Does anyone here actually like or "not mind" cleaning poop??? - page 2
I have just completed my first year as an RN, BSN a couple of weeks ago. Nothing much to celebrate after I find out that I worked that hard only to be cleaning so much poop as a person with a 4 year... Read More
Sep 18, '07Occupation: Operating Room Nurse Specialty: 5 yrs OR, ASU Pre-Op 2 yr. ER ; From: US ; Joined: Jun '03; Posts: 17,036; Likes: 1,009Be it literally or figuritively, poop is a part of the job.
Sep 18, '07Occupation: RN-ED Specialty: Emergency ; Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 101; Likes: 25Poops stinks no doubt about it...
but tramasrus hit in on the head... I think I will not have such a bad day after all!
Sep 18, '07Occupation: RN staff Specialty: RN- Med/surg ; Joined: Jul '07; Posts: 732; Likes: 312I don't enjoy it..but most days I could care less one way or the other.
Sep 18, '07Occupation: CRRN, now a case management RN Specialty: Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych ; From: US ; Joined: Feb '05; Posts: 38,032; Likes: 69,290Oh, dear. I truly hope we have not been so harsh as to scare the original poster from ever contributing to this particular thread again.
Sep 18, '07Joined: Sep '07; Posts: 4; Likes: 3well at least in a hospital setting, you can clean and dispose of the "poop" and be done with it-(most of the time)-but when you have pt who are vomiting or bleeding, you not only have to clean it, but then have to go back and treat the problem. but to me the worst is MUCOUS! i gag!!!
Sep 19, '07Specialty: 15 year(s) of experience in Rehab, Med Surg, Home Care ; Joined: Mar '03; Posts: 1,129; Likes: 511I have a little different perspective on cleaning poop. I don't like it but don't really mind it-cleaning up a patient isn't really that much more unpleasant than wiping my own butt. Plus, as other posters have pointed out, if you have a kid it's pretty routine for you.
However, what I really do resent is that I have found the public in general looks down on us for the mere fact that this is a routine part of our job. In other words, our job is devalued in the perception of most non-nurses BECAUSE it involves cleaning poop, etc. Now that really burns me!
Sep 19, '07Occupation: Registered Nurse Specialty: Medical and general practice now LTC ; From: CA ; Joined: Feb '01; Posts: 63,978; Likes: 14,915Have to agree with a lot of the posters. I also think dignity comes into play and also how would I feel if it was me in that bed and having to rely on someone else to do the job. I would hope that the person would respect that it was not something done intentionally ( I know some do but generally they don't) and give me the dignity of keeping me clean. Also a good way to check skin integrity
Sep 19, '07Occupation: elderly care night sister Specialty: Nursing Home ,Dementia Care,Neurology. ; Joined: Apr '04; Posts: 4,306; Likes: 1,528As I say to my carers "poop pays your wages" and I definately prefer it to sputum <<<shudder>>>
Sep 19, '07Occupation: ICU float, medical, surgical, cardiac and neuro Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc ; Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 1,792; Likes: 792What about all the polls that put nurses at our near the top of the most trusted professions?
There are so many posters that refer to the 'disrespect of nursing from the public'...I don't see it, who do we think our patients are? They ARE the public. And as a nurse, it is MY job to connect with my patient in a way that they do trust me, that they don't feel so much shame and humiliation if they have whatever bodily fluid all over the bed. It is that connection of respect and dignity that goes both ways. I ALWAYS tell my patients that it is OK if they couldn't contain whatever bodily fluid. It IS part of my job to clean them up, but also to ease what ever embarrassment they may feel. To go in there and be disgusted with what you are doing and to show it to the patient is about the most unprofessional behaviors I can think of. How is that going to facilitate healing?
Sep 19, '07Joined: Dec '06; Posts: 8,249; Likes: 15,451I always thought nurses offered holistic care.
Wiping away BM is part of your job.
I would never consider myself above doing ANYTHING for my patients to assess them and make them as comfortable as possible.
