What is the grossest thing you have encountered in clinicals? - page 5

Thought this would be an interesting thread to start to give new students the "harsh reality" :rotfl: of what to expect as we enter our first semester.... Read More

  1. by   mamabear
    Quote from nurseshanti
    I'm not positive, but I think breathing throught your mouth instead of through your nose should help get rid of yucky smells. Bypasses a lot of the olfactory receptors.

    Edited to add: Last week I saw something that topped my grossest thing seen so far. I was helping out with a dressing change on a gentleman who had both Necrotizing Fascitis and Gangrene all along his back and buttocks and spread to his front all around his penis. The wound was infected with a lot of different bugs including pseudomonas. It was about 1/2 inch deep all along and was undermined by about a full inch all the way along the perimeter of the wound. The poor man was in so much pain throughout, even though he was on a morphine drip. It was just awful.
    One of the first nursing skills I learned was how to effectively mouth breathe without the patient catching on. In my first year of med-surg clinical I helped debrede an infected skin graft on the back of a beautiful young woman with advanced malignant melinoma. The open area was about 5 inches square, with bits of grafted skin in various stages of decompensation. Bleccch! :uhoh21:
  2. by   HyperRNRachel
    I will take a Clostridium difficile, poop, smell any day over a non-treated, out of control, yeast infection. The poor elderly lady could not speak, was semi-conscious, and was contractured and on my very first clinical day three of my fellow students and I were given the task to bathe this poor woman. We all walk in and nothing taught in class or from a book could have prepared us for this poor lady. We got water, face cloths, and soap, two students on each side, and we started bathing her starting at the top. Well everything was not going o.k. ,because every time we moved her she would yell "NINE NINE NINE NINE " which we interrupted as 'DIE' , something she wanted for herself or for the four of us students. I guess the yelling would not have been bad but she had tears rolling down her face. We were being as gentle as we could, BUT being gentle does not move contractured muscles. So we start working our way down, as we lift the sheet, a smell so intense it made most of my body hair fall out came up from the area we dreaded cleaning. All four of us had our necks stretched out trying to get a fresh air pocket, but the smell had taken over every square inch of the room. Two of the students were actually in tears. One said she did not know if she could be a nurse and the other said she had made the wrong decision about being a nurse. To make matters worse, the only way to get a descent smell in our nostrils and to keep for vomiting on our shoes was to try and smell each others hair. Being students we prepped her for peri-care, making the nice drape the best way possible for a client whose legs were practically welded together. I volunteered my friend in crime to do the honors of cleaning the area from where this odor was still rising. As she pulls the cloth out from under the drape,.......it is covered with thick, yellow-whitish, yeast. It was out of control. The next day we found out she was returned to the nursing home and most likely the yeast infection will go un-treated. It was a sad day. I am now in the second week of my second clinical and that episode was the most horrific thing I have witnessed out of all the poops, vomit, snot, or blood.
  3. by   NewEnglandRN
    Okay, all this talk about maggots is really grossing me out. Can someone tell me why/ how this happens? I can handle most things, but I really HATE creepy crawly things

    Michelle
  4. by   nursecompassion
    Quote from itsme
    I have been a nurse for almost 10 years and not too long ago had a nasty experience. I took off a foot dressing on a new admit who came from home. He said he just wrapped his foot cuz it was sore. Well, I take off the dressing and about 1000 skittering nasty little maggots took off!! EWWWWW those little buggers can run, or slither or whatever it is they do! They were everywhere, looked like some one spilled a bag of cooked rice in that dressing!!!

    I work in a nursing home and am used to bm, uti smells, c-dif, drainage, colostomy bag odors and wound smells,and generally just the sight of gross things.... HOWEVER................I LOATHE creeepy crawlies.................you poor person,,,,,,i feel so bad for you!! I think I would have barffed right there on the spot!

    (I guess they were eating the dead skin away though! :chuckle ) sorry could'nt resist............

