Strong Stomach

  1. I am working on my pre req's right now for the BSN program.
    My question is I keep having friends tell me who are nurses right now that they are unsure if I would be able to "clean" patients who have pooped on themselves. Does anyone have any Tricks of the trade yall used at first to stomach bad odors etc... I am really worried about this

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    About SleepyJoe

    Joined: Mar '04; Posts: 9
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  3. by   Carolanne
    Altoids, scented lip gloss, and try to redirect your mind a little bit and use some temporary imagry while you're in the nitty gritty of it. And whatever you do, don't inhale! :chuckle
  4. by   rpbear
    Strong breath mints. Keep one in your mouth while you are doing these types of things and it should cut the smell a little. It is something that you will have to get used to though. I try to think of the fact that the pt. can't do this for themselves and if it were my family member I would want them clean and dry.
  5. by   Jennerizer
    Get a little bottle of Vicks Vapor Rub & keep it in your pocket. When you need to use it, put a little by your nose & it really helps with any "smells". I've also recently heard that an alcohol pad takes away the smell also--haven't tried it out yet. Also, while changing someone that has made a can use shaving cream--it neutralizes the odor. Just be sure to let your patient know the reason you are using it, otherwise they may fear you are getting ready to shave

    Changing diapers is one of the things I most dislike, but you do get used to it. Now the sound of suctioning is another thing...haven't figured out how to minimize that sound.
  6. by   Catma63
    CARMEX!!! Sold in the same section of your drug store (or in the checkout at most Wal-Mart stores) as lip balms. Put it under your nostrils and it will mask the odors tremendously. Also....mouth breathe! Truuuuuuust me on this one.
  7. by   SleepyJoe
    Thanks for the tips!!! I am going to hold off on the lip gloss for now....

  8. by   colleen10
    All good suggestions.

    Another things that works if if you keep a Chapstick Menthalated lip balm in your pocket. When you get to something smelly put some on your lips or just right under your nose. It will keep some of the smell from getting to you.

    Also, you'll be surprised that when you see a fellow human being too ill or frail to take care of themselves how you will have so much empathy for them that you'll just jump right in to take care of them and not even notice a mess or smell.

    Good Luck in your future clinicals!
  9. by   LeesieBug
    "I am going to hold off on the lip gloss for now...."

    :chuckle :chuckle :chuckle

    But you would probably look so pretty! It really spices up the dorky student nurse uniform!

    My only strategy when I am doing something unpleasant is simply not thinking about WHAT it is I am dealing with. It is not feces, it is just some brown muck I am cleaning up! I go to my happy place, and think positive, pleasant thoughts!

    Smell wise I basically do the mouth breathing and short breaths!

    So far I have only discovered one smell that really, really bothered me. I am definitely going to start carrying some breath mints around....thanks for the suggestion, all.
  10. by   AmyLiz
    It sounds worse than it is. Once you're in a clinical setting, you just go into action & get the job done. I do breathe through my mouth though. A lot.
  11. by   RNKITTY04
    Learn to mouth breath ASAP
  12. by   crankyasanoldma
    Many non-medical people tend to fixate on this particular topic and a couple of others such as seeing people naked and certain diseases they are afraid of.

    It's important to remember that the 'cleaning' you are describing is a real live valid nursing activity. Most people would not choose to soil themselves. Helping someone get clean, and still maintain their dignity, to me, is is extremely important.

    I deal mainly with a young adult to middle aged patient population. Many are absolutely mortified to find themselves in need of assistance when toileting. All I can do is to try to make a humbling experience less difficult for them. It really is an honor to be of assistance to my patients is what are sometimes the best (I'm in OB-GYN) and worst times of their lives.
  13. by   bella548
    Believe it or not you kind of get desensitzed to it in time.I hold my breath at times if it gets to bad.Some times have to walk away a minute if i have assistence..................Now colostomys ...thats another story ...they can put me to my knees!!!!I work fast! :imbar
  14. by   CaliNurs06
    I do not use any lip gloss or any smelly stuff, but this is what I do...I am not sure if it will help.
    Whenever you help bathe the patient, the nurse should not make any faces or remarks. When I smell something really really bad..what I do is :
    1) just take a deep breath and exhale slowly while you change them
    2)if you need to breath..turn your head around as you help them and just say "where did i put that _______" as if you are looking for something (ie. linen, diper, washcloth), but you really are inhaling with your nose pressed up against you shoulder or trying to breath air far away from the smell
    3) as you do that, you can make all the faces you want, just as long as your head is turned and remarks and faces are not heard or showen to the pt
    4) repeat...

    I havent had a problem after doing its just a routine

    hope that helps