On its face, the hospital’s don’t-hire-the-obese policy makes good sense – why should a health organization be represented to the public by people who appear to be unhealthy. Perhaps the answer is that those ‘unhealthy’ people look exactly like the community they serve. While I applaud the hospital for taking the topic on, it was guaranteed to blow up in their faces. Let’s watch to see how good their crisis communications plan is. Suzanne Lucas on CBS News:
“Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just operate your business outside of the court of public opinion? Well, you can’t. Now if you Google “Victoria Hospital Texas,” three references to the obesity policy show up on the the first page of hits. Is that what you want prospective patients, donors, and employees to know about you? Probably not.
Before you implement any policy, you really need to think through the total consequences. Make the policy fit the actual problem you want to correct — if you’re concerned about overweight nurses not being able to adequately care for patients, make your standards around ability to care for a patient, regardless of weight.”