    Julee
  5. by   nursecompassion
    Quote from hyperstudent
    I will take a Clostridium difficile, poop, smell any day over a non-treated, out of control, yeast infection. The poor elderly lady could not speak, was semi-conscious, and was contractured and on my very first clinical day three of my fellow students and I were given the task to bathe this poor woman. We all walk in and nothing taught in class or from a book could have prepared us for this poor lady. We got water, face cloths, and soap, two students on each side, and we started bathing her starting at the top. Well everything was not going o.k. ,because every time we moved her she would yell "NINE NINE NINE NINE " which we interrupted as 'DIE' , something she wanted for herself or for the four of us students. I guess the yelling would not have been bad but she had tears rolling down her face. We were being as gentle as we could, BUT being gentle does not move contractured muscles. So we start working our way down, as we lift the sheet, a smell so intense it made most of my body hair fall out came up from the area we dreaded cleaning. All four of us had our necks stretched out trying to get a fresh air pocket, but the smell had taken over every square inch of the room. Two of the students were actually in tears. One said she did not know if she could be a nurse and the other said she had made the wrong decision about being a nurse. To make matters worse, the only way to get a descent smell in our nostrils and to keep for vomiting on our shoes was to try and smell each others hair. Being students we prepped her for peri-care, making the nice drape the best way possible for a client whose legs were practically welded together. I volunteered my friend in crime to do the honors of cleaning the area from where this odor was still rising. As she pulls the cloth out from under the drape,.......it is covered with thick, yellow-whitish, yeast. It was out of control. The next day we found out she was returned to the nursing home and most likely the yeast infection will go un-treated. It was a sad day. I am now in the second week of my second clinical and that episode was the most horrific thing I have witnessed out of all the poops, vomit, snot, or blood.
    Are you suggesting that because she was returning to a nursing home the ppl at the LTC facility would'nt treat her????????? :stone
    I'm sorry, but not all facilities are like that. In fact, it should have been treated while she was in the hospital. We had a trach pt who was sent out to the hospital and came back with an ulcer on his rear. He did not have this when he was sent out. Obviously he was not being turned, just left to lay there like a vegetable.
    If I read your post wrong I am sorry. :uhoh21:

    Julee
  6. by   HyperRNRachel
    Are you suggesting that because she was returning to a nursing home the ppl at the LTC facility would'nt treat her?????????
    Yes I am. She was admitted with the infection, and returned to the nursing home, will not be cared for properly, and the infection, will in fact, become worse. I blame the nursing home and the family of the lady. I am not being rude, I am going on facts. At our hospital she was being turned q2hours, place on an air bed with all types of skin breakdown prevention devices, and given medications for her various illness' and above all else she received attention to her medical care needs. Even if her infection began as an antibiotic reaction, the extent of the infection was from lack of proper care, care that was not given while in the nursing home. Do not flame me for my remarks. Unless you live under a rock, are visiting from another planet, or are in serious state of denial, it is a well known fact that most (not all, but I have not seen that to be true) do not provide the care to patients that they are being paid for. I blame it on greedy doctors, lazy staff, or selfish family members. The facts are a sad result of how this country chooses to honor its elderly. I am not being naive. The condition of this client is only one out of dozen that come in from the nursing homes. Even if they cannot speak their bodies show all the evidence anyone needs. The quality of care being provided is appalling. It is sad but very true.
    Last edit by HyperRNRachel on Jun 12, '04
  7. by   IamRN
    Quote from hyperstudent
    Even if they cannot speak their bodies show all the evidence anyone needs. The quality of care being provided is appalling. It is sad but very true.
    I am curious...why didn't she get any care for it at the hospital? Was this not reported to the RN under her care that day or the MD?
  8. by   Chad_KY_SRNA
    Was this persons yeast infection being treated in the hospital? That part of your post was unclear to me.
  9. by   z's playa
    Quote from hyperstudent
    Yes I am. She was admitted with the infection, and returned to the nursing home, will not be cared for properly, and the infection, will in fact, become worse. I blame the nursing home and the family of the lady. I am not being rude, I am going on facts. At our hospital she was being turned q2hours, place on an air bed with all types of skin breakdown prevention devices, and given medications for her various illness' and above all else she received attention to her medical care needs. Even if her infection began as an antibiotic reaction, the extent of the infection was from lack of proper care, care that was not given while in the nursing home. Do not flame me for my remarks. Unless you live under a rock, are visiting from another planet, or are in serious state of denial, it is a well known fact that most (not all, but I have not seen that to be true) do not provide the care to patients that they are being paid for. I blame it on greedy doctors, lazy staff, or selfish family members. The facts are a sad result of how this country chooses to honor its elderly. I am not being naive. The condition of this client is only one out of dozen that come in from the nursing homes. Even if they cannot speak their bodies show all the evidence anyone needs. The quality of care being provided is appalling. It is sad but very true.
    Thats sad. It must be driving her nuts.
  10. by   HyperRNRachel
    Quote from Chad_KY_SRNA
    Was this persons yeast infection being treated in the hospital? That part of your post was unclear to me.

