Smelly Co-Worker - page 7

What would you all do about a co-worker with an odor problem? This gal LOOKS clean but she smells BAD. The beginning of the shift is fine, the middle of the shift and things get bad. I see her... Read More

  1. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    I can't help it, but I keep flashing back to that old Summer's Eve commercial where the mother and daughter are picking flowers and the daughter says "Mom... have you ever gotten that "not so fresh" feeling?"

    Seriously though, have you thought of writing or typing her an anonymous note? Can't you get her address somehow so she doesn't even know it's from work and just send her the information? That's what I would probably do... and I know that I would prefer that if I had this problem and that way I wouldn't have to face the person telling it to me!!!

    Oh no! I just thought of a Twilight Zone-ish scenario... what if Bipley agrees to mail the info and a couple days later ONE OF US receives it and find out that she was talking about HER!!! or ME!!! :imbar

    Heehee... someone could be reeeallllly mean and use the Christmas card list to send the info to all of us...
  2. by   flashpoint
    I haven't read all the way through, so forgive me if I am repeating anything...if she smells OK early in the shift, is there any way she can take a shower in the middle of the shift? People are allowed extra breaks to do other things, so this seems like a good idea to me...
  3. by   NurseLatteDNP
    Here, I have another idea... What if someone she does not know comes by your unit when she is there (because you arranged it), and says :" Ohhhhh, what is that smell?!" :imbar
    That way she can not get mad at the person, because they do not know that it is her(she thinks). She does not have to respond :" It is my body odor!"
  4. by   LoriAlabamaRN
    I think that Bipley is right- she seems to be aware of it and just doesn't know what to do. As a nurse, she probably assumes that she needs the vinegar douches, etc. Therefore she is worsening the problem if the actual cause is the acidity! If you mail her info on what her problem actually is and highlight the only effective treatment, she will have the info she needs and not be faced with the embarrassment of a face-to-face chat. You can seriously improve her life- and your office air!!!
  5. by   cjog
    Why not leave an anonymous letter stating that you are sure that she is aware of her problem and that you think you may know the cure and that it is something she should look into. That way you don't have to get involved personally and she will learn about the possible solution to her problem. I can't imaging having something like that - it must be hell on earth. I'm sure she would be grateful for something that could possibly cure her of this problem. If you have trouble with tact, this is a great way to go. You can sit down and carefully write out a letter of care and concern.
  6. by   lady_jezebel
    I had a gynecologist once tell me that he can smell uterine cancer from across the room, and that it aids him in the initial diagnosis. She may have something really serious going on. I would talk to your manager or employee health at your hospital -- maybe they have some suggestions. Above all, I would NOT talk about this with other co-workers b/c then it can potentially become very humiliating for your poor co-worker via gossip.
  7. by   nuberianne_RN
    I remember seeing a couple episodes of Dateline or some other news shows that discussed a rare condition of b.o. The odor was described as rotten fish. Sad thing is there is no known cause or cure. :uhoh21: I felt so sorry for the people suffering from it. They were very aware of the problem, but only could use short term fixes that did not last for more than an hour or two.
  8. by   Catsmeow
    Quote from cjog
    Why not leave an anonymous letter stating that you are sure that she is aware of her problem and that you think you may know the cure and that it is something she should look into. That way you don't have to get involved personally and she will learn about the possible solution to her problem. I can't imaging having something like that - it must be hell on earth. I'm sure she would be grateful for something that could possibly cure her of this problem. If you have trouble with tact, this is a great way to go. You can sit down and carefully write out a letter of care and concern.
    If you do any of this anonymously I fear the girl would quit for embarressment of wondering if the whole hospital had discussed it behind her back. (They probly have but, ack, I mean she'd be looking over her shoulder endlessly.) Probly better coming from one person.

    Cats
  9. by   nadja9
    Quote from asoldierswife05
    whew! that is pretty bad...

    probably a vaginal problem eh? well, that is certainly personal.

    I think I will agree that maybe you should start a conversation with her non-chalant like about "smelly probs", maybe refer to a previous pt...see if she picks up on the clue.

