't be taught...

Your case is one of the most striking examples of why traveling in this direction --- it can easily become cruel. Steroids, many psych drugs . .. as you know the list can go on and on and maybe the inactivity from convalescing will cause a person to put on some pounds. If anyone can look at a healthcare provider and know how they got to where they are I'd like to hire them to tell me when the Big One will hit California. Otherwise just drop it.

A stigma that people with deadly forms of lung cancer not caused by smoking have to endure the looks of disgust and lack of compassion -- I guess they have to wear a sign to avoid that? Don't assume anything! If a person who is overweight for whatever reason and the term used is "stuffing their face" "wolfing down food" etc to me is abhorrent. I don't happen to be overweight, but I love Hostess Sno-balls (verrrrrrrry rarely of course;) - I guess I am a poor role model, too. I just never put my snack foods in my work clothes pocket.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nurses are human too...

Edited by penny112

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well except that the fat of one person affects EVERYONE's insurance rates

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I can appreciate many of the comments made and know some very good nurses who are "fat". We recognize their ability and know that people should be judged on their merits as a person and not their weight. Know, though, that there are many patients who will dismiss one on sight based on too much or too little weight.

Actually I've never seen a patient "dismiss" as in "I don't want you for my nurse" based on weight. If you mean to dismiss the information they are attempting to provide -- as I said before, but not exactly this way . .we have no control over the biases people have (and there are many). The patient has no need or obligation to judge the nurse on their merits as a person either when deciding whether or not they would like to die an early death from DKA or kidney failure by not accepting the dietary information presented because they don't care for the person who presented it .

We're not talking about a gym, a personal trainer, a cosmetic surgeon's office or a situation like that because they would never be hired in the first place at one of those places.

In addition to the patients, there are the other health care professionals to contend with. I have noticed in my area that nurses are far more likely to be overweight than those in other health professions. I am convinced that this is one of the major reasons Nursing has such a problem with being respected by other professions
.

You think nurses being overweight is the reason we have a problem being respected by other professions? Based on what?

While I realize that there are many factors that lead to weight gain, this image does hurt the profession. I have seen how differently physicians treat overweight nurses versus one who is in "good shape". Can a heavy nurse be taken seriously when educating a patient about making better lifestyle choices?

Is the patient over eighteen and not suffering from a developmental delay of some kind? I don't know where you work, but where I work doctors just love overweight nurses who know what the hell they're doing rather than the one who you could bounce a dime of their **^ I think I prefer my area.

We all know what the patient is thinking even if they don't say it. What happens more often than not is that the unhealthy nurse will avoid the education alltogether so as not to embarass herself. Presentation matters.

That is a scurrilous accusation based on not one single shred of "evidence based" information. Where are you getting this stuff?

My wife has worked in the medical field about ten years longer than me. When I started nursing school I asked her for some strong advice. The answer?? Don't be a fat nurse.

Well, I've been reading this forum for 8 years and that question has been asked thousands of times. Not once has the answer been "don't be a fat nurse". I really hope your patients can't pick up on this extreme fixation with "fat nurses".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
well except that the fat of one person affects EVERYONE's insurance rates

One year of psych experience, and you've got this all figured out, eh? (and I've worked psych- nothing against psych at all, and realize that they get a lot of despicable prejudice as well).

Smoking, drinking, drug use, diabetes (not the just 'fat' kind), spinal cord injury from preventable accidents, child abuse injuries, domestic abuse injuries, drunk drivers, persistent vegetative states from car accidents (somebody caused it), chronic MENTAL ILLNESS from years of being demoralized and invalidated, crime and the resulting illness/injury from that, uninsured patients, and endless other problems.... these don't effect your insurance rates? You're going after obesity, but ignoring the rest? Gee, I feel SOOOOO special..... GAG. :eek: And I didn't even include the myriad of disorders with no human behavioral component at all....all chronic illness drives up all of our insurance rates- but is that reason to belittle them?

Do you honestly think that overweight people sit down as kids and say "Gee, I hope I'm really fat when I grow up?" I wasn't allowed to eat normal meals as a kid--and I wasn't fat- at all...my pictures as a kid show a very normal and even slender kid. When I was figure skating, my mom would weigh me before practice, and if I didn't weigh what she wanted, I'd run around the neighborhood to sweat off enough to get to go skate (yes- physical activity- even us overweight people have been active in our lives)....that's a good thing to do to a kid and not expect weight issues??? Really?