Sep 19, '07Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience ; From: US ; Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 654; Likes: 892warning--i'm lettin it all out in this post. i recommend you put down your snacks, and perhaps read this later if you just ate...
poop. ahhh. it tells us a lot about a pt's condition--if they are pooping, if they're not pooping, if it's brown, orange, [color=dimgray]gray, brick, [font=impact]firm, [color=olive]chunky[color=olive], [font=courier new]pebbly, l o o s e--seriously. what if it's green and watery? what if it's [font=franklin gothic medium]marbled with brb? cleaning poop gives us direct insight into what's going on inside our patients.
we have to capture the evidence when we need to (sending samples, guiac testing, etc), and then ensure that our patient is completely clean and dry--cause we all know s&*@ is toxic, eh? it's like battery acid on the skin (ok, i can't verify that, but you get my drift) and then there's the dreaded cdiff variety. the merde du jour. the house guest that has over-stayed his welcome.
anyway, cleaning poo is also an opportunity to look directly at the sacrum, and between the cheeks--and how often do you see a little redness that concerns you? a crease? abrasion? an open area? (!)
for all those that have had their hands buried in the vast pit of the stage iv decub, you are probably viscerally aware of the importance of cleaning up the pooey.
as far as being "nurse's work" or "aide's" work--that's just ignorance. it's not acceptable, and i don't like it when my friends first assume that i wipe butt for a living. of course, if i explained it to them in the terms that i have addressed above in this post, they would probably take a break from our friendship for awhile. that's the breaks.
no one working in patient care is beneath cleaning poop. sometimes it's hard to find time, however among all the other important things going on.
the pca's where i work have more time to do this because their job focuses on patient hygiene. but most don't just wipe and walk--first off, they usually need some assistance because we have very heavy and immobile patient's on our floor. as we turn, clean, change the linens, oftentimes the pca, having a different view of the pt's skin, will see something i can't see--most of them are just as good at recognizing risks of skin breakdown as any of our nurses. and they do a darn thorough job cleaning their patients. and reporting their findings to the nurses in a timely manner so the nurse knows a skin assessment is priority. "aide's work" is just as tired a phrase as "nurses' work"--i understand that there is hierarchy problem in the hospital, but we only reinforce it by using a term that devalues our assistants--they have a scope of practice too, and the work they do is essential in the collaborative, multidisciplinary effort of patient care.
anyway, go get your snack.
Sep 19, '07Occupation: ICU float, medical, surgical, cardiac and neuro Specialty: 12 year(s) of experience in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc ; Joined: Jun '07; Posts: 1,792; Likes: 792Quote from kanzi monkeyAnyway, go get your snack.
No problem, anybody for some brownies!!! hehehe
Sep 19, '07Occupation: "New Grad" (job hopped the 1st yr) Specialty: Did the job hop, now in MS. Not Bad!!!!! ; From: US ; Joined: Aug '05; Posts: 560; Likes: 155Quote from deeDawnteeI'll take mine w/ nuts in them!! ;>)
No problem, anybody for some brownies!!! hehehe
Seriously, I think the only thing that I can add to these posts fr nurses much more seasoned than myself is to say that I came to a few conclusions about this profession before entering into it. And I received advice from seasoned and capable nurses before I made my decision to head into it.
I was daunted by the responsibility that a nurse must take. My mom was my biggest nurse role model growing up and she was so glad that neither of her daughters wanted to go into nursing b/c of the disrespect, awful wages, hard patient loads and total frown upon nurses fr docs and other disciplines.
But times have changed and she's so proud of me now for the amt of responsibility and scope of practice an RN takes on every shift.
So now I had mom's approval and respect as well as my own fortitude to enter this chasm of an unknown vocation; it is so much more than I could have anticipated. But one step at a time. Once I decided that I would enter this profession, the only thing that held me back was my fear of bodily fluids. My only exposure to nursing itself before NS was what I saw on "ER" or other trauma shows. I had to make up my mind then and there whether this was something I could handle or not. Bodily fluids as I learned in my step-by-step indoctrination meant not only pee and blood, but also mucous, vomit, and all those colorful words used up above for poop. Spending a summer externship on an ABI/SCI unit where nearly everyone is dependent for tushy care and most are pegged, usually meant being up to my shoulders in poop and vomit. I read in many reply posts here that it takes a lot of trust and humility to allow a nurse to take care of that for you. I know that when I looked into the eyes of my brain injured pts that summer, we connected. And even if they couldn't speak the words, their eyes spoke volumes of thanks. And b/c speed was of importance, I learned a trick or two to roll and wipe and swipe teh dirties.
What I'm trying to say is that it comes w/ the job. It's full-service care occupation. We know that coming into it, but the advice given to me, is no one likes it at first, but you get used to it, b/c you will encounter a LOT of it.
My only dilemma now remains the smell. I would love to learn some tricks for not needing to run into the clean linen room if my pt is spewing or pooing.
P.S. to any poster that mentioned we all will have kids, please think twice before assuming such a thing. Not all of us can or will.