Not a poop or pee nurse?!?

  1. Okay, just have to vent a little here. I was working the other day at a fairly new job (which I like a lot), and I was working with another nurse that I haven't shared very many shifts with. She is probably in her lower to mid 40's and has been an RN for about 1 year. She has always been nice in all the times that I have talked to her which really have been limited as we generally work opposite days of eachother. Anyways, one of my pt's had been incont of urine and BM and needed to be cleaned up, so since she was sitting at the nurse's station, I asked her if she would come help me. When I told her what I needed help with, she informed me that she didn't go to school to be a poop or pee nurse!!!!! HEELLLOOOO???? I am an RN too and if someone is laying in a pile of poo, I'll be changing them!! I couldn't believe she said that!! Evidently, this isn't the only time. One of the LPN's on my shift said she told her the same thing. I am so disgusted because this isn't the impression that I originally had of her. What the he** is wrong with some people!!!!?? I'm not chalking this one up as "she was just having a bad day" - I think this is actually her opinion. Please tell me this is not the attitude they're teaching in nursing school - I know it was not what I was taught. :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire :angryfire
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  2. 50 Comments

  3. by   BeccaznRN
    No, no, no. No way is that the attitude we were taught in school! I'm a last semester BSN student and I can say that starting with fundamentals class, we were taught about dignity. Urine and stool are not the greatest aspects of a nursing career, but it's like any other career out there.....you take the good with the bad. It makes me want to cry to think that there might be a day that I'm lying in a hospital bed, unable to care for myself, only to have a nurse not clean me up because he/she "didn't go to school for that." I have found that when I'm cleaning up urine or stool on a patient, not only are they the ones that hating it the most (who wants some stranger cleaning up his/her stool?), but they are also the most appreciative of what the RN is doing to care for them. That's why I got in this career - to care for patients.

    This attitude, the "I didn't go to school to wipe butts," is the worst. Why even go to nursing school if you will refuse to do the work required of a RN?
  4. by   mamason
    I really don't know any fellow RN's who do like the "poop/pee" thingy. It comes along with the job. Maybe too many co-workers have been letting her get away with this behavior. I don't know. But, I think it would really irritate the heck out of me too.She could have at least helped you, a fellow nurse, in this instance. What a shame!!! Maybe she feels she is above cleaning up after incontinant pts. I worked with some RN's who were like that. They thought that it was the CNA's job to do. But, a lot of times the CNA's were busy taking care of their other pts and the RN should pitch in and help. Especially if she is not busy at the moment. But, then again, I don't remember ever "not" being busy. Is your NM aware of this RN"S refusal to help with incontinent pts. A pt with incontinence is a risk for skin breakdown. How does this RN keep that from occurring with her pts if she doesn't do the "poop/pee" thingy? Or if she isn't willing to help her CNA's with cleaning up the PTs?
  5. by   JentheRN05
    I personally don't have a problem with it, but know many a nurse who will say "thats what the CNA's get paid to do' Well - I'm sorry, but a persons dignity doesn't account for what credentials you have behind your name. To them - it doesn't matter - just as long as dignity is preserved.
  6. by   socishan
    My understanding of nursing so far (I am still in nursing school but am working as a CNA) is that pee, poop, blood, sputum.... all that stuff goes along with nursing. I think your coworker needs to get off of her high horse and find another career if she can't deal with that. That's like a heart surgeon saying, "I'm sorry- but I can't handle blood. Someone else will have to perform the surgery today." What!!?? Or an airline pilot saying, "I'm not flying today, I've got a bit of a fear of heights." Okay, you get my drift. Bodily fluids go along with the job.

