What percent of clinicals spent doing gross stuff?

  1. Just curious how much time you have spent working with poop, such as enemas, bedpans, nasty clean ups, etc.

    Also other nasty bodily fluids, such as vomit, discharge, etc..

    THANKS!
  2. Visit ER1010 profile page

    About ER1010

    Joined: Aug '04; Posts: 93; Likes: 1
    L&D Nurse

    8 Comments

  3. by   RainDreamer
    I haven't had much of a problem dealing with poop, enemas, bedpans, vomit, etc. I was pretty much prepared for all that, just comes with the territory.

    But one of the grossest clinical experiences I've ever had dealt with none of the above. I wasn't even assigned to this patient but a nurse pulled me into a room to help her "clean up this patient". He had just been transferred to the hospital from the nursing home and it was sad.... he hadn't gotten real good care at the nursing home. The whole time he was at the nursing home they never once cleaned him real good "down there". His foreskin was so crusted with gunk they had to detach it some because it was growing together. Anyway, we had to keep cleaning it and it smelled SO BAD I thought I was going to puke when she had me wiping it all out. The poor guy, it was all red and inflamed and I'm the one having to do that to him, the whole experience was just awful!

    So I can't really give you a percent, but just be prepared for anything!
  4. by   VivaLasViejas
    We nurses probably have the world's biggest and best collection of sh** jokes, descriptions, and true stories. :chuckle

    Handling anything that's warm, wet, and not yours is certainly not the most pleasant aspect of the job, but you do get used to it after a time. All of us have certain tasks we like less than others, and cleaning up poop/vomit/blood/mucus is probably a universal dislike......but you just deal with it and move on to the next. No biggie.
  5. by   PhoenixGirl
    [QUOTE=RainDreamer]The whole time he was at the nursing home they never once cleaned him real good "down there". His foreskin was so crusted with gunk they had to detach it some because it was growing together. Anyway, we had to keep cleaning it and it smelled SO BAD I thought I was going to puke when she had me wiping it all out. The poor guy, it was all red and inflamed and I'm the one having to do that to him, the whole experience was just awful!QUOTE]

    OMG poor guy! I think I will get used to the "grunt" work, but hearing something like this makes me cringe because that guy must have been in pain! When cleaning up a patient like this, do they get any pain meds or get put to sleep? I can imagine it being really hard to handle a patient with something like this, if they are awake or fully aware of what's going on. How is that handled?

    Rebecca
  6. by   HappyNurse2005
    It also depends on what type of nursing unit you do clinicals on-are your patients mobile/can they go to the bathroom on their own, etc. I've seen some nasty stuff, but its a small percentage of my total clinical time.
  7. by   LPN01112005
    Ok, in my nursing home rotation, I spent a great deal of time dealing with what you call the "gross" stuff. On general med-surg rotation, there was quite a bit of this type stuff too, including several disimpactions. On ortho and L&D, I hardly ever had to deal with BM's, vomit and such. Just a lot of blood, there. Can't say I ever dealt with smelly stuff in mental health or in my doctor's office rotations either. Fortunately, I'm not weak stomached, so this stuff didn't really bother me. However, we lost two or three students because they just couldn't handle the nasty stuff. One actually turned green at the nursing home when she had to empty a colostomy bag....needless to say, that was it for her. She dropped the next day.

    To me, what is far worse than smelly BM's and vomit is a stage III or IV decubitus. Eeewwww.
  8. by   Truly_Blessed
    Well my clinicals last semester were spent in the nursing home where almost everyone was bowel incontinent and alot of stge III & IV ducubs...so I would say 80% of my time was spent dealing with things that made me cringe. The other 20% I was charting.
  9. by   malenurse1
    Being over half-way through school, (graduate in December 05! Yea!), and having worked the last year as a Nurse Intern, I have essentially lost my sense of smell and not much grosses me out. Actually you come to apprectiate some smells, like the when a new admit has a BM and you can tell just by the smell that they have C-Diff. It actually helps you with your assessment skills. Also the other night my youngest and some fof her friends were suffering from gas during dinner and my wife was gagging and wondering how I could just sit there and eat without it phasing me. Hang in there the gross stuff is just a part of the profession you adjust, just learn not to talk about "the code brown you dealt with last night" at the dinner table!
  10. by   Jen2
    A whole lot if you are good at what you do. It just all depends, but I am not one to leave my patient lying in crap for 25 minutes why I try to track down an aid who is most likely "on break" anyway. I find it a lot easier to just go ahead and do it myself for the most part, but if I have meds due or something else that takes priority I will then try and find the aid or ask another student for assistance.

close