A self- care wellness program is a program that is designed to help
employees to practice healthy ways of living, to reduce medical costs.
This goes a long way in improving the overall health of employees in a
simple, yet effective way. Hospitals are some of the most demanding
working environments. Nurses are usually the recipients of such work
pressures, and as such, they can get physically and mentally drained.
This, therefore means that nurses should live a healthy lifestyle to
avoid falling sick often. They are encouraged to avoid unhealthy
practices such as smoking. Thus, this paper shall discuss the butt out
short term self- care awareness program for nurses to help them cease
It should be noted that smoking is a habit that is developed over a
long period of time (McEwen, 2006). This makes cessation very difficult
and thus, the best approach is to start with short term measures that
help a smoker to gradually quit smoking. A self- care awareness program
is one of the most effective ways because it involves simple steps that
can be easily followed (Greden et al, 2011). The program also has a
step-by –step approach which enables the smoker to gradually quit
smoking. As an educator, the Butt out is the most suitable program for
This program involves a simple approach to the problem. It is divided
into group and individual self- help. This program is suitable because
it has a simple twelve step cessation program that guide the person on
the necessary steps for quitting (Holland & Halper, 2008). These steps
incorporate psychological and health issues that are associated with
smoking. Thus, the approach helps the nurse to recover psychologically
and physically, which has a great impact on the ultimate outcome. The
objective of the program is to assist the person to cease smoking and
stop the habit altogether by practicing healthier lifestyles (Tubesing &
To begin with identify those things that cause you to smoke. This is
because smoking is a habit that is triggered by a stressor. Certain
factors such as a heavy workload, excitement, need for relaxation, or
general environmental factors cause a person to smoke (McEwen, 2006).
Thus, the first step is to identify what triggers the urge to smoke.
This enables the person to systematically learn substitute ways of
handling these stressors instead of smoking. This can also help the
person to avoid circumstances that trigger the urge to smoke (Greden et
al, 2011). Thus, is for example the nurse feel the urge to smoke after
handling a sick child, the nurse can request to be transferred to a
section where he or she only deals with adults (Manuchehri, 2012).
Secondly, the smoker should realize that tobacco creates a dependency
cycle. This is because smoking is developed through reinforcement
(Greden et al, 2011). This means that once the person feels that the
stressor has set in, the person automatically turns to smoking so as to
induce relaxation. This creates a psychological reinforcement of smoking
because the person believes that smoking is the way out (Moritz &
Clendon, 2011). Thus, the person eventually develops dependency because
of the reinforced notion that smoking causes relaxation. Eventually, the
person develops a smoking habit even when not faced by the stressor.
Thus, the best approach is to have a psychological shift where the
person should realize that smoking does not actually cause relaxation.
The third step is to find a strong personal conviction to stop smoking
(Greden et al, 2011). As a nurse, the health problems that arise as a
result of smoking are well known, including the risk of developing
cancer. This begins by acknowledging that he or she has a smoking
problem (Greden et al, 2011). This combined with the knowledge of the
health risks of smoking serve as a good conviction to cease smoking.
Additionally, smoking requires that the smoker routinely neglect duty to
quench her thirst. This can be a risk to patients if the nurse has to go
out and smoke, even in the middle of a serious case (Edington &
University of Michigan, 2009).
Positivity is the next important step. It is important to remain
positive to the ability to quit smoking. This can better be accomplished
by having a personal list of reasons that will propel you to quit
smoking (Manuchehri, 2012). To remain positive, it is also important to
have a set of goals that you set out to accomplish and make sure that
you acknowledge each milestone made. This reinforces the positivity
towards cessation of smoking. You can also have a reward system for each
milestone accomplished, which help to reinforce for the accomplishments
made so far (Queen & Queen, 2004).
Choose a specific date by which you intend to have ceased smoking. As a
nurse, it is important to work with schedules, as it reinforces
discipline and commitment (Nardini, 2008). You can also ask a colleague
for assistance where the colleague acts as a reminder. This can be tied
to a goal, where you promise yourself to start doing something healthier
once you quit smoking (Carr, 1991). For example, as a nurse, you can
choose to implement a program in the clinic that involves helping
patients improve their health standards. This will give you a personal
satisfaction, and propel you towards cessation.
Get rid of all those things that help you to smoke especially at work
(Carr, 1991). These include ashtrays and packets of cigarettes kept in
your personal drawer, this reduces the convenience that comes with
smoking (Greden et al, 2011). The clinic can also assist the nurses by
eliminating all the comfortable smoking places for the nurses. This
reduces the alternatives available and the smoker and the convenience
which makes smoking easy. The inconvenience caused also reinforces the
will to quit smoking (Queen & Queen, 2004.
