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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 07, 2007

The Cardiac Insider Is Back: Nurses, Put Down Your Cheesesteaks

By Mark Sisson

Now, you need to exercise at least 5 times a week, cardio wise. You should really try to do weight training as well, to make you stronger. Do you have a gym membership? Do you have any gym equipment at your house? And don’t forget to follow your low fat, low salt, low cholesterol diet. Here are your 13 drug prescriptions. Do you have any questions?

… And this all happens in the 15 minutes before we discharge you from the hospital. That is, after you have had a 4-day stay with us. And 50% of the time, it is being said by a very overweight, under exercised, cheese-steak-eating nurse! I am not a mean person, but come on! This is yet another little gripe form your friendly nurse at Diabetes Notes and A Hearty Life.

Did your mother ever teach you the phrase, “practice what you preach”? I know I learned manners from observing my mom and dad. So how can a cardiac patient that is being discharged from a hospital take you seriously if you look like you have never walked a flight of stairs yourself? I am by no means a lean, mean machine. But I do try to stay heart-healthy by exercise and a moderated diet. I am also a diabetic, so while I can commiserate with my patients, I can also call their bluffs.

Adrian Clark Flickr Photo

Why do clinicians who have all the resources in the world choose to do themselves wrong? I don’t know.

And why do we decide to do teaching with our patients 30 minutes before they are discharged?

By the way, those last few minutes are when our patients are most anxious. They are going out on their own, having to deal with their cardiac issues without the guidance and security of the hospital staff. Why not start the nutrition and heart health education the day of admission? Allow a few days for the patients to absorb the info and formulate some questions they might have.

After all, isn’t that part of our job? Making sure that the patient has all the resources and information they need to ensure success! Not that success always happens. Believe me, I don’t always see rainbows and roses, just read my last post here at Mark’s blog. And I get just as frustrated as the next nurse with noncompliance and neglect, but I think we are all at fault. We can’t just point our fingers, you know?

What do you think? Have you ever been a patient and had a similar situation happen to you? Do you think we need to rethink our ways of teaching as clinicians? I want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly…except if you have a story about me, haha.

Editor’s note:

Was Kendra’s post insightful for you? How ’bout those cheesesteaks! You can discuss this post in the forum. Would you like to read more from Kendra about health care in the trenches? Let us know! And, for more great insights and heart-healthy tips from this cardiac care insider, be sure to visit Kendra’s blog.

[tags] cheesesteak, hospitals, patient care, cardiac health, nurses, health education, Kendra James, A Hearty Life, Diabetes Notes, guest post [/tags]

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2 Comments on "The Cardiac Insider Is Back: Nurses, Put Down Your Cheesesteaks"


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7 years 2 months ago
I can completely relate with Kendra.. I am studying to be a nurse. I have 6 months before I graduate.. The amount of nurses who smoke and are overweight is overwhelming!! I have always had the ambition to do as I preach and walk the talk. Some of my nursing buddies don’t have the same approach, thats fine, some of them question why I do it!! I can’t believe the mentality some people have. But I believe if I walk the talk then I will be a person who someone would look up to and really listen to what my… Read more »
5 years 2 months ago
I would love to read Kendra’s blog except is not there! I just started the primal lifestyle after being unable to lose weight following my heart attack. I did follow the Atkins diet 20 years ago, stayed with it for 2 years but caved for sweets.Now know what happened. When I was on the Atkins diet I turned to Splenda and high fats to compensate for the lack of sugar. Many things have changed and I believe the primal diet is the way to go for me at least). I started the primal plan a week ago and I am… Read more »