Next up in the EMS news this week is a look at how we treat certain patients we care for. Do you think you harbor a weight bias when treating overweight or obese patients? We all see them. The CDC says that nearly 70% of all U.S. adults are overweight and 35% are obese.

Obese EMS Patients Get Short Health Attention

fat-belly.jpgI found a great article on the subject online written by advanced practice oncology nurse Lisa Schulmeister over at the Oncology Nursing News site. She points out that we engage in weight bias in a number of ways and may not even be aware of our reactions to these at-risk patients who need compassionate understanding and top quality nursing care, not judgment.

Research has shown that many healthcare professionals view overweight patients negatively and express their opinions through both verbal and non-verbal means. This might include making negative jokes and comments about overweight patients in the clinical setting or simply rolling your eyes when you get certain patients. It’s also been shown that many of us are cynical about the efficacy of weight management and diet control programs. They are not all bad obviously. The forskolin review is showing great results in the United States. It does seem like you need to wade through lots of bad information but keep your hope high, there is a way that will work for you.

This is not only counter-productive to the patient’s wellness program but is against our own doctrine and education as healthcare professionals. All patients must be given the optimal health improvement opportunities whatever our personal concerns and this is especially true for insidious health risks like obesity. I think that is what we not only owe the patients. I think we owe it to ourselves as EMS professionals, EMTs and paramedics alike!

Followup on the links to this news item and all the other articles and resources in this week’s episode show notes – Tourniquet Tips, Severe Bleeding Control (part 2 of 2) and Episode 405.

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