My funny experience gaining experience with a "great learning opportunity"- SOAP SUDS
As a new student, I was always eager to gain EXPERIENCE...
Opportunities to practice skills often came in waves with proclaimed "learning opportunity" attached to tasks that others didn't want to do. I was ok with this approach because I really wanted to learn and help out. So the days came where it was my turn PRACTICE and LEARN the skill of SOAP SUD ENEMAS via RECTAL TUBE.
This opportunity was bestowed upon me for a patient in much discomfort. I had somehow gotten through without having to complete this particular task. I had observed a few of these procedures while working in the ER, and felt confident that I knew what was important for this task.
I knew providing patient privacy was of the utmost importance as was taking concern to comfort and easing patient's anxiety. I also KNEW that preparing for possible "accidents" was essential. I therefore took very careful measures to cover the bed and floor with extra linens prior to starting the procedure. Once I was set up I felt ready to do my first soap suds enema.
I eagerly introduced myself, and explained the procedure to the patient. I then enthusiastically and respectfully guided the patient into the IDEAL position and nervously tried to provide as much comfort as possible. As I cautiously began and slowly progress through the task... I kept ensuring I was doing things RIGHT....things were going smooth, and I felt a sigh of relief. The patient was tolerating the soapy water, tube and procedure and in the meantime my confidence was increasing and nerves settling. "This wasn't so bad," I thought to myself... now only if it is effective......
I began to slowly remove the tube and prompting the patient TO HOLD EVERYTHING in.... when something when wrong.... something was making me panic.... the tube was coming out and out and out.... and I felt resistance..... and the TUBE GOT STUCK?!?!?!.... I tugged lightly, and more aggressively and it wouldn't budge!!!
I nervously fidgeted with the tube while straining to picture the anatomy of this area .... I was thinking "where the heck could it get stuck"?!?!.
I anxiously tried to assure the patient and encouraged deep breathing -while I started to panic and couldn't think of what to do. I somehow explained to the patient to HOLD ON and that I would be RIGHT BACK. I covered my patient, tiptoed out of the room then ran to the nursing station.
Frantically, I explained my embarrassing situation to one of my coworkers and with a smirk she came to my rescue. She assessed the situation, with a barely contained hysterical laughter, directed the patient to take a deep breath and just yanked the tube right out.
I cringed at the thought, feeling really confused as to why it GOT STUCK...SHE had DONE the task... just like that?!?!
I couldn't believe it. My coworker rushed out of the room barely keeping her laughter in, when she informed me that I had got the RECTAL tube STUCK on a HEMORRHOID. I was MORTIFIED and then couldn't stop laughing at how silly of a situation it was.
I learned a lot that day about soap sud enemas and hemorrhoids!!! I frequently remind new people to be ware and also learned to take things a little lighter.
Last edit by Joe V on Jan 9, '15
Joined: Mar '08; Posts: 17; Likes: 69
Specialty: 4 year(s) of experience in EmergencyOct 23, '08Oh my.. I don't want that kind of experience.. I would panic & then dye laughing. tHanks for the laugh!