Cleaning up poop

  1. Ok I know nurses have to clean up poop among other things, but I did that when I was a CNA.
    Please tell me all your time is not spent cleaning up poop as an RN as well??? A majority of your time is spent doing other things right??

    Or can you work somewhere where that stuff is minimal like a walk in clinic or doctors office?
  2. 23 Comments

  3. by   rayofsunshine
    I'm still in Nursing School but from what I've heard some nurses help when the tech needs assistance or when they have a second to help. It's part of the tech's job description but there also has to be teamwork too.
  4. by   Nurse Ratched
    Once you get into the gospital charting, you'll long for the days when cleaning poo was the worst thing on your list to do .

    As you know, we have to get into the down and dirty of things. As a clinic nurse, I still get into what some people may classify as icky stuff (ear lavages being the most glaring example.) I am of the attitude that I've flushed worse things out of worse places, so a little cerumen isn't going to bug me, but we all have our sticky points.

    If your patient is lying in their own waste, and no one else is available, you need to clean it up. It's important to delegate when the staffing allows it, but you need to set a good example and never assign anything you're not also willing and able to do yourself.

    Best of luck in your clinicals!
  5. by   AMINI'SNURSE
    i clean up poop and also help with other stuff adl's with my pts when i was done passing meds...its a team and everyone is there to care for the pts. that was one of the first things i learn in nursing school, basic nursing skills..
  6. by   AussieKylie
    Cleaning up poop is part of nursing care. It maybe times when you have to do it but I dont think there is all the time. If you are looking after the patient who has done a doo doo then u gotta clean them up. Gotta think about yourself in their situation too. There is a sure thing that the patient who cant clean up themselves would be embarrassed about it too. They are grateful to nurses who help them when it comes to the bottom end. Its not enjoyable but its gotta be done.

    All the best
  7. by   luvmy2angels
    There may be times when you will need to clean the poo....but not nearly as often as an aide. I worked as a CNA for 18 years so I have cleaned up my fair share of it. I am glad now that even though i have to do it sometimes, it is still not nearly as much as I used too!!:spin:
  8. by   Spatialized
    Sure you're going to be cleaning up poop and somedays are better than others. There are going to be those days where you have the patient on lactulose (or "colon blow") or Mag Citrate or Go-Lytely (Super and Mega Colon blow respectively) and all you will be doing is cleaning poop. Then there are the days where you wish all you had to do is clean poop and not the 75yr old train wreck trying to die on you. But that's nursing, we're there to take care of the patient regardless.

    I had a ICU nurse tell me on a clinical rotation (with a little tongue in cheek) that you should be able to clean poop just as well as titrate a drip 'cause that's nursing.

    As for jobs lacking poop...well ambulatory surgery, public health, school nurse (well not so much there...), clinic nursing, management :wink2: (but I've seen my mgrs up to their elbows before).

    Just my worn out 0.02 worth.


    May 12th, Baby!
    Last edit by Spatialized on May 3, '06 : Reason: Can't type tonight, guess I can't proofread either
  9. by   st4wb3rr33sh0rtc4k3
    You will definately clean up poop...

    In my current position, I have to clean it on occasions, but not as much as I had to when I was a CNA.
  10. by   Annabelle57
    [font=lucida sans unicode]i quote from one of my favorite kids' books: "everybody poops."
    [font=lucida sans unicode]
    [font=lucida sans unicode]i work as a pct right now, and of course i clean up quite a bit of poo... but i would say the nurses on the floor don't clean up nearly as much poo as we do (they have enough other things to do!). still, i do have rns who will help me out - usually, we as techs take primary responsibility for cleaning up a patient (it's okay for the rn to call us in to clean it if they cannot) but lots of the rns will help with patients who are heavy, hard to move, etc. usually our floor is staffed well enough with pcts that we don't have anyone sitting in poo or pee for very long, anyway.
    [font=lucida sans unicode]
    [font=lucida sans unicode]and our rns have all wiped bottoms (and backs and arms and legs and wherever else) of poo. part of the job, but as others have said, not nearly as much as a pct will deal with.
  11. by   Daytonite
    all my time was never spent cleaning up poop. however, i did clean it up when it had to be done. sometimes you have to do it. don't poo poo the fact, pun intended :stone, that it can be part of your ongoing assessment process.
  12. by   Roy Fokker
    Not to mention the fact that if you were to go around with the attitude of "cleaning up poop isn't part of my job" - well, when the poop hits the fan, you're gonna run short of "volunteers" who will help you

    It's a team effort and a team job.

    A helping hand never hurt anyone.

    It's important to delegate when the staffing allows it, but you need to set a good example and never assign anything you're not also willing and able to do yourself.
  13. by   Travellpro
    I think that is the hardest thing I am going to deal with because I gag easily with strong smells but I hear the vix works great. I'm going to definitely keep that trick in mind.
  14. by   NurseyBaby'05
    Sometimes I'll tell the aide to come get me when a pt is incontinent. Like someone else said, it makes my assessment easier. I can get a look at the pt's skin and make sure the stool is WNL. I also tell the aide to come get me if they need help cleaning up the difficult ones. If I'm in the middle of something I can't always do it, but I really do try.