Never thought working in a doc's office would make me gag!!(graphic, for nurses only! - page 4

Okay, so this took the cake today and I tell this story here because I know that as fellow nurses no one will make a mess on their keyboards upon reading this. I thought I was going to die. I... Read More

  1. by   studious
    Yep! only a nurse can read this sort of stuff and still keep his/her food firmly in it's place. It's a hard job doing so though, often times tears have been streaming down my face trying.

    I remember working in colorectal surgery. Once the surgeon has dissected the offending part of colon, he would hand it to us floor nurses clamps intact, and we would have to prepare the specimen before going the lab. We always knew what was going on NEXT DOOR if we were on lunchbreak. When the clamps came off, the odour would permeate nicely through to the room we were all sitting having our lunch. I would often sit there and think jeeeeeeeez, and that's after prep.

    I am not good with sputum though, or suctioning, never have been. We have a patient who needs suctioning from his laryngectomy site quite a lot, and lately due to his ongoing illness, it's like chewing gum, and you have to tweeze it from the stoma site, I'm talking large thick and long globules, that never seem to end(this is making me retch). The other day it looked exactly like a brandy snap(sorry folks, but I'm suffereing too), completely occluding his stoma site with holes in it, the same colour and everything. Normally, I adore brandy snaps, but this was just wrong, I'll never eat another one again!!!!!!!!!!However, I managed to keep a straight face, and smile and apologise to this man for the obvious discomfort he is in when we do suction. I didn't have lunch that day. There just wasn't any point. Give me doo doo(any consistency or smell) pee pee(any colour or smell) piles of vomit(not too much sputum), and I'm there.

    BUT I DO dread every time this poor gentlemans buzzer goes off.
  2. by   MamaTheNurse
    Quote from studious
    Yep! only a nurse can read this sort of stuff and still keep his/her food firmly in it's place. It's a hard job doing so though, often times tears have been streaming down my face trying.

    I remember working in colorectal surgery. Once the surgeon has dissected the offending part of colon, he would hand it to us floor nurses clamps intact, and we would have to prepare the specimen before going the lab. We always knew what was going on NEXT DOOR if we were on lunchbreak. When the clamps came off, the odour would permeate nicely through to the room we were all sitting having our lunch. I would often sit there and think jeeeeeeeez, and that's after prep.

    I am not good with sputum though, or suctioning, never have been. We have a patient who needs suctioning from his laryngectomy site quite a lot, and lately due to his ongoing illness, it's like chewing gum, and you have to tweeze it from the stoma site, I'm talking large thick and long globules, that never seem to end(this is making me retch). The other day it looked exactly like a brandy snap(sorry folks, but I'm suffereing too), completely occluding his stoma site with holes in it, the same colour and everything. Normally, I adore brandy snaps, but this was just wrong, I'll never eat another one again!!!!!!!!!!However, I managed to keep a straight face, and smile and apologise to this man for the obvious discomfort he is in when we do suction. I didn't have lunch that day. There just wasn't any point. Give me doo doo(any consistency or smell) pee pee(any colour or smell) piles of vomit(not too much sputum), and I'm there.

    BUT I DO dread every time this poor gentlemans buzzer goes off.

