Friday, September 01, 2006

More Local Hospitals Ban Smoking

I understand why they do this. I do. From the hospital's point of view, it makes perfect sense. "We treat sick people. We treat cancer patients. We should do everything we can to discourage unhealthy behavior." It is a perfectly consistant and defensible stance.

But what about the smoker who's wife, daughter, son, has just been admitted after a car accident. They are stressed to their limit worrying whether their loved one will live or die. Is this really the most compassionate time to urge them to quit smoking?

What about the doctor or nurse who just spent the last 6 hours elbow-deep inside a patient's guts trying to save their life, and they lose. The patient dies. Is it really humane to deny them a cigarette if that's what it takes for them to pull themselves together so they can treat the next patient (maybe YOUR loved one) in a calm and professional manner?

And don't assume for one minute that no doctor, nurse, or health care professional would EVER smoke. That's bullshit. More of them smoke than you would believe. And for good reason!

I just don't see where choosing one of the most stressful and emotional locations that exist...a the best place to try and change a person's way of dealing with stress.

Cut 'em some slack. Give 'em a break.


Heather said...

They can always go across the street to Taco Bell if they need to light up THAT BADLY.

Xavier Onassis said...

Yeah, they can.

I guess I just take a more compassionate view than that.

A doctor who just lost a patient. A father who just lost his daughter. A husband who just lost his wife.

If just smoking a fucking cigarette gives them even the slightest bit of relief...just a couple of calming minutes to get their shit together and begin to deal with things...why on earth would I want to say "YOU CAN'T DO THAT HERE! IT STINKS! IT'S BAD FOR YOU! GO TO TACO BELL!"

I don't see how choosing THAT moment in that person's life is the most productive time to try to change an unhealthy lifestyle choice.

Until hospitals stop serving cheeseburgers, french fries and potato chips in their cafeterias and until they prohibit their staff from eating "little smokies in bbq sauce" on hospital property, smoking prohibitions based on concerns for people's health ring a bit hollow.

Dontcha think?

martinoffroad said...

Makes you wonder how non-smokers can deal with stress everyday.

Heather said...

No one ever died sitting next to someone eating a cheeseburger.

Echele said...

Oh that is such an ongoing battle.

It's not the "we want to promote health" as much as it is the "Us non-smokers don't want to walk through smokers on the way into the hospital" ...It just works out that way...and then it became "oh, why, yes, we are promoting health"

At least thats how it all evolved at 3 major hospitals I am on staff with.

And I know plenty of doctors, nurses and respiratory therapist that smoke. If you want to hear something even funnier, the ENTIRE cardiac surgical team where I currently work, smokes. All of them. (Nurses and Techs, not the docs but I bet you they'd pick one up in a bar every now and then....)

Craziness. I heard one doctor say once, who cares that I went to medical school, I was addicted before I attended medical school. LMAO....he could always quit, I quess...but I guess he didn;t want to.

Weird. Smokers are people too. You wouldn't look at someone with an addiction like you would at a smoker - Oh, b/c they are addicted to something else - it's a disease, an ailment, something in them that draws them to addictive behaviors...Ah-hem, addiction is addiction...and smoking is an addiction. Where's the compassion?