A recent study released by the American Lung Association states that the battle to curb tobacco use has all but stalled in the U.S. Pair this with a report from the Surgeon General that links more diseases to smoking and you get the rationale for the reason more and more hospitals have become “smoke-free”. No more smoking in the buildings, no more smoking in areas outside the hospital—no more smoking, period.
In order to ensure that there is adherence to the “no smoking anywhere” policy, hospitals are beginning to test potential employees for nicotine. Really??? Yes! This testing includes temporary employees and travelers.
Another factor that may play a role in the no smoking policy is the increasing importance placed on patient satisfaction ratings. Many patients do not want to deal with the smell of stale tobacco smoke on the clothes of anyone giving them care. Patients also don’t want to have to smell tobacco breath from care providers either.
So…if you are a smoker and plan to take a travel assignment, you might check with your recruiter first to see if the hospital where you want to go has a requirement for nicotine testing. If it does, be prepared for the testing—and potentially having to look for another assignment.