Gross Things Patients Do

  1. I have seen some pretty questionable activity by patients, but this one got me. It also got me wondering: What other disgusting things do patients do?

    I had a patient with a large pannus riddled with open sores that were positive for MRSA. As I'm cleaning them she kept poking her fingers in them. "This one (squish!) popped up about 2 weeks ago, and this one (poke!) about a week ago..." Ugh. I advise her not to touch the open wounds...and move along. I apply the ordered Medihoney and turn my head to get the dry drsg, when, out of the corner of my eye I see her put her finger in her mouth and (gleefully) exclaim "It DOES taste like honey! I wonder if you could eat it?..." Urp! Ralph! I tell her that while you can TECHNICALLY eat anything you can put in your mouth, it's probably not a good idea, finish up and quickly leave. Shaking my head. People never cease to amaze (and disgust) me.
    Last edit by Brian S. on Aug 3
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  2. 91 Comments

  3. by   That Guy
    Pt had a clogged trach. He takes it out and licks it clean, and sucks out the clog like its a damn milkshake. I even said "what the hell" and he said thats how he always does it at home.
  4. by   llg
    Quote from That Guy
    Pt had a clogged trach. He takes it out and licks it clean, and sucks out the clog like its a damn milkshake. I even said "what the hell" and he said thats how he always does it at home.

    OMG ... that story actually made me gag
  5. by   KatieMI
    I am an avid baker with particular passion toward wild yeast sourdoughs. So, when I happen to meet my "colleagues", talks naturally tend to turn toward starters, sponges and flour mixes. That happened with the daughter of a patient I cared for one day.

    At the end of the nice chat, we agreed to exchange starters, which is quite normal thing for bakers to do. I brought her a piece of my dough, and she fave me a bit of hers. I used it for my next batch and it worked, albeit unusually slow, but the bread turned out good. Next shift, I told the daughter about it and she, smiling like a winner, let me know about the source of the yeasts she used to develop her starter. According to her, it was material from her mother's groin (which was all covered with candida all right). She thought that it was "most natural source of yeasts" and "it even smelled like a good old dough".

    Only hard knowledge that it physically couldn't be THOSE yeasts prevented me from puking then and there.
  6. by   CCRN2BE
    Quote from That Guy
    Pt had a clogged trach. He takes it out and licks it clean, and sucks out the clog like its a damn milkshake. I even said "what the hell" and he said thats how he always does it at home.
    Wow.....stomach turning for sure.
  7. by   CCRN2BE
    It always grosses me out when patients choose to keep their urinal on top of the bedside table right next to their food and drinks. Convenient, yes. Sanitary, no.
  8. by   cardiacfreak
    Quote from That Guy
    Pt had a clogged trach. He takes it out and licks it clean, and sucks out the clog like its a damn milkshake. I even said "what the hell" and he said thats how he always does it at home.
    I think I took care of the same patient!
  9. by   cardiacfreak
    Noncompliant patient on a fluid restriction. Found him in bathroom drinking from toilet. Why didn't he just use the sink you ask? Because we stood outside the door and could hear the water running was his response.
  10. by   LibraSunCNM
    Quote from cardiacfreak
    Noncompliant patient on a fluid restriction. Found him in bathroom drinking from toilet. Why didn't he just use the sink you ask? Because we stood outside the door and could hear the water running was his response.
    OMG I'm crying!

    Myself, probably the grossest I've encountered (which really pales in comparison to most of the above stories, dang guys!), was a woman so frustrated with her constipation that she attempted to disimpact herself. It didn't really work, and her fingernails were so warped and brittle and jagged that cleaning them thoroughly afterwards was a nightmare.
  11. by   AJJKRN
    Let's not forget friends and family members! Anyone ever have to explain c-diff (again) and why a patient on contact isolation for positive c-diff should not be getting oral sex performed while in the hospital?


    I have had that talk :-/
  12. by   KatieMI
    Quote from AJJKRN
    Let's not forget friends and family members! Anyone ever have to explain c-diff (again) and why a patient on contact isolation for positive c-diff should not be getting oral sex performed while in the hospital?


    I have had that talk :-/
    Oh, my. I thought that the "talk" about a baby crawling on the floor and playing with dirty linens in C. diff room was enough, but the Oscar goes to yours for sure.
  13. by   SPN_Lou_2018
    Quote from That Guy
    Pt had a clogged trach. He takes it out and licks it clean, and sucks out the clog like its a damn milkshake. I even said "what the hell" and he said thats how he always does it at home.
    I don't gag over much, but that got me.
  14. by   amoLucia
    Surely some blue ribbon gag-worthy contenders here for top prize!!!

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