Practice What You Preach

I have this problem with the healthcare profession.

We should practice what we preach. Or better yet, we should practice what we teach.

Patient education is a corner stone of the healthcare profession. No matter what your medical specialty is, no matter what facet of healthcare 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, donut, 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.

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

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20 thoughts on “Practice What You Preach

  1. *bragging* I guess I don’t have a problem with this because I exercise, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I eat basically– a cardiac/ADA diet, oh well, most of the time. hmmm . . .

  2. *bragging* I guess I don’t have a problem with this because I exercise, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, and I eat basically– a cardiac/ADA diet, oh well, most of the time. hmmm . . .

  3. @ Caroline Thanks for sharing. I never thought about the pain management teaching. That’s a tough one to teach, let alone a hard pill to swallow when YOU are the patient.

  4. @ Caroline Thanks for sharing. I never thought about the pain management teaching. That’s a tough one to teach, let alone a hard pill to swallow when YOU are the patient.

  5. I’m definitely guilty. When I had my third knee surgery (as a nursing student) I still managed to be incredibly stubborn about pain meds even though every day at work I say to my patients “now, don’t just sit there and be miserable. We have medicine that can help you and it’s best to get it under control rather than wait too long…”

    Sigh.

  6. I’m definitely guilty. When I had my third knee surgery (as a nursing student) I still managed to be incredibly stubborn about pain meds even though every day at work I say to my patients “now, don’t just sit there and be miserable. We have medicine that can help you and it’s best to get it under control rather than wait too long…”

    Sigh.

  7. May,
    Thank you for your comments and your honesty. I think the difference between you and those I discussed is that you recognize the hypocrisy.
    I do appreciate you sharing.

  8. May,
    Thank you for your comments and your honesty. I think the difference between you and those I discussed is that you recognize the hypocrisy.
    I do appreciate you sharing.

  9. i am guilty of this big time. i still have 40 pounds hanging all over me. i have gained a total of 80 for two pregnancies, but saying that as a reason is personally a ridiculous excuse now that my kids are 5 1/2 and 4 years old. this is why i never have the face to teach obese patients about the benefits of losing the extra weight, because i don’t think i am in the position to do that. on the other hand, this is one big reason why i can totally relate to them and truly empathize. and this is why i stopped looking at the RTs or cardiothoracic surgeon who smoke like they’re some kind of hypocrites, because honestly, i am one of them.

  10. i am guilty of this big time. i still have 40 pounds hanging all over me. i have gained a total of 80 for two pregnancies, but saying that as a reason is personally a ridiculous excuse now that my kids are 5 1/2 and 4 years old. this is why i never have the face to teach obese patients about the benefits of losing the extra weight, because i don’t think i am in the position to do that. on the other hand, this is one big reason why i can totally relate to them and truly empathize. and this is why i stopped looking at the RTs or cardiothoracic surgeon who smoke like they’re some kind of hypocrites, because honestly, i am one of them.

  11. Good point. As someone who preaches about exercise to his patients every day, I must admit that from time to time I have lapses in my own regimen. However, I try to turn this into a positive in that I am better able to empathize with them in that I too have fallen off the wagon from time to time. If we are too perfect we run the risk of appear out of touch and self-righteous.

  12. Good point. As someone who preaches about exercise to his patients every day, I must admit that from time to time I have lapses in my own regimen. However, I try to turn this into a positive in that I am better able to empathize with them in that I too have fallen off the wagon from time to time. If we are too perfect we run the risk of appear out of touch and self-righteous.

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