LEGAL NOTICE TO THE FOLLOWING ALLNURSES SUBSCRIBERS: Pixie.RN, JustBeachyNurse, monkeyhq, duskyjewel, and LadyFree28. An Order has been issued by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota that affects you in the case EAST COAST TEST PREP LLC v. ALLNURSES.COM, INC. Click here for more information
I was a CNA around 2008. My first time changing and adult diaper was not bad. The thing that bothered me most was how much I had to move the patient to remove the soiled diaper and put on a new one. It was a workout.
My first really big code brown was experienced while working as a new nurse at a retirement home.
I was finishing up my HS med pass when I saw one of our new PSWs running towards me down the hall saying "where are the cleaning supplies?!?!? Where are they!?!? It's a nightmare in room 305!!!"
This PSW had a reputation already for being slightly dramatic so I didn't bat my eyes too much while watching him carry on. I did however start making my way down the hall towards the 'nightmare'.
When I opened the door I couldn't do anything but laugh hysterically for a miniature, before going to help find more towels and clothes and cleaner.
The resident living in that room, had stooled not only in his bed and on the sheets, bit then decided to walk to the bathroom-apparently still pooping as there was a brown trail of poop patties all the way from his bed to the bathroom. Inside the bathroom he not only managed to get stool on the toilet and toilet seat, but in the sink, on the counter, the mirror and even a little bit in the tub.
I never called that PSW dramatic again!
What exactly defines a code brown? If we're just talking about incontinence, code browns take up a good chunk of my work day. The very first time I cleaned an incontinent patient, I was in nursing school and in the ER. I gagged. The nurse I was following asked if I was okay. I said yes, held my breath, and pressed on.
When I think of code brown, I think of ZOMG poop everywhere. I first experienced this in nursing school as well. A patient got up to go to the bathroom with explosive diarrhea and didn't make it. Four of us were in there cleaning it up for a good 20 minutes. When we were done, housekeeping had to be called to change the privacy curtains. It was yucky, but I just helped clean it up. The patient was very embarrassed and I explained that his medications could cause diarrhea and it wasn't his fault.
Another code brown occurred at my current job. It was change of shift, I was coming on in the morning. The night nurse and I did our walking rounds and found a post-stroke patient with her rectal tube in her hand, squeezing it, milking all the poop all over herself, the bed, the floor.... We got help from the CNAs and cleaned her up, inserted a new rectal tube after making sure there was no trauma to her rectum from pulling the tube out. Later that day, I got a squishy squeeze ball thing from PT/OT for her to hold onto.
In nursing school-- a hepatic encephalopathy male having hallucinations. They gave him lots of lactulose. He was having severe blowouts and then finger painting it all over the place including his matted hair and his beard. I helped the nurses aide repeatedly with this patient and by the end of the shift I had gained valuable experience in changing an occupied bed, bed baths, putting adult diapers onto immobile patients, and getting over any poop phobias I had before. In the middle of all this the aide tossed the chux and diaper away as she was washing and turning the patient. The chux came unfolded in the air and landed splat against the wall and slid down and left a trail of poop to the floor. We both just started laughing.
I recently had a patient that thank goodness this happened on previous shift (hee hee!): their colostomy bag popped off and the child then fingerpainted it all over *everything* within reach including their hair, tracheostomy tube, central line dressing and IV tubing. Kid needed a complete bath with multiple rinses, a trach change, dressing change, new tubing, and that was of course when the night nurse went to hand off to the day nurse. Patient did all this during report time.
I can't imagine walking into either of the above code browns!!! In the LTC facility it did seem there were problems with some elderly playing in their poop and fingerpainting with it. I remember in acute care having someone with diarrhea who had stool gone through a brief, through the sheets and dripping off the bed frame onto the floor. It seems you could not get it all no matter what!! Whenever I change colostomy bags I double glove just because there is usually going to be some type of freak accident.