Dumb question...How do you clean up poop?

  1. Pardon me for being a stupid student nurse. But can someone please tell me how to clean up poop in a thorough manner. Do you use disposable dry wipes + incontinence lotion OR do you use wash clothes and throw them in the hamper to be washed? Also, do you usually clean the sheets every time a patient poops? And give them a new gown? Sorry for being ignorant to such an easy task.
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  2. 18 Comments

  3. by   LovingLife123
    Washcloths, water, cleanser, nex chux. Washcloths go into linen bin. I change sheets and gowns if they get dirty from poop, otherwise I don't. With people going multiple times a day, it's not necessary unless dirty. Patients get baths and fresh linens once a day on my unit.
  4. by   ItsThatJenGirl
    When I was a CNA, it was washcloths with soap and water. Change linens/gowns if a mess was made, but otherwise no. Washcloths into the linen hamper.
  5. by   smf0903
    We have disposable wipes that we use. We use chux to protect linens if they're still clean while moving the patient to clean them up. If the patient is having a lot of bowel movements we will use a barrier cream to help protect the skin.

    When you go to clinicals, help the aides...you can learn a ton from them!
  6. by   brownbook
    Your question is brilliant. Please........ NO DUMB QUESTIONS. You are so lucky to have the Internet, Allnurses, and YouTube. YouTube has some great videos on basic patient care, including cleaning incontinent patients.
  7. by   meanmaryjean
    The correct answer is........very carefully.
  8. by   oceangirl1234
    We have wipes that we keep heated. If there is a large mess I will use washcloths and warm soapy water. Only change gowns/sheets if dirty. Good idea to take in an extra slider sheet though since they can get dirty while cleaning.
  9. by   akulahawkRN
    The shorter answer is "YES!!!" The longer answer is that we do clean up poop. I'm an ED nurse, so while I'm concerned about maintaining skin integrity, I'm not as focused on it as other nurses are. I use whatever is handy, for the most part. If I have a few minutes, I'll use washcloths with warm soapy water. That stuff cleans really well and quickly. If I need to be a bit faster, I'll use warmed (if we have any) wet wipes and just toss those. They also clean pretty well but they're less comfortable. We do change large absorbent pads, gowns, and linens if they get dirty. That's an excellent tip about using slide sheets. They work well and can get dirty really quickly when you're cleaning patients.

    The vast majority of patients we see aren't still in the ED even a few hours later so most of the time we don't bother much with barrier creams unless the patient already has skin issues. I will let the floor nurses know if I suspect the patient needs a bit of TLC in this regard. One of the best things I do like about where I work is that our floor nurses know that the ED nurses have different priorities than they do and to expect that we haven't done a full head-to-toe assessment like they will.

    Also the suggestion that you hang out with the CNAs is an excellent one. They're often experts at cleaning patients and doing appropriate chux/gown/linen changes. You'll learn a TON from them!
    Last edit by akulahawkRN on Sep 12
  10. by   NurseCard
    Cleaning up poop is NOT an easy task. I concur with using warm, wet
    washcloths. Shaving cream also works wonders to clean the patient and
    leave a nice smell. For smaller messes, warm wet wipes are fine.
  11. by   jennylee321
    Agree with above, no dumb questions. Before I started nursing school I didn't get how the mechanics of changing an adult brief would go. I used to think, well how do you lift an adults legs in the air (like you do with babies) hahah
  12. by   brownbook
    Quote from jennylee321
    Agree with above, no dumb questions. Before I started nursing school I didn't get how the mechanics of changing an adult brief would go. I used to think, well how do you lift an adults legs in the air (like you do with babies) hahah
    When I was checking YouTube for videos about changing incontinent patients, the first video on the list is for a product, the LavinLift Strap. A strap goes around the patient's thighs and lifts them up with a mechanical lift device, just like you do with your arms with a baby.
  13. by   jennylee321
    Ohhh Brownbook, thank you so much for sharing this. I found the video and had a really good laugh.
  14. by   brownbook
    Quote from jennylee321
    Ohhh Brownbook, thank you so much for sharing this. I found the video and had a really good laugh.
    Yeah, it took that CNA longer to set it up than an experienced CNA could clean 3 patients.

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