Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hospital Bans Health Care Workers From Lighting Up


A nurse takes a quick last puff off her cigarette outside Lower Keys Medical Center before hurrying back inside to take the medical history of her next patient — a lifelong smoker who's starting to show early signs of lung disease.

The irony of the situation is not lost on hospital administrators, who realize the double standard that is set when patients heading into the building see health-care professionals outside smoking — the same doctors and nurses who are encouraging them to quit smoking.
That's why they're taking the Stock Island facility and the dePoo Building on Kennedy Drive smoke-free.

"We need to set the example for health care in the community," said Randy Detrick, marketing manger for Lower Keys Medical Center. "You can't have nurses and doctors outside smoking and then telling [patients] not to."

As of Nov. 15, which coincides with the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout, all hospital employees and patients will be prohibited from using tobacco products, including cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco, while on the property of any Lower Keys Medical Center facility.

"No matter how many signs we put up, people still puff away right outside the front door," Detrick said. "Everybody's getting more vocal about secondhand smoke."
For the hospital's roughly 500 employees, that means no designated smoking areas, and no sneaking out to their cars or the sidewalk for a cigarette, Detrick said. Employees must clock out and leave the property if they want to smoke.

The policy also states that smokers are required to minimize the odor that lingers in their clothes and hair from using tobacco off-campus.

Abridged >>

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think thats a great idea, because what does it say about you the healtcare worker. I've seen respitory therapist smoke and it confuses me. Rt's know the whole respitory system and what cigarets can do to you and they still do it. It's also wrong when you are a patient and the doctor or nurse gets near you and they smell like smoke. Thats not proffesional.