    But, most important is the patient--- this nurse would really let a patient lay around in a pile of poo all day???? She shouldn't be a nurse if she doesn't care about the patient. Not only is that unhealthy to the patient, but it's degrading to their self esteem also. I'm sorry, but that makes me sick to think that this lady is a nurse. I wouldn't want her taking care of me. And how is she going to feel when/if she's elderly and incontinent herself and none of the staff wants to touch HER poo? I'm guessing she wouldn't be happy if SHE had to lay in it all day...
  7. by   meownsmile
    I dont know anyone who likes to do that, be it CNA,LPN or RN. But we do what has to be done in the interest of our patients best care. I have found that people who arent team players usually get kicked off the team sooner or later.
  8. by   mamason
    Quote from meownsmile
    I dont know anyone who likes to do that, be it CNA,LPN or RN. But we do what has to be done in the interest of our patients best care. I have found that people who arent team players usually get kicked off the team sooner or later.
    Yeah!!!!! What meownsmile said!!!!
    i agree!:yeahthat:
  9. by   thumperRN
    In the hospital I work we are generally staffed about 4 pt's to each nurse. We perform total care on these pt's as we don't utilize as many aides. I think she is mad that she doesn't have an aide to delegate these responsibilities to. Come to think of it, I think most of her pt's "refuse" baths too. I just think that she feels these responsibilities are beneath her. I don't always have time to give every pt I'm taking care of a bath in a day (depends on procedures, admissions, dimissals, you get the picture), but what a prime opportunity to do a good, total head-to-toe assessment. Anyway, next time I won't be so taken aback - something will be said. There is just no excuse!!
  10. by   Marie_LPN, RN
    Here's another aspect of it: How would this nurse chart urine color and clarity, if she didn't see it? How about odor, that's an indicator of a UTI? No, poo isn't pleasant, but it can tell you a lot about a pt.'s health, and can be a indicator of underlying problems.

    That person isn't much of a nurse if she thinks that cleaning up poo and pee is beneath her.

    Next time she says she didn't go to school to be a poop or pee nurse, say "Well most people didn't choose something to specialize in while they were in school. So what DID you go to school for then??'
    Last edit by Marie_LPN, RN on Sep 23, '06
  11. by   Antikigirl
    Okayyyyyyyyy...well then I guess she isn't a 'human nurse' either since they go together!

    Human beings work as a system of parts that produce by-products...some we see, some we don't, but much of our job is about keeping a balance of it all! Poop and Pee are just a part of that...and part of our JOB!

    My goodness...I think that would upset me every time I see her, and I may let my charge nurse know of that instance since she obviously needs a re-fresher on her job description! Wonder if she is leaving her pts in their poop and/or pee???? Or if she has a pt with ostomies??? How are her thoughts on vomit??? I had all of the above for 4 days this week...two vomits on me in fact...did I freak..heck no, cleaned pt and myself...got help to change linens and helped my patients calm down because they were sooooooo embarrest and sorry! It is a part of my patient, and therefore I care enough to help!!!!!!!

    Poop and pee and even vomit are embarresing to people, so it isn't just a body function as much as a risk of self esteem, hopelessness, powerlessness, anxiety, depression, sadness, anger, and so on! Does this nurse realise it is much more then simply 'too yucky to condone herself too?'. When I have to clean pts, I know this and help them to overcome these feelings by reminding them that they are ill and not functioning as well as normal...and help them plan goals on controlling it, or a more proactive stance to it (if it is a case of incontenence...you can start the ball rolling on bladder/bowel training times and help).

    Well...it is like me to confront people like this this way to remind them of just how interlinked things are when it comes to patients...and sometimes that opens up a few eyes!
  12. by   socishan
    Grrrr, I was just thinking about this some more, and this is really upsetting! Everyone's posts are right on so far! What a better way to determine underlying problems than by examining the stool--- it is necessary! And, just to make a point, I have a bachelor's and master's degrees in a different field and I didn't go to school to clean up pee or poop, either. But I do it on a daily basis because my patients deserve to not have to lie around in their poop when it's not their fault that they are incontinent in the first place. As a side-note, a very close YOUNG family member of mine has Crohn's disease and recently spent over a year in the hospital before he had to have his colon completely removed. He didn't like the fact that the staff had to clean up his messes either, and was very embarrassed by it. But, I'm glad they did it because as much as his self esteem was hurt by having this horrible disease in the first place, at least his staff cleaned him with dignity and respect and didn't make him lie there in it. Why become a nurse if you don't have a caring heart?
  13. by   grace90
    I have worked with this type of nurse. On my old ortho unit there was 2 of them that wouldn't even empty a urinal if they could get an aide to do it.

    Thursday night when I worked, a confused pt. with C-diff was covered Head To Toe with stool. Three of us, all RN's, worked together to get him cleaned up. I worked as nursing assistant for 9 years before becoming an RN, so I'm way used to cleaning poop and pee. I still get the gags with C-diffs and GI bleeds, though.
  14. by   Jules A
    I imagine her superiors might like to know that is her attitude. It kills me, just like a nurse walking the hall to find a CNA because so-and-so needs a bed pan. That is just lazy.

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