    I don't know what brandy snaps are but I feel your pain - I've had my share of nasty trachs and they make my eyes water every time!!! I realized quickly when I was a nursing that sputum was/is my "kryptonite" - when I was pregnant, just the sound of a wet rolling cough could make me have to exit the room very quickly!!!! thank goodness that I don't get colds very often because I've almost thrown up after personally coughing!!!! that's so sad!!! I can take any other body fluid, GI bleeds, nasty Pseudomonas-filled wounds and any nasty BO you can produce but if I had to deal with the stuff that the OP had to deal with, I probably would have had to go home!!!! Blah!!!!
  3. by   CapeCoralNurse2be
    I can totally relate to this thread...I'm an ex lab tech. I worked in Microbiology, and of course it was my job to culture all the lovely specimens we got from the patients on the floor and out-patients and the office collected specimens. I've seem my fair share of gross specimens. I remember the first sputum I had to culture, it was a lot like the OP described, I asked, "now how would I go about smearing that on a petri dish?" The MT says to me, oh you just gotta dig right in there and get a sample of it, then smear it in. It was all I could do to hold back the urge to purge! Give me a urine spec. any day, heck even a stool sample...but sputum...blahh, that is the worst! Worse yet one day I was up in one of the units to get some blood from a patient, went to put the bedrail down and stuck my hand in something gooy. When I looked down to see what it was....gag....it was sputum, all over the bedrail. Not sure how it got there...don't wanna know...just went and washed my hands REAL FAST! I have lots of these disgusting stories, I won't go into the washing of body parts in Pathology....:chuckle
  4. by   Cntw82BanRN
    I'd rather see blood and diarrhea than nasal/respiratory secretions...I hate the sound of a suction...eeekkkkk!!!
  5. by   DutchgirlRN
    Quote from laurasc
    I figured it I didn't think too much about it I would be fine. Carefully I poured the white goo into another bottle and the whole flippin' thing flopped in one big mass into the other bottle! I felt my stomach roll but with monumental effort I pushed the thought away and rethought my strategy. I carefully poured the mass into the other bottle and tried to get it divided into both botlles. Unfortunately all I succeeded in doing was causing that thick mass to drape over the two bottles. Meanwhile, the other nurse was standing on the other side of the wall asking me if I was done yet."uh, not really." said I. "Can I have a tongue depressor?" That sent the other nurse into anoher set of gagging fits. I understood really because by that point I was gritting my teeth so hard my jaw hurt. I had no choice but to cut the mass in half. That's when the full realization of what I was doing hit me like a ton of bricks and I found myself in the grip of eye-watering, uvula wrenching dry heaves that threatened to upchuck my lunch of spinach tortalini and mushroom sauce. (charming!) What was it? Sputum. Thick, rubber-like and at least as large as a golf ball. (or as my dearest hubby said after I told him the story "oyster!" Egad! That's making my stomach lurch!:imbar )And it wasn't even my patient!Man! I love nursing!
    I must have been in nursing too long. It doesn't gross me out one bit. :chuckle
  6. by   txspadequeenRN
    Lunch anyone!!!!!



    Quote from laurasc
    Okay, so this took the cake today and I tell this story here because I know that as fellow nurses no one will make a mess on their keyboards upon reading this. I thought I was going to die. I walked in the office nurses station this afternoon to find the nurse that works next door hopping around and gagging herself to death. Seems one of her patients handed her a specimine container FULL of a thick whitish substance floating in a clear not to thick fluid. Her boss wanted her to divide the it between two bottles. The poor nurse was seconds from losing her lunch so I took pity on her and volunteered to do it. (Yeah...I know....what was I thinking!!! )

    I figured it I didn't think too much about it I would be fine. Carefully I poured the white goo into another bottle and the whole flippin' thing flopped in one big mass into the other bottle! I felt my stomach roll but with monumental effort I pushed the thought away and rethought my strategy. I carefully poured the mass into the other bottle and tried to get it divided into both botlles. Unfortunately all I succeeded in doing was causing that thick mass to drape over the two bottles. Meanwhile, the other nurse was standing on the other side of the wall asking me if I was done yet.

    "uh, not really." said I. "Can I have a tongue depressor?" That sent the other nurse into anoher set of gagging fits. I understood really because by that point I was gritting my teeth so hard my jaw hurt. I had no choice but to cut the mass in half. That's when the full realization of what I was doing hit me like a ton of bricks and I found myself in the grip of eye-watering, uvula wrenching dry heaves that threatened to upchuck my lunch of spinach tortalini and mushroom sauce. (charming!)

    What was it? Sputum. Thick, rubber-like and at least as large as a golf ball. (or as my dearest hubby said after I told him the story "oyster!" Egad! That's making my stomach lurch!:imbar )

    And it wasn't even my patient!

    Man! I love nursing!