    Yes, the yeast infection was being treated while she was in the hospital. She also had numerous decubitus ulcers on her back side and the heels of her feet as well. She had to have many preventive devices due to how she was contractured. She was unable to speak. Other than the "NINE, NINE" or the "DIE, DIE" depending on how you translate it, she could not in any way communicate. BUT she did cry. Tears would pour from her eyes as we tried to move her body parts, hoping we would not hurt her. I wish I could translate what she wanted to tell us. As students we stayed as long as we could with her, stroked her hair (which I think she enjoyed because she would stop crying at that point), and talked to her as if she were part of the conversation, and stayed and fed her pudding and applesauce. I later found out we each went back several times that day to check on her even though she was semiconscious and not our assigned patient. We nicknamed her Willie, and we still talk about her and how we all basically realized that human needs, emotions, and respect surpass any odor. And that, my friends, is a lesson you cannot be taught, it has to be learned. The students who helped me that day are still in the program and we are in clinical together (all but one of us) again this time. And although the story of Willie is now told quite often with some elements of humor that we realized after the fact (such as trying to make a peri-care drape) as a group we still wonder what happened to her. I wish I knew, I think I would try to adopt her as the grandma I never had. Willie made us four girls better friends that day and more importantly, she made us better nurses.

    That day I also learned: no matter what the smell or element of gross involved in a disease process, I do not gag. Once I concentrate on what that person must be feeling, the need to help the person overcomes my gag reflex.
    Last edit by HyperRNRachel on Jun 13, '04
  11. by   RN4NICU
    Quote from hyperstudent
    Well everything was not going o.k. ,because every time we moved her she would yell "NINE NINE NINE NINE " which we interrupted as 'DIE' , something she wanted for herself or for the four of us students. I guess the yelling would not have been bad but she had tears rolling down her face.
    Was this woman German by any chance? If so, "nine" means "no", not "die"
  12. by   Mandylpn
    Quote from kiyasmom
    Student nurse suddenly rethinking this whole nurse career thing... It's something I want to do with all my heart, and I do believe it is my spiritual calling, but reading these posts is kinda turning my stomach. I truly feel so sick, my menstrual self just put down my bag of peanut M&Ms :uhoh21:
    You gotta buck up! You will get used to it.
    :chuckle :chuckle
  13. by   nursecompassion
    Quote from hyperstudent
    Yes I am. She was admitted with the infection, and returned to the nursing home, will not be cared for properly, and the infection, will in fact, become worse. I blame the nursing home and the family of the lady. I am not being rude, I am going on facts. At our hospital she was being turned q2hours, place on an air bed with all types of skin breakdown prevention devices, and given medications for her various illness' and above all else she received attention to her medical care needs. Even if her infection began as an antibiotic reaction, the extent of the infection was from lack of proper care, care that was not given while in the nursing home. Do not flame me for my remarks. Unless you live under a rock, are visiting from another planet, or are in serious state of denial, it is a well known fact that most (not all, but I have not seen that to be true) do not provide the care to patients that they are being paid for. I blame it on greedy doctors, lazy staff, or selfish family members. The facts are a sad result of how this country chooses to honor its elderly. I am not being naive. The condition of this client is only one out of dozen that come in from the nursing homes. Even if they cannot speak their bodies show all the evidence anyone needs. The quality of care being provided is appalling. It is sad but very true.
    Actually I was not "flaming" you. Mearly, hoping you will recognize that poor care or no care does not only happen in LTC, but also in hospitals and other health facilities. Nor, did I suggest that you were naive.

    Julee

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