Quote from nwfc2005
i'm currently in my second year of nursing school and i am in desperate need of tips on how to deal with the "smells of nursing". i can deal with some smells but the smell of bowel movements leave me running to the patient's bathroom gagging! i informed my professor and her response was to find every incontinent patient on the floor for me to clean up. i was sick the rest of the day! it's very embarrassing and i know i need to get over it but i need some advice.
please do not be embarassed by this, it is a natural reaction to powerful odors.
i prefer to not breath through my mouth because that thought grosses me out more than does the smell, but, that is me.
the previous posters are right, you are not desensitized to it. possibly you have a very beneficial nose! yup, you may be blessed with such a sensitive nose that you will be able to smell, intuitively when a patient has a change.
view this as a positive, if you can. i know, gross. thing is there is a difference between a c-diff stool, a diarhhea from too much tube feeding and diarhhea that is tinged with or loaded with blood. you will note the difference, (i know, not a pretty thought but, to your benefit).
a friend of mine changed my perception of cleaning up patients when she shared her horror and embarassment at having been a patient after a traumatic auto accident. so, remember that it is equally gross for the patient to have to smell that and to not be able to care for it themselves.
p.s. and if all else fails why not bring in two masks, one for yourself and one for your patient, if you can find a calm and respectful way to ask the patient if she/he would care for one while you clean them up? said with a respectful and caring smile, they may appreciate it, maybe...