How Healthy Are Our Nurses – Care Example

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"How Healthy Are Our Nurses" is a great example of a paper on care. The paper seeks to critically evaluate the article by Sumaira Malik, Holly Blake & Mark Butt (2011) entitled “ How healthy are our nurses? New and registered nurses compared. ” The paper starts by summarizing the main points discussed in the article. The paper will then discuss in more detail the aspect of smoking. The last part of the paper will summarise the main points discussed. Summary of the paper Nurses are the custodians of a healthy lifestyle among citizens in different countries.

They are the focal point since they are always in contact with the patients such that they can give them good advice about recommended lifestyles. Nurses are agents of the government in promoting healthy lifestyles among people from different walks of life. However, research has shown that some nurses often fail to transfer this knowledge to improve their healthcare. In other words, the nurses are not being exemplary since they are failing to put their knowledge into practice so that they can be emulated by other people. As such, this study sought to examine the health behavior of the nursing staff and 325 pre-registered nurses and 551 registered nurses were drawn to participate in the study where they completed a questionnaire.

This sample was drawn from the same university teaching hospital and located within an acute NHS trust.   Registered nurses generally displayed a healthier lifestyle compared to pre-registered nurses. The study found that few nurses engaged in physical training and not all of them ate a healthy diet including fruits. The study noted that there is room for improvement in terms of healthcare among both groups.

However, the prevalent rate of smoking among different nurses is remarkably high and this is a serious issue of concern as far as healthcare is concerned. For instance, the study notes that between 45 and 57 % of the nurses are current smokers. Therefore, this paper will focus on the key issue related to smoking. Impact of smoking on the nurses The prevalence rate of smoking is just high as indicated in the study. About 55 % of the nurses in the UK are smokers and this can be attributed to work-related stress.

Besides these factors, smoking is a serious issue of health concern across the globe. According to the study, 18.9 % of the current sample were smokers while 89.4 % of participants were aware of the dangers of passive smoking. Registered nurses were more likely to become current smokers and less likely to have the intention of quitting compared to the pre-registered nurses. This presents a gloomy picture as a result of the fact that the participants are aware of the dangers of smoking hence the need for the government to implement intervention plans that can reduce the prevalence of smoking among the nurses at the workplace since this is a dangerous habit.

    The Institute for Social Marketing UK (2011) states that tobacco is the largest preventable cause of cancer deaths and other related illnesses in the country. Therefore, a holistic approach is required to address the problem such that young people in particular and other ordinary citizens are not lured into smoking since it is a serious issue of concern with regards to the aspect of healthcare.

Johnson (2001) posits to the effect that smokers face considerably increased death rates or various illnesses that include cancer, heart diseases, stroke, bronchitis, emphysema, and other respiratory diseases. Smoking also causes dental problems and it is very dangerous to pregnant women since it can cause complications in pregnancy that may lead to premature births, underweight, or stillbirths. On the other hand, non-smokers are also affected through passive smoking since they are exposed to tobacco smoke which is comprised of various substances that can impact negatively their health.

This literature shows that smoking is a very dangerous habit that can affect both smokers and nonsmokers. In order to address this cancerous problem, social media campaigns may be very effective in promoting quality health among all the people. Rice and Atkin (1989, p. 5 as cited in McQuail, 2000) state that “ a communication campaign is a purposive attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate behavioral changes in a well defined and large audience generally for noncommercial benefits to the individuals and society at large by means of organized communication. ” In as far as smoking is concerned, media campaigns that are designed to persuade the targeted audiences to change their behavior can be carried.

These media campaigns can be in the form of electronic, print media, or the internet and they should be designed to persuade the people to change their behavior. In order to be successful in this kind of campaign, marketers should focus on the benefits of quitting smoking rather than focusing on threats or the dangers of smoking. This may lead to cognitive dissonance where some people may tend to argue that they have been smokers for a long time but they have not yet experienced any health problem.

It is also important to segment the market so that the message can be carefully tailored to meet the needs of the people targeted.       Conclusion In conclusion, the paper sought to critically analyze the above-mentioned study concerned with establishing the extent to which nurses as custodians of healthcare prioritize their own healthcare lifestyles. The nurses play an integral role in promoting healthy lifestyle behavior to the patients.

The study found that nurses are not as good at taking care of their health and lifestyle as they are expected to. For instance, pre-registered nurses displayed poorer health and lifestyle behavior compared to nurses.   The problem of smoking is an issue of healthcare concern among the nursing staff who should play a leading role in discouraging patients to smoke since this is a bad habit that impacts negatively on health. Education and support services such as media campaigns can play a pivotal role in mitigating the impacts of this problem.  


Institute for social marketing (2011). Viewed from:


Johnson, L. (2001). Harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. Viewed from:


Malik, S., Blake, H., & Butt, M. (2011) How healthy are our nurses? New and

registered nurses compared.” British Journal of Nursing, 20(8), pp489-496]

McQuail D. (2000). Mass communication theory. London. Sage Publications.

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