As nursing students, we get our share of lectures on teaching our patients how to eat nutritious meals and watch their dietary intake. It seems only right that we would practice what we preach. But in the midst of a crazy day running around, when we finally get a chance to eat, we find ourselves in a bind. Especially if your hospital has a built-in McDonalds.
Worse than your worst vending machine is your decision between salad bar in the cafeteria or a quarter pounder with cheese and fries. I love my salads, don’t get me wrong, and actually, we have a fantastic salad bar. But some days, by 2 o’clock I am feeling pretty beat, and there’s something comforting about eating something familiar, something I know the taste of, and I know it will taste the same every time I order it.Â I try not to indulge myself too much, at least when it comes to burgers and fries, and will only have chicken nuggets every so often, but I can’t say the same for the Mc CafÃ©. Coffee-y goodness at a cheap (enough) price tends to win me over as the right winter warm-up before heading back to the floor.
Why do we have a McDonalds in our hospital?Â Well, I am not sure I’ve really convinced myself that this is the most logical explanation, but as I have heard it said, “To kids who are sick, going to McDonalds is like the next best thing to going to Disneyland.”Â As an avid Disney fan, I can’t say I agree with this, and even if it is that exciting for the kids, we really shouldn’t be encouraging them to eat fast food to make them feel better. But then, I can’t really talk, since I’ve just admitted that on some days, those stocking shaped chicken nuggets do take me back to simpler days and make everything a bit brighter.
But should hospitals, which purport to support healthful living habits, have a McDonalds built right in?