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Practice What You Preach

Practice What You Preach

Sean Dent | Scrubs Magazine

I have this problem with our health care profession. Wait, let me re-phrase that. I have this problem with some health care professionals. (Beware of impending rant to follow)

We should practice what we preach. Or better yet, we should practice what we teach. Patient education is a corner stone of the health care profession. No matter what your medical specialty is, no matter what facet of health care you contribute to, you teach. You teach your clients, you teach your patients, you educate your fellow colleagues, etc. The list goes on.

Here’s my conundrum. How in the world can you one educate another if they cannot themselves follow their own advice and suggestions??!!

For instance:

How does a dentist educate his patients on proper care of your teeth, if he himself has a mouth riddled with cavities?

How does a respiratory therapist take a ’smoke’ break and then have the audacity to educate a patient on smoking cessation techniques. All the while smelling like cigarette smoke?

How does a personal trainer/athletic trainer educate and discipline his clients and/or athletes on weight loss suggestions and training techniques, when they themselves take the elevator instead of the stairs??

And finally, how does a nurse educate their patients on maintaining and improving one’s health and then during their lunch break they have the nearest fast food burger, take the escalator instead of the stairs and squeeze in a cigarette or two before returning to the floor??!!

I understand the difficulties in time management, overwhelming tasks and uncooperative working environments, but seriously? You wonder why you are always tired, and can’t walk up those flight of steps when I see you drinking a cup of coffee and some sort of Danish, doughnut, or candy bar every chance you get?

I liken it to a nurse licking their fingers, instead of washing their hands, after cleaning up a patient’s bodily fluids. Or telling a patient the importance of washing one’s hands to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, while the nurse goes in and out of all their patients rooms and never even uses a hand sanitizer. (blegh)

Do what I say, not what I do. Right?

What do you think?

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  • Pictures_from_phone_134_max50


    over 4 years ago


    So every healthcare professional should be an angelic saint??? What gives you the right to judge??? Okay granted a dentist telling patients about how to take care of teeth when he or she has a mouth full of cavities may seem a little off but guess what.. he or she went to school and earned their right to do something they may or may not be passionate about... everyone has a quirk or habit others may not be crazy about.. no one is perfect.. how do you know if that nurse that smokes isn't trying to quit?? Do you realize how hard it is to quit smoking... what I am basically trying to say is, what people do is their business.. if a patient comes into the ER it is the patients right that they be educated on prevention (for example)... it doesnt make a dr. or nurse less competent because they smoke cigarettes or eat a candy bar every day... as long as it does not harm the patient... it should not matter... everyone has the choice to live their lives the way they want to... as long as we are giving patients the best care is what truly matters... healthcare is not about the professionals it's about the patient.. thats what matters the most!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I just started nursing school, and I could not agree more on your article. I was thinking to myself why do I see so many over weight nurses, you never see doctors overweight. (well every now and then) But people in healthcare all ready know what is good for the human body, ignoring it is sort of being...(sorry if I offend anyone) but ignorant.

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