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Gross me out!

Posted

Has 5 years experience.

I know this sounds crazy and morbid, but I would really like to be grossed out with tales of nursing downsides. Let me explain...

I am really excited to be a nurse. I still have a year of pre-reqs before getting into my preferred BSN program. I guess I just want to limit the surprises and the idealizations of being a nurse. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's going to be a big bed of roses. I am just hoping for someone to try to "convince" me not to be a nurse, and hoping that I will hear a lot the negatives of this career before actually experiencing them so I can be more psychologically prepared. The ultimate goal of this exercise is to improve my chances of being successful in nursing school and beginning my career without becoming too disenchanted.

Does this makes sense? If so, please gross me out :)

TheSquire, DNP, EMT-B, APN, NP

Specializes in Urgent Care NP, Emergency Nursing, Camp Nursing. Has 10 years experience.

During our rehab unit, one of my classmates had a patient who had a stage four pressure ulcer as a result of having been in the ICU that was so deep that she had to measure it by sticking her forearm in up to her elbow. This was apparently an improvement over the patient's condition when transferred to the rehab facility.

A patient's age and their probability of being continent are inversely related. On med-surg, it's rare to see a patient under 60. Do the math.

WalldancerNIT

Has 5 years experience.

Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for :devil:

KELLYJONURSE

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 10 years experience.

I work in ICU. I had an admission come in because of fever. She ended up with a massive systemic infection and multi-system organ failure. She was a bilateral amputee from a month ago. After stabilizing her in the unit, I started bathing her. I took off some ace wraps she had on her stumps, and the staples were still there, which I found odd for a month out. Anyway, I was poking around them with a betadine swab and I poked a hole in one of the incisions because the skin was so "crusty" and dead looking. I did the same with the other leg. Maggots rushed out of both of the holes. I was horrified. I removed the staples and put chux under her stumps and hundreds of maggots rushed out. I actually had to keep wrapping up the chux and placing the (maggots and all) in the trash and laying fresh ones down. They took her and did an emergency debridment and cleaned both legs completely out. She actually survived and went home. After 10 years of nursing, this memory still makes me vomit. I threw up the whole time that pt was in surgery. Welcome to nursing.:lol_hitti

Blueorchid, ASN, RN

Specializes in Trauma ICU.

One of my patients in my med-surg clinicals had a c3-c4 contusion with a c3-c6 laminectomy that required him to be in a Miami J collar for over a month. When it came time for me to take care of him he often complained about how the collar would get wet and itchy so I let the nurse know and we ended up changing the padding around the brace (obviously he needed someone to hold c-spine if you took the thing off). When I peeled the sponges away there were things growing on them...which sadly is not the grossest part of this story.

I ended up doing a care plan on that patient some weeks later and found research that a small percentage of pressure ulcers are caused by Miami-J collars at the occipital regions of the skull. When I told a clinical professor she got this strange look on her face and proceeded to tell me about a patient with the exact same problem, only his Miami collar had been on for so long that the patient had developed some pretty heavy pressure ulcers. Bad enough that while taking care of him one day, my professor asked him to open his mouth and there were maggots in his teeth from where the ulcers had gone entirely through.

The moral of the story is to wash your Miami-J collars. And to the poster above...yeah I think I would vomit the entire time my patient was in the OR too. Cheers to you for getting through it :yeah:

To the OP, you might not find yourself de-sensitized by gross stories of nursing. I think nurses just have the ability to go "oh that's nasty!" deal with it, and move onto the next task.

All this talk about maggots is making my skin crawl right now!

WalldancerNIT

Has 5 years experience.

Wow - that is all really, really disgusting. Thanks :)

To the OP, you might not find yourself de-sensitized by gross stories of nursing. I think nurses just have the ability to go "oh that's nasty!" deal with it, and move onto the next task.

I have a pretty unnatural fear of something that would probably come up in nursing stories, and has. I'm hoping if I hear and picutre enough of this, I won't pass out right there if it ever happens to one of my pts.

DolceVita, BSN, RN

Specializes in IMCU. Has 10 years experience.

Mucous. O my God the mucous. Volcanic trachs with mucous just oooooozing out. Then they manage a good cough and splat....right on your face. Never, never do trach suctioning & care without the face shield.

Blinking disgusting. Don't care about blood, pee, guts, vomit, maggots...the mucous is horrendous.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

Thanks! That was exactly what I was looking for :devil:

I read a lot of those a few years ago- there was one about somebody going to a patient's room to pick up a tray, I think-- anyway the little old lady had taken her dentures out and was munching the food off that was stuck in her dentures like "it was a yummy BBQ rib" :eek: I still get night terrors from that :barf02:

DolceVita-- the contents of a suction cannister, the glop noise when you dump it, oh. my. god. The stringy stu----- oh I'm sorry, I can't go on.

nurseaid07

Specializes in Dementia,. Alzheimer's.

