For the Bowel Obsessed
by jadelpn Guide
Remember, fellow nurses, talking about bowel movement (BM) should not be a "touchy" subject anymore!! The general public has been readied!! They know ALL about their bums!! They know all about how interesting areas of pooping places can be cute--and taken care of with bleach!!
- 6 Published Jan 25
I would tell you that this is meant to be a cheeky article, however, that would just add to the fray. Here's a question...Why is it now oh so appropriate to talk about people's bowel habits and bottoms in just about every arena imaginable?
Look at it this way, as nurses, we are very concerned about bowels. Did the patient have a bm? If so, what did it look like, how long between movements, does the patient need a laxative, a stool softener, both?
And we all have at least one patient that is from the time that the lack of a "good" BM was the only thing that causing any ailment at all. And "good" is definetely a subjective term.
Ask any nurse, and you will get all sorts of names and concotions of items sure to leave even the most constipated of patient empty from the throat down. The "3 H" emema, "The Bomb", "MOM with a warm prune chaser"....Then again, ask any patient, and they will give you at least 952 descriptions of their BM. In vivid detail.
Then there's the other side I like to call "come over the the dark side, we have prune juice". As a nurse, we have all have them. The patients who don't want to leave, so they flush. The patients who are so proud of the work of their bowels that they will ring at the first sign of gas formation.
The surgeons start it--when they get done with any surgery they start talking about passing gas. Honestly, do they not think we have asked, prodded, enlightened and checked the most primal and consistent thing in nursing since Clara Barton?
Now it seems that media has stolen our thunder.
There's no harm in a little yogurt that makes everything come out alright. Especially when there's a wicked cool "older" actress that is the spokesperson. Hey, if it is good for Jamie Lee, then it is good for me!!
There's the "let's talk about bums" wipes. Seriously? Is the fact that the actress is English somehow making this less of a "naughty" subject? Should of asked a nurse. We are the dynamos of the improvising!! Every day, a nurse stands before every patient and talks about bums. How wonderfully appropriate that this is now subject matter in a number of malls, supermarkets and I believe airports. "Stuffy" British indeed!!
Ah, but my personal favorite that has sent me over the edge. The bleach commercials. This is a wonderful chance for all of us, nurse or not, to share our "grossest" stories for a coupon! Awesome! And they seem to be very cute kids in these blurbs, all of 'em pooping all over the place, just not where they are supposed to. From Dads blabbing in the park (again, how wonderful astute of them not to have 2 Moms in this commercial...) to a child pooping in the jacuzzi, ah, bleachable moments!!
Now, all kidding aside, this is all very cheeky indeed, and I am that nurse who is on the bowel orders as soon as the 3rd day with no BM is upon us. Constipation is not something to laugh about, it is uncomfortable, it makes all of us cranky, and WHY am I the one who always seems to have to give the 3 H to the post surgical 25 year old....who regardless of the commerical hype is less than thrilled to say the least. It is a really important part of assessment.
I suggest you lead with "let's talk about your bum" and double dog dare you to say it with a straight face...Last edit by Joe V on Jan 26
jadelpn joined Nov '08 - from 'Massachusetts'. Age: 48 jadelpn has '25' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'ER, Med Surg'. Posts: 3,011 Likes: 5,962; Learn more about jadelpn by visiting their allnursesPage1Jan 30 by RN2BE2016Oh my, how I love a good article about moving your bowels. Yes, I am among many nurses who makes it a point to access when the last time a patient has had a bowel movement. I had one patient last week who hadn't had a BM for 10 days! She was the greatest candidate for " the bomb", if I say so myself. The only thing that prevented her moving her bowels is that she had painful hemorrhoids and that she would clench those sphincter muscles every time she felt the need to go. I don't know how that turned out (i.e did she ever move her bowels?), but I hope she did at some point. Don't even get me started with those "cute kids pooping everywhere bleachable moments" commercials. Nothing cute about that .3Jan 30 by succinateLOL this is completely off-track, but I didn't know what constipation was when I was in high school. So when I had constipation, I told my mother about my bowel movement and she confirmed that it was constipation. Not knowing the "stigma" surrounding the act of talking about BM's, my friend asked me what happened and I told her, "I had constipation." Her face was like, It was really awkward now that I know what constipation is.