Alcoholics can quit drinking; drug addicts/dependents can quit drugs; smokers can quit smoking-- and ALL of those are incredibly difficult, with a lot of relapses.... you want to tell overweight people to just not eat??? Get out the shovels, there's gonna be a lot of graves to be dug...but maybe that would make YOUR world SO much better?????

Do any of you who are bashing overweight nurses have any overweight family members or friends? Do you see them as inferior? Would you want them to know how you're responding to this? Just wondering... Maybe a good housecleaning of who you feel fit to associate with is in order?????:uhoh3:

I realize that a lot of the problems that are associated with being overweight do cause health problems or ARE health problems- that doesn't mean someone can't be a good nurse- which is a LOT more than looking good. Or that normal weight people can't be unhealthy, or just plain mean and hateful. If I see a 'normal' weight nurse with poor self esteem, and lacking confidence, I don't want anything to do with her- because of her INNER characteristics- NOT because of how she looks. She could be dying of some horrible illness, and look just great....but she's got to be a better nurse, eh? Should Oprah have given up her talk show because of her weight? I mean, how could she possibly be credible? She has done SO much good for so many people - but she's had a lot of very public weight issues (and taken a lot of bs from a lot of people-- she's got an incredible spirit of generosity that most of us will never comprehend...and it's not all about financial worth). Seriously people....

I've been normal weight, and more unhappy and unhealthy from improper eating THAT way. Now, I have to take meds to have a chance of being alive in 5 years, and it puts on weight. I've done everything I can to avoid it. My blood sugars were fine before chemo; now they're nuts (I was somewhat overweight when I was diagnosed with type II diabetes-- but also have direct relatives with the disease- and their weights were fine). For the first 12 years of being diabetic, I controlled my blood sugars with diet alone, and had an A1C of 5.4....well below the accepted 7.0 goal for diabetics. My cholesterol was only elevated for years when I was starving, because the liver had to compensate for the lack of dietary cholesterol, and went overboard....started eating, and my cholesterol went down, but (duh) my weight went back up (not as far- because I've never had a healthy relationship with food...no matter what I've done). My weight may have been better, but the obsession was ruining my life, and nearly killed me.

I'm not on disability because of anything to do with my weight. Or would you like to make epilepsy and dysautonomia the result of being overweight as well (though I was within normal weight limits when I was diagnosed with those). Maybe the chronic interstitial lung disease from multiple PEs? Or the diabetes that was incredibly well controlled? Maybe the damage to chromosomes 15 and 17 that define the form of leukemia I have? Are only overweight people diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Are the bone spurs in my neck from a fat head??? Good grief....

I just got in contact with a former co-worker, who worked with me at my highest weight- I lost more than 100 pounds without surgery- and kept it off for years before the chemo (geez- the folks here would have been repelled in disgust that I even breathed the same air as they do back then), and told me she always thought I'd been a great nurse, and it had been great to work with me, and glad I'd found her and contacted her...she ended up being my nurse manager- and was not fat- is SHE messed up for not thinking I'm inferior????

My worst labwork (pre-leukemia) was when I was dieting-- vit D, protein, BUN (too low), lytes, triglycerides (high when starving)...

but since I wasn't as heavy, I was healthier???

Being judgmental is THE biggest defect a nurse can have (any nurse- I quit talking to tempest a while back- lol-- and we're probably equally thrilled to not actually know each other- wishing her the best in her career- :)). And what goes around comes around....if you don't want to be judged, maybe be a bit more accepting and kind. I know it's hard....we all do it - and for different reasons... but having a blanket generalization that is cruel for the sake of being judgmental is hard to understand.

IMHO- it sounds like a lot of fortunate people could be thankful for what they find 'good', and spend less time on their perceived faults of others.... and for those who aren't middle aged yet- HA, good luck if you think that all of you will get through it without extra weight :) :lol2:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can a fat question be a bad question?

Why yes, I think it can. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LOL....:lol2: :D

Thank you !

They'll understand some day . .somehow but in the meantime..

:hug:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep... the hardest lessons are the ones that confront our own beliefs..... :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really need to ask this: is there any national, ratified study with proof that genetics causes weight gain, or contributes to weight gain? I see this as another reason for being overweight and/or obese.

Has anyone got a really good link I can follow up on?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
http://www.geneticseducation.nhs.uk This site has some basic information on specific genetic components, and general statements... It does not say that all obesity is genetic, does say that specific syndromes (not just obesity itself) are rare but exist, and that many factors go into metabolism, etc. My computer skills aren't good enough to get the link to just click on- lol- but this did have some info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
×

This site uses cookies. By using this site, you consent to the placement of these cookies. Read our Privacy, Cookies, and Terms of Service Policies to learn more.