LOL! This is really fun to hear, on the other hand, I wonder if I'll be able to take it and move on but great stories you all. Enjoyed reading the two and the mucous one. I hope everyone will keep posting.

diane227, LPN, RN

Specializes in Management, Emergency, Psych, Med Surg. Has 32 years experience.

You won't believe most of it until you see it, smell it and have it sloshing around in your shoes.

In clinicals right now.....

1.) Code brown. Our classmate came from one section of the floor to get all of us to help! Why? Pt was over 500 lbs and it took 4 of us to hold back her thighs, to roll her, etc. UCK!

2.) Obese woman - met. breast CA, HIV+, with a stage 4 decubitis ulcer on her backside that was 4 in deep.

(believe it or not....she was only 42, is going to die and yet was a full code!)

3.) Homeless man you could smell from the hall add in a code brown and you could hardly breathe! Funny thing though.....he was completely non-responsive and we had to do everything to get him cleaned up....then the reg. RN comes in with the man's lunch and asked him if he wanted to eat. I looked at her like she was crazy, but I guess not. This 'non-responsive' pt suddenly opened his eyes to sit up and eat! :angryfire Worse yet...he looked at his utensils like he didn't know how to use them and then ate like an animal...and yes, we had to clean him up from his lunch too.

DolceVita, BSN, RN

Specializes in IMCU. Has 10 years experience.

DolceVita-- the contents of a suction cannister, the glop noise when you dump it, oh. my. god. The stringy stu----- oh I'm sorry, I can't go on.

:hhmth:

Boog'sCRRN246, RN

Specializes in Utilization Management. Has 10 years experience.

A patient came into the hospital where I used to work. She was elderly and unable to care for herself. Her family had left her on the couch for so long that when the patient was brought in, the couch came with her. It had to be surgically removed.

~Mi Vida Loca~RN, ASN, RN

Specializes in Emergency Dept. Trauma. Pediatrics. Has 6 years experience.

This is probably nothing compared to what gets seen and 70% of it probably had to do with me being sick but it was still gross even if it is small potatoes lol.

So anyway I was sick and I normally have a super keen sense of smell. Like really good, well when I was sick not only could I smell everything it was almost like I could taste it in the back of my throat which happened to be all swollen. (I was no longer contagious so no worries) So anyway it made really bad smells be like 10% worse.

So their is a lady in the LTC facility that has a colostomy and for the most part she is self care with it. Although a lot of patients tend to be embarrassed and stuff about them this lady was all about teaching the students about it.

So we go in and it's already feeling like 100 degrees in her room and I am feeling really hot but I am trying to hang tough. One girl has a spray can of oust and the woman told her she will be in charge of helping keep down the smell. So she mentions she had stew so it probably won't smell very good. She is emptying the bag into a garbage sack. My class mate was doing little squirts of the Oust and then the smell hit me and hit me hard. It was the most putrid smell I had ever smelled (no I haven't smelled C.diff yet). Not only was it the worst smell but it was like I could taste it in the back of my throat and I was already dizzy. It took every being in my body not to loose it right there. Thankfully my instructor already knew I was still recovering and I very quietly headed to the door and left.

it was terrible. Small potatoes I know but my first semester was in the nursing home and their wasn't a whole lot going on lol.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

Being sick, having it be hot, oh no. . . I probably would've lost it too. Sometimes the spray people use makes it worse! Now you really can't breathe! In home health the patients want to use floral room spray from Bath and Body Works! Diarrhea+ lilac or freesia= gaagggg!

I currently work on a 40-bed internal medicine/telemetry unit (it used to be 80 beds before they split the floor into two different units) as a PCNA, or patient care nursing assistant (however, I won't be there for much longer...I just got a job as a nurse technician at a hospital that is MUCH closer to where I live (I drive about an hour with my current job and then 10 minutes with the new one!) on a renal/plastic & reconstructive surgery unit. I'm super excited! :D)

ANYWAY...there was one patient I had who had an ileostomy bag. That doesn't bother me, but the fact that 1) it had a lottttt of output so it needed to be emptied sometimes 5+ times...even if it was just full of air and 2) she had a GI bleed. Trust me, there are two things you will never forget when you smell them - a GI bleed and c.diff, but in my opinion a Gi bleed is MUCH worse. I dreaded emptying that thing...if you breathed through your nose you would smell it and if you breathed through your mouth, you would taste it! :barf01: And of course I couldn't hold my breath long enough to empty the whole thing, measure it to get the correct amount of output and clean out the container and everything and evacuate the room...so I had to suffer. The entire unit would smell upon opening that bag, even down to the other side. And it smelled no matter how much of the deodorizer spray you used.

Besides smelling & tasting it, I think what was worse was when the smell would stick to your hair/scrubs. ICK.