    Laura
  7. by   Keepstanding
    Like some other posters have stated....I guess I have been in nursing too long ! This doesn't do much to me ! :chuckle I will admit that while dealing with something that is quite gross.....I try to "zone out" and think of something else while I am doing "whatever" is needed. Trach's, colostomy's, gangreenous amputations with dressing changes, sputum specimens, etc... Sights are okay with me...it's the smell's that trip me up !

    LPN 90
  8. by   ArmyMSN
    Just came back from Afghanistan.

    When your patient coughs up live squiggley, intestinal worms, that'll cause you to lose your lunch.
  9. by   emllpn2006
    Call me dirty minded when I fist read the original post "one of her patients handed her a specimine container FULL of a thick whitish substance floating in a clear not to thick fluid. Her boss wanted her to divide the it between two bottles." I was thinking about a urine specimine and semen. I was wondering why would any man do that in the same cup and thinking about how much of a dirty old man this patient must have been. Thankfully when I got to the end it said "What was it? Sputum." That cleared it up for me. I am not big on any kind of sputum and even the sound of someone clearing their throat makes me gag. I am a new nurse though so hopefully I will grow out of that. I did have to suction a trech in school and got through that without gaging but it was not easy!!!
    Also I did read this whole post and replys while still eating my cheese puffs and drinking pepsi and I did not flench.
  10. by   HeartsOpenWide
    Quote from laurasc
    Okay, so this took the cake today and I tell this story here because I know that as fellow nurses no one will make a mess on their keyboards upon reading this. I thought I was going to die. I walked in the office nurses station this afternoon to find the nurse that works next door hopping around and gagging herself to death. Seems one of her patients handed her a specimine container FULL of a thick whitish substance floating in a clear not to thick fluid. Her boss wanted her to divide the it between two bottles. The poor nurse was seconds from losing her lunch so I took pity on her and volunteered to do it. (Yeah...I know....what was I thinking!!! )


    I figured it I didn't think too much about it I would be fine. Carefully I poured the white goo into another bottle and the whole flipping' thing flopped in one big mass into the other bottle! I felt my stomach roll but with monumental effort I pushed the thought away and rethought my strategy. I carefully poured the mass into the other bottle and tried to get it divided into both botlles. Unfortunately all I succeeded in doing was causing that thick mass to drape over the two bottles. Meanwhile, the other nurse was standing on the other side of the wall asking me if I was done yet.

    "uh, not really." said I. "Can I have a tongue depressor?" That sent the other nurse into anoher set of gagging fits. I understood really because by that point I was gritting my teeth so hard my jaw hurt. I had no choice but to cut the mass in half. That's when the full realization of what I was doing hit me like a ton of bricks and I found myself in the grip of eye-watering, uvula wrenching dry heaves that threatened to upchuck my lunch of spinach tortalini and mushroom sauce. (charming!)

    What was it? Sputum. Thick, rubber-like and at least as large as a golf ball. (or as my dearest hubby said after I told him the story "oyster!" Egad! That's making my stomach lurch!:imbar )

    And it wasn't even my patient!

    Man! I love nursing!

    Laura
    had this happen to me, the receptionist said that some one had come in with a "specimen" so I brought her back. Fortunately hers was not a quantity as large as has yours but she hands me over a McDonald's cup and says "I coughed this up." It was grayish and smiley looking like gag that Nickelodeon uses to make when I was a kid. I went ahead and sent it into the lab as a sputum sample. When they results came back it turn out she had coughed up a chunk of her lung! So is that where that saying comes from?
  11. by   chelli73
  12. by   prowlingMA
    Some what similar happen to me. I had drawn blood using a syringe and was using a transfer devise to put blood in the tubes. Some how the transfer slipped and blood went sqirting right at me. I looked like I was in a bad horror flick. Luckily just got on my lab coat ( which is required and I now see why). Thank the GOOD LORD I had drawn enough blood that I didn't have to "repoke" for enough blood for the tests.
  13. by   firstaiddave907
    Quote from gwenith
    Divide it!! HeckNo Doc! If I open that bottle it might escapes and ravage New York!!!
    Thats funney and a good one

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