Who is cleaning poop?

  1. I have am just concluded all my general ed, and am starting to focus on a major. Nursing holds much appeal for me, but I am interested in finding out - do the RNs do clean up work? I have been told that they generally do assessments, administer medication and act as patient advocates. I hope this question doesn't sound stupid - but I really would like to know what the different levels of responsibility are before I get too far into it. Any insight is appreciated. [/LIST]
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   fiestynurse
    Be prepared to clean-up poop, vomit, bile, blood, urine, sputum, amniotic fluid, draining wounds, .... Occasionally, the stuff gets splashed, wiped, and projected on you. It's all smelly and gross. But, for some strange reason it doesn't bother me. Most nurses get immune to it after while.
    Don't think that because you are an RN, you won't have to deal with the stuff!
  4. by   P_RN
    Yep, clean it up and then go have sweet potato casserole for lunch and not think twice about it!

    Don't let anyone tell you that ANYONE is too good to care for their patients. It's our job, it's what we DO.
  5. by   imaRN
    Oh Yes, Along with all those nasty body fluids, be prepared to be punched,kicked,slapped,pinched in some very sensitive areas and called names that would make your mother pass out!(and that treatment is not always from the patients) But really it is geat being a Nurse and I am Darn good at it!
    By the way Donada, you might benefit from "shadowing" an RN over several days, to get a "feel" for the field. Good Luck...imaRN
  6. by   Donada
    Wow! You all make it sound so glamorous! (he-he). No kidding - I know it is hard work. Shadowing an RN is a great idea for me, thank you imaRN - I will call about it tomorrow. Until then, I appreciate all the input I can get. I'm nervous as a kitty in a mine field!
  7. by   -jt
    yeah you have to get your hands (& your uniform) dirty - you dont just order someone else to do it.

    You get to handle all the parts of the body & all the fluids & stuff that go with it. Then you get to measure it, describe it & record it before you clean it up. Thats why they make those nice little gloves for us & those masks with the plastic eye shield protectors.

    Heres a couple of hints:

    If you have a pt with a GI bleed, keep your masks handy & wear a disposable cover over your uniform.

    Masks also come in handy for when you have pts with bugs like C.diff, MRSA, or pseudomonas.

    If you are intubating a pt, have the suction ready & stand back.

    If you are inserting an NG tube, keep the outside end clamped or stand back

    When you are giving someone charcoal for his OD, just stand back.

    If youve given a pt kaexylate for his high K+ level, or lactulose for his high ammonia level, watch where you step around that bedside.

    Keep the room windows closd - especially in warm weather..... unless you'd like the experience of utilizing maggots for wound care or suctioning them out of pts ETT tubes.

    (after that one, our hospital had the fire dept bolt all the windows shut!)
  8. by   canoehead
    Please see a previous posting "what freaks you out" (at least 3 pages long).
    If you make it through the end of the post without heaving you've got what it takes to be a nurse.
  9. by   Zee_RN
    Hehe, jt....Sounds like we could develop a new nursing motto from your post: "Just Stand Back." Way too apt. Especially when you're intubating a patient in florid pulmonary edema...pink, frothy sputum hit the opposite wall. "Just Stand Back!"

    [ June 14, 2001: Message edited by: Zee_RN ]
  10. by   JenKatt
    Let's see have I cleaned up poop? My first job as a tech, I worked in a LTC facility for kids with disabilities. Between me and the 3 nurses i worked with, we did round the clock diaper changes on kids who's G-Tube feedings ran to high.
    My first job out of nursing school I worked in the NICU/ Intermediate Nursery. Yep. I cleaned up lots and lots of poop. My favorite is the projectile poop from kids on Alimentum. Fun. Nice and green and slimey and smells like week old roadkill.
    Now I work on a general floor, not med surg, a combo of EVERYTHING. Not much poop here. Lots of puke tho. On me often.
    Yep. Nursing is a bodily fluid filled world. I wouldn't trade it for anything
    jenkatt
  11. by   JillR
    Cleaning up the smelly stuff is just part of the job.

    One word of advise, don't ever delegate a task that you would not be willing to do yourself if you did not have 100 other things to accomplish right at the moment. If you constanty delegate the dirty tasks just because you don't want to do them, it will be amazing how fast the CNA's will catch on to this and be unavailable when you suddenly need them.
  12. by   ornurse2001
    I am laughing out loud-by myself-at this computer! I love that cassarole comment-prepare yourself Donada-you wouldn't believe it buch we sometimes actually talk shop while eating that cassarole too !!!
  13. by   ornurse2001
    PS: I knew I was had when I logged on and saw that "Does anybody clean poop " thread...hahah
  14. by   ssnurse
    I agree with JillR. You cannot delegate what you are unwilling to do. I have great respect for the CNA's that I work with. I was without one last night on NOC shift and had an incontinent pt. I made up his bed while he was in the shower and he than placed his "poopy" towels on the bed after he came out! (Good lesson for me...!) Poop and bodily fluids are all a part of nursing. Depending on what type of nursing you go into, be prepared for anything. Somtimes it comes down to doing what needs to be done and who is available. Good luck...nursing has many ups and downs but I still love the patient contact and knowing that my patients feel cared for.

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