Nurse fails the puzzler

A few weeks back we discussed a nutritional brain teaser: what’s the healthiest snack, an apple, potato chips, cookie, or ice cream.  I concluded that, if prepared with the best ingredients, the ice cream and potato chips were the healthiest. (Of course, foods are rarely well prepared, and if I had to buy these things in supermarkets, I might go with the apple.)

LynMarie Daye brings news of a nurse who failed to solve the puzzler. The nurse tried to discourage a diabetic patient from eating ice cream – perhaps a wise move, considering the levels of sugar in most commercial ice cream; but only if better, not worse, foods replace the ice cream. The hospital administration reprimanded her for not providing the ice cream with a smile.

If I am going to give people what they want with a smile instead of what they need with understanding and caring, then I’ll flip burgers. I have ALWAYS greeted my patients (yes patients) with a smile, a caring hand on the shoulder if they allow and carefully explained what, why, and how. Lately I left a bedside with confidence that while not pleased with their situation, they were comfortable with it. An hour later I’m being called into the charge nurse’s office being chewed out for being mean and/or rude to the patient and/or the family! I did my nursing duty, I brought them that extra helping of ice cream with a teaching that this may not be their best choice for a diabetic and perhaps they would do better with the apple slices or sugar free cake I also brought along. But how rude of me to suggest such things! The “client” knows what is best for them, I’m told.

The nurse is well-intentioned but look what she recommends over ice cream – the most fructose-rich of fruits, the apple; and a cake full of toxic wheat proteins. Both these foods provide all calories as carbs, precisely the macronutrient that diabetics are least able to handle. When her diabetic finished the apple slices and was still hungry, would she bring more apples and cake?  At least the ice cream provides egg yolks and dairy fats that satiate appetite and displace carbs from the diet.

I wish I could say the hospital reprimanded her for faulty diet advice. Unfortunately, it seems the hospital’s only concern was the patient’s pleasure. It appears the hospital would be content to help patients poison themselves, if that would increase customer satisfaction.

They say you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink.  When it comes to diet, the medical industry has lost the way to the water and has given up leading. Frankly, I’d rather be a horse than a hospital patient.

  1. … but horses eat oats and apples. ;-}

  2. erp – True! If I were a horse I could survive a hospital diet just fine! But might have trouble footing the bill. And would need to revise my diet book.

  3. Of course. 🙂

  4. Interesting news, thanks for sharing this PJ. It’s really hard to get really healthy food in hospitals (of all places.) One is hard pressed to find a gluten free, white flour free and sugar free option. And they are suppose to make the patients healthier instead of sicker. How ironic! Even a horse will get sick eating lots of cakes and fruits.

  5. Modern helathcare has reached a sad state of affairs. It’s true, the last thing you are supposed to do is even suggest that the patient may be responsible, even partialy, for their current condition. Diabetic patient in for uncontolled blood sugar? Let them eat the 5 lb bag of M&M’s and say nothing, even though they are on Medicade and I am paying for their care.The one thing you must never do is hurt someones feelings or challenge their world view.

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