Nurses always tell patients how detrimental smoking is for their health, yet many nurses continue to smoke on their own breaks. This isn’t to single out smokers, though.
Many nurses also indulge in alcohol consumption, overeating, and other unhealthy lifestyle choices. And yet is seems that smoking is the most destructive of all.
It causes nurses to hide in clandestine shacks and partake of a habit that has known deadly issues. Here are just a few of the long term effects of nurses smoking on their breaks.
Resentment from coworkers
Nonsmoking coworkers tend to resent the smokers. This is because the non-smokers don’t tend to take a break, and when they do, it isn’t nearly as long as a smoker break.
Needless to say, this makes for tension on the floor as non-smokers have to cover for those who are outside in the smoke shack. Smokers also tend to take their breaks regardless, and that’s not something many nurses do.
The break matrix is a difficult one, and this can lead to major long term resentment and conflict. It is important to negotiate better breaks with your coworkers if you are taking breaks to have a smoke.
Setting examples for patients
Nurses don’t have to be role models for their patients, but it does help. You can even describe your struggles against smoking to help your patient’s quit.
But if you are playing both sides of the fence – telling them to stop and not stopping yourself – it comes across as disingenuous, and patients can sense that. It would be in your best interest to at least attempting to stop smoking for the sake of connecting with your patients.
Patients are very astute, and if you are not trying, they will know. However, if they feel that you are struggling with quitting, too, they may be inspired to try quitting themselves.
Of course, the pink elephant in the room is the health repercussions to you. Yes, you can kill yourself with cigarettes. You have to ask yourself if it is worth it.
For some people, it actually is, and that’s okay. For some people, eating a poor diet is worth the risk, and no one shames them like they shame smokers.
Take inventory as to what you want out of your life and if you want smoking to be a part of your life long term. Determine if you truly want to risk COPD and lung cancer for the pleasure of the cigarette now.
It is a hard decision, but these are the long term effects of taking breaks to smoke. If you are going to go out to that smoke shack, make sure you know what you are doing and what the choice may eventually lead to.