Nurses grossed out by spit/mucus - page 4

I'm starting this thread in hopes that I will read of some techniques to help me overcome my aversion to mucus. I can deal with foul BMs, emptying JPs and NG tube containers, draining clotty... Read More

  1. by   geekgolightly
    Quote from jnette
    Ick.

    The sight of mucous or "snot" doesn't bother me nearly as much as the SOUND of it. I could never work respiratory. *blech*

    Can't stand the frothy, gurgly sounds.
    it's the sound of suctioning a congested trach that really freaks me out, too. i trained myself to do it, but i do get a whopping case of the willies when i suction.
  2. by   Euskadi1946
    Quote from rnmi2004
    I'm starting this thread in hopes that I will read of some techniques to help me overcome my aversion to mucus. I can deal with foul BMs, emptying JPs and NG tube containers, draining clotty purulent foley bags, etc. but I have the darndest time keeping my cookies when it comes to snot! I was once helping a bilat AKA wipe his behind after the most awful case of smelly taffy doo-doo and had no problem until he asked me to dab at the clear snot dripping from his nose. I almost puked while doing so. What is wrong with me?

    The usual Vicks/peppermint oil/other scent under the nose won't work here, because mucus (usually!) has no odor.

    The last two semesters of clinical rotations, I have specifically asked to be assigned to a trach client just so I can force myself to have to deal with this. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there have been no patients suitable for me at the facilities I've been at. I am approaching my last semester starting the end of August, and then hopefully I will be off to med-surg. I know at some point I am going to have to deal with this.

    Is there hope for me? Does anyone have ANY suggestions?

    OMG Snot, mucous and puke....YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUKKKK!! :imbar
  3. by   luvbug9956
    I have never really had a problem with mucus/suctioning. Get this though...I had a patient with a fistula between urethra and bowel...the patient also had a colostomy. Add urine to the smell of a colostomy..then add confusion to all of that. Needless to say, I was sitting at the nurse's station and smelled what I could only describe as cat urine. I went back to the patients room...the poor, confused patient was sitting on the toilet and had opened her colostomy bag. This urine/poop was all OVER the place. Not fun! The patient was also taking pyridium, so the mess stained the floor orange.

    Other things that make me gag:
    1. pseudomonas infection in the urine (anyone else ever smelled that?)
    2. severe, pitting edema with weeping, especially in the legs when you are trying to hold the patient on the side so that someone else can clean them up...thank god for gloves!)
    3. GI bleed
    4. feeding patients...usually once I feed someone something I cant eat it myself for awhile...does anyone else have that problem???
  4. by   cornhusker red!
    I know where my aversion to mucous came from- I had a male roommate in college, and he had a cold. While I was at work, he proceeded to fill up 3 or four glasses with water and then coughed his nasty sputum into those. Worse- he LEFT for the weekend, and didn't even dump them out! I am no great housekeeper, but I truly couldn't let those sit around on the floor, and so spent an hour dumping mucous into the toilet and bleaching these glasses. I still gag and have trouble swallowing when I think about it, and I graduated in 1994. I also had another male roommate (good for changing lightbulbs and providing protection, but bad about cleaning!) who was a cowboy, and while cleaning one day, I found a spit cup under the couch that had not been emptied for a week at least. GAG!! He was telling me that he was once driving with his sister, and had a can for drinking and a can for spitting, you guessed it- he mixed them up and ended up drinkning his old nasty tobacco spit!! He could always gross me out!
  5. by   LadyBugLass
    Someone mentioned feeding a patient? My deal is feeding them the scrambled eggs...JUST the eggs for some reason. And I like scrambled eggs! But the hospital ones just smell so gross, and look kinda pale and runny and grainy, and watching someone with no teeth trying to gum reconstituted powdered eggs first thing in the morning just makes me want to RUN AWAY.

    Can't believe I forgot about the GI bleed smell! A few years back I took a little old lady to the ER with a massive GI bleed; we could smell it in the foyer of her house, and she hadn't even had a recent BM. I took her to the ER. Another ambulance came in behind us. The minute their EMT came through the door, he hollered "YEP!!! That smells like 70 over palp.!" Strangely enough, he was right.:chuckle
  6. by   eb_rn
    i used to be grossed out by mucous....in nsg school, my first trach experience was a man in mid 40's with a VERY forceful cough. i opened the door, he coughed, i ducked, and mucous splattered against the door, just above my head....but now i work with chronic vent kids.......it doesnt really bother me.......but its baby mucous, it seems baby stuff isnt as bad as adult........
  7. by   LoriT
    I thought that I was the only person that got grossed out about mucus, snot, ot spit. I can handle anything else, but that just gets to me.
  8. by   abundantjoy07
    funny how mucus doesn't get to me. it's only bm that gross me out.
  9. by   Nitengale326
    When I first started nursing I wanted to heave with every trach patient... now its just old hat... but after nearly 25 years of nursing I still cannot handle dentures. The give me the creeps... clean or dirty, wet or dry.... no way no how... uh uh ain't gonna do it.... my motto... if they can't clean em' or put them in... they don't need them. My techs and CNA's have chased me up the hall with teeth before.... made for a lively moment... but still gave me the willies....:chuckle :chuckle :chuckle
  10. by   SOCALRACERX911_RN
    Reasons why I didnt do the RT route, absolutely no offense to the RT's, luv you guys/gals you do good work. The suctioning sound doesnt help either.
  11. by   EmilyRN
    Oh man, is mucus gross. I have to have my PCT collect sputum cultures because I can barely hang. And I'm in agreement, that GI bleed smell is pretty nasty too, but I would rather take care of 10 GI bleeds before one patient with a wet hacking cough.
  12. by   SOCALRACERX911_RN
    Yes I agree, dentures are the second worst to mucus.....the smell, the cottage cheese, slime.......yuk
  13. by   Teacher Sue
    Quote from libmi
    Reasons why I didnt do the RT route, absolutely no offense to the RT's, luv you guys/gals you do good work. The suctioning sound doesnt help either.

    How can you tell a nurse from a respiratory therapist?
    Stand them both in stool up to their chests, and throw sputum at them. The one that ducks is the nurse.

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