Get involved in activities that distract you from smoking. This will
give an alternative to smoking that should be healthy (Queen & Queen,
2004). This substitute should especially involve a physical activity or
any other activity that causes relaxation and satisfaction. For example,
as a nurse, you can choose to go and play with children in the children
section or have a number of rounds in the wards, checking up on your
patients. This will keep your mind engaged until you completely forget
that you needed a smoke (Simon, 2005).
Get healthy alternatives to smoking. This will enable you to slowly
replace the urge to smoke with a healthy habit (Simon, 2005). Most
smokers say that whenever they want to smoke, they are trying to quench
thirst. You can use this as a basis for replacement therapy where you
during a glass of water whenever you feel the urge to smoke. You can
also choose to eat succulent fruits whenever the urge to smoke develops.
This will slowly condition your mind to reach out for water or fruits
whenever you want to smoke and thus, completely cease smoking (Gill,
Begin by trying to quit smoking for a week and then slowly graduate to
a month. This can be done by consciously deciding to take control of the
situation (Richard, Emener & Hutchison, 2009). Put yourself in control
by holding the cigarette in your hand and toying with it. As you do
this, make notes about the cigarette such as its health effects, its
texture, smell and general appearance. After a while, put the cigarette
down and go over your notes. This will help you take control because you
can now resist the urge to smoke (Gill, 2005).
Ceasing to smoke is a hard thing to do especially if the habit is
routine or you are constantly in contact with those stressors that make
you smoke. Thus, you are likely to keep falling back occasionally. Do
not blame yourself for this (Gill, 2005). Instead, evaluate the
situation and find out what triggered you to smoke, and then find an
alternative solution. Most importantly, when you fall back, do not give
up. Instead, keep trying again by adjusting your actions so that you do
not easily fall back (Reichler, 2003).
Try using a socially acceptable way of quitting by doing something
positive to enable you quit smoking (Clark & Clark, 1996). For example,
as a nurse, you can decide to lend your money to the kitty of the needy,
each time you are tempted to smoke. This will make you do a positive
thing in society and give you a personal satisfaction (Flowers et al,
2011). You can also decide to buy gift for your patients each time you
have the temptation to buy cigarettes. This positive impact will help
you be more satisfied with your actions than with smoking.
Finally, ask you colleagues to help you quit smoking (Reichler, 2003).
You can ask one of your colleagues to come up with convincing reasons to
help you quit smoking such as placing a list of the health hazards
involved with smoking on you work station (Clark & Clark, 1996). This
will constantly remind you why you should quit smoking. The person will
also help you in maintaining your goals to quit smoking. Colleagues are
also good in assisting you because you spent most your time with them
(Velde & Fidler, 2002).
This program should be implemented systematically following all the
steps as guided above. This will help in evaluating the impact of every
step along the way (Wright & McCray, 2012). This program aims at having
objectives of each step and the expected outcomes. Thus, at every stage,
the nurse should come up with objectives and goals of each stage. This
system of implementation ensures that the stages are well understood in
terms of objectives and goals, which goes a long way in assisting the
person to quit smoking (Reichler, 2003).
The program implementation will involve training of the nurses on how
to evaluate themselves (Allen, 2013). The training will also involve
advice on how to set realistic goals. This will reduce the pressure on
the person because unrealistic goals cause frustration. Training will
also involve teaching the nurses on how to customize the steps to suit
their situations and capabilities. This will involve evaluating the
period for which a person has been smoking and any previous attempts at
quitting (Alexander, Lester & Dean, 2011).
Evaluation will be done on a regular basis. This will be informed by
how the person had customized the program to fit his or her needs
(O’Donnell, 2002). There is also a provision for self evaluation where
the person is encouraged to write down the goals he wishes to achieve
within a certain time (Greden et al, 2011). This will enable him to
evaluate the milestones thus far achieved. This double evaluation helps
to keep the person on his toes because the resolve to cease smoking is
tied to an achievable goal (Wright & McCray, 2012).
This program is important to the public because smoking is one of the
major causes of lung and throat cancer (Weiss, 1988). Therefore, this
information should be availed to the public to help those who are
smoking to be able to quit this habit. This will also educate friends
and families of the smokers on ways of helping their loved ones quit
smoking. Thus, this information should be availed to the public to help
in spreading the information about smoking and ways of quitting (Clark,
In conclusion, smoking is mostly associated with stressful conditions.
People smoke so as to relax and this leads to a dependency cycle. This
simple twelve step approach is useful to the smokers as it deals with
the psychological process of quitting. It also involves healthier
substitutes to smoking which improve the overall health of the smoker.
Thus, it should be implemented systematically. To make it more
effective, the program can be customized to fit the needs of
individuals. Thus, the individual can substitute some stages or
eliminate those that are not necessary (Health Intelligence Network,
2006). However, the customization should not alter the basic approach.
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A self- care wellness program is a program that is designed to help