    If all else fails, take a deep breath (maybe not directly around her) and then pull her to the side and talk to her like you would a patient..."Look, I have something I want to talk to you about. I have noticed that after you work for sometime you tend to run to the bathroom with ___. Is there something going on that you would like to talk to a friend about. I am concerned."
    Gooooooooooooooo Soldierswife - the above is an excellent therapeutic response.
  10. by   Jessy_RN
    Quote from LeahJet
    omgosh...look at the ad above this thread...not so sure everyone can see...but it says... "fishy vaginal odor?......www.enzara.com..."
    hhmmm....is there someone that monitors the discussion and puts in the ad?

    weird.
    I do see the ad, so not funny. Weird, I agree.
  11. by   CoffeeRTC
    So, does anyone have any treatments for this issue or educational material information?
    We already discussed that she knows she has a problem and is trying to deal with it. Right now we only know that she is using topical deoderants, but this sounds like a systemic issue. If you are going to approach her, maybe you can do a little reasearch of your own and present her with it in a friendly, I'd like to help you or understand kind of way. Lets post suggestions.

    Of course, seeing a gyne doc should be #1. Maybe a culture and antibiotics are in order. How about using pads that are odor absorbing? Watching the types of food she is eating, etc.

    BTW..I worked with a CNA that smelled like butt. No she didn't have gas or accidently got something on herself after working with a pt, but she honestly smelled like but. After watching her do pt care or should I say not doing pt care after said pts had a BM I think I finally understood.
    People would make jokes up at the nurses station ....oh who smells, check your shoes or self or even "I smell but" I mention to her about her pt care that after inct of BM good old wipe down of the area would take care of butt odors. I think she got it after a while.
  12. by   kwagner_51
    I DID IT!! Here is the email and the link. My dd got p4ssed off because she thot someone else was sending it to me!

    Karen,
    A co-worker of yours has informed us that you have level 10 body odor, where 1 is old lady smell and 10 is barbecuing roadkill skunk.

    This person's suggestion is for you to stop trying to cover it up.

    Check out our help section for other information on dealing with BO problems!


    Here is the help section they led me to:

    Need help? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions!

    Isn't this mean?

    It depends on how you look at it. Would you rather your friends didn't tell you that you have BO and just talked about you behind your back?

    Why do I have to register to use this site?

    We strongly believe in using email responsibly. To prevent people sending out hundreds of notifications with no way to track them or prevent them, we require registration with a valid email address.

    Who said I have BO?! Tell me!

    YouHaveBO is an anonymous service. We keep that information private.

    Eww, you're hella shady, gurl!

    You've just gotten home from a rave, haven't you.

    People keep sending me BO notifications, but I really don't stink! How can I make the notifications stop??

    Try using our Address Blocker. Just enter your email address and we'll send you instructions to complete the process.

    That would work except that everything @mydomain goes to me!

    We thought of that too! Try our Domain Blocker. Give us a domain and we'll email the postmaster@ that domain. This works for site administrators who don't want any email from us sent to their domains also.

    I log in but every time I try to submit a notification, it says I'm not logged in!

    You need a browser that accept cookies, or you need to configure your browser to accept cookies from our site.

    Why do you require independent verification?

    Would you want to be notified that you stink without independent verification?

    What causes stank BO?

    BO is caused by the microorganisms that love to grow in warm, moist places like your armpits.

    How can I get rid of my noxious odor?

    Your best bet is to always bathe or shower daily using antibacterial soap and use a deodorant that contains an antibacterial agent, such as Triclosan or chlorhexidine.

    Even doing that, I still reek!

    Strong BO can also be caused by other health factors. See your doctor!

    What are some resources online about body odor?

    Try these:


    Alice at Columbia answers a student question about BO.
    Dr Weil has some suggestion about less-common sources of BO.
    Zaphealth.com has a detailed explanation of the causes and solutions of BO.
    HealthWorld has a list of common causes and some dietary suggestions.
    WebMD has an article on the causes and solutions
    Online drugstores that carry deodorant and antibacterial soap products:
    Drugstore.com
    Mothernature.com
    CVS
    Planet RX
    Sav-Ondrugs
    more.com
    Personal Hygiene at shop.yahoo.com
    What deodorant do YOU use?

    Old Spice High Endurance


    So there you have it!

    ________________________________________________

    In His grace,

    Karen
  13. by   nurse4theplanet
    darn! so no singing funny stinky animated email greeting eh?:chuckle

    informative but still mean IMO. Yes, definitely not the route to go with this one. I agree with others that think she may be too imbarrassed to see a doctor and is probably battling this alone with much emotional strife.

    I stand by my oppinion to approach her in a therapeutic way. She needs to know she has a friend who is not going to gossip about her behind her back. And think of how great it would be if you were able to help her get rid of the problem?

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