health care personnel with bad breath.

  1. people with bad breath alwys seem to be close talkers. did you ever notice this? maybe i have a hyper-olfactory nerve. i will always offer these people a piece of gum or a mint, but this one rn i know never takes me up on it. other coworkers on the floor have also reported disgust at this persons halitosis, but none of has any guts...she is a wonderful experienced rn who does not have any other personal hygiene problem.

    any comments?
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   New CCU RN
    does the nurse smoke or drink too much coffee or eat some kinda weird food?
  4. by   tonicareer
    Is this at the beginning, middle or end of a 12 hour shift? Some medications give you breath odor. Maybe they have dental or tonsil problems.
  5. by   amk1964
    no, but she is 60 yrs old and has asthma. she is the only one who still wears her nurses cap.
    [maybe the cap stinks] lol,lol:chuckle
  6. by   amk1964
    seriously though, it seems to be perpetual.
  7. by   jemb
    Back in the dark ages when I was in nursing school, one of our instructors, before clinical, said that it was normal for students to get dry mouth from being nervous, leading to bad breath from dry mouth. Her suggestion was that we all keep mints handy. She also jokingly said "If someone offers you a mint, take it. They might have a motive. You can't smell your own breath."

    Could you somehow share this story with her? Maybe have an accomplice offer each of you a mint, and tell the story as if it were your own as you accept one yourself.

    She may have indigestion. rotten teeth, or a phobia about toothbrushes. However, bad breath is unpleasant enough to be around when one is well. If a patient is already nauseated, it's got to be tough!
  8. by   New CCU RN
    hmm, good story jemb....maybe mentioning it would be worthwhile... hehe.

    It could be that your coworker has some sort of health issue or tooth decay or something growing in there. YUCKKKKKKK
  9. by   night owl
    Remember Bad Breath Anonymous? I sent this nuns name to the Scope mouthwash company once when I was in 5th grade and they sent her a letter telling her she had bad breath from an anony friend. They also sent her a big bottle of mouth wash. Guess what, she still had bad breath anyway. The nun gave my girlfriend a hard time because she thought she did it as a practical joke. She was a true friend and never ratted on me. Mail her a bottle anonymously, it wouldn't hurt.
  10. by   Sarah, RNBScN
    She might also have an underlying condition ie. GERDS, esophagitis, etc...

    I would personally say, "Here is a gum, you need something to freshen up." I would hope you would do the same for me. It's worked everytime for me with bad breathers....Try it.
  11. by   Katnip
    I learned a long time ago, if someone ever offers me a mint or piece of gum, I probably need it.
  12. by   Nurse Ratched
    If she has asthma, she may get thrush from not rinsing her mouth after certain inhalers.

    I agree with those that it's always good to accept an offered mint. I might offer her one while taking one myself with the statement, "I don't know about you, but I have such a problem with dragon breath as the shift goes on," or some similar statement that might open her up to say something about her own issue. Or, you may get lucky (?) and she might ask if her breath is bad.
  13. by   amk1964
    nightowl i am lol....i don't remember the commercial, but when i was around 18 yrs old i worked in a factory bindery and there was a lady there who was known to fool around with the guys, had several live-in boyfriends, and wore revealing tops and tight jeans. she was not really attractive and she reaked of b.o. you know, the ransit type. one day one of the workers left a can of right guard on her machine.
  14. by   SeptSue
    Here's what I would do - in order to avoid unnecessary embarassment for the person, privately mention what you've noticed directly to her. It's like having your slip showing - wouldn't you rather that someone tell you about it, instead of just telling everyone else?

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