Essay 3

Submitted By jhermiz
Words: 2000
Pages: 8

Should Hospitals Be Permitted To Deny Employment To Applicants Who Smoke Cigarettes?

Joshua Hermiz
Oakland University
November 2014

Should Hospitals Be Permitted to Deny Employment to Applicants Who Smoke Cigarettes? Nicotine is a toxic colorless or yellowish oily liquid that is the chief active constituent of tobacco. It acts as a stimulant in small doses, but in larger amounts it blocks the action of the autonomic nerve and the skeletal muscle cells. Smokers are familiar of the deadly side effects nicotine has to offer when using it. It is important to understand why hospitals should not permit employment to individuals who smoke. Hospitals and healthcare facilities want to promote safe and smoke free campuses for employees, patients and visitors. Most Michigan hospital campuses are smoke free and test all employees for nicotine, especially those looking for a job. It is no secret that exposure to smoke presents all types of health risks and hospitals come to understand this by taking action with this new policy they are enforcing. All individuals that already work or want to work in a health system should be tested for nicotine. Physicians and all employees at a hospital should be the patient’s role model when trying to quit something that is very difficult to do. This is especially important to individuals who are planning to apply for a position in healthcare and individuals who currently work at a smoke-free healthcare facility. If an individual is going into a career to promote a healthy life style or help many individuals' lives, they should not be hypocritical and go against what they are advising others to do. Individuals should be tested for nicotine, so that patients do not feel guilty for smoking when the workers at a hospital do as well. Currently, twenty-one states allow health care employers to deny employment due to smoking. There are two reasons behind such policy: financial and clinical reasons. From the financial reasoning, they are stating, “employing nonsmokers reduces sick time and lowers health care costs” (Olsen, 2014). Hospitals find it beneficial if their employees do not smoke, because they do not need to spend millions of dollars each year for health insurance. As people may know, when working at a corporate company and trying to obtain health insurance with that company, they test for the use of nicotine. If employees test positive for nicotine, it will cost them more compared to if the employee tests negative. The reason for this is because employees who smoke are known to have more of a weak immune system, which makes it harder for the body to fight off bad cells that makes one sick. When looking at the clinical side, “nonsmokers are role models who are better suited to help patients quit smoking…project positive and consistent public image” (Olsen, 2014). Individuals who work in a health care facility that smoke may contradict what they tell their patients to do to better their life. If patients see that the individuals who are helping them better their life, such as being healthy again are smoking, they might find it hypocritical and find a different place to be treated. Nurses embody the largest group of hospital employees, making the nonsmoking policy particularly relevant to registered nurses. Also, physicians that smoke are looked upon just as much because they are the ones diagnosing and treating the patient directly compared to the nurses who just dispense medication for their patients. To better understand the reasons such policy takes place, hospitals will deny employment to those testing positive in their urine for nicotine is because they want to promote a complete culture of wellness; this is true regardless if the applicant uses patches, smokeless tobacco, or cigarettes. Such policy took place to promote health along with lowering insurance rates. Each year, the nation is faced with billions of dollars in health care costs and the lost of