Horror Odor - Removing

Specialties Critical


Specializes in Intensive Care Unit.

Hi y'all I've been an ICU nurse for 3 years now and there are still several things I cannot get past due to my issues with smells. I'm able to tolerate it but I gag the whole time and it makes me want to throw up. Not so much bowel movements but mainly and mostly ostomy bags and burping ostomies. I have tried that nurse stink balm. Doesn't help that much. I'm looking for something I can spray like around my unit even when we have patients pooping all at the same time. Anyone have tricks

Breathe through your mouth.

Specializes in Postpartum/Public Health.

Consider the suitability of these sprays for your workplace, especially since some patients may be particularly sensitive to smells. In my experience working in various settings, including healthcare offices, scent-free environments were the norm. I recommend consulting your occupational health department for advice or potential solutions to address any odor concerns.

Specializes in CWS Certified Wound Specialist.

I am a wound care consultant. I literally spend my entire day around necrosis.

This is what you should do..

1. wear a mask.

2. Chew extra gum or put an Altoid in your mouth

3. take a thin dip of Vicks Vapor Rub and rub it lightly under your nostrils.

You will be in a minty bubble after that


MOST IMPORTANTLY... be empathetic to the fact that the patient has to live with that smell every single day. Ostomys stink. End of story. And try and make it better for them while staying in your minty bubble. There is a lot of Shame involved in having an ostomy. I always try to be empathetic to what my patient would feel too.

make sure they have the most positive and encouraging environment in efgorts to normalize the situation.


Can you even begin to imagine how would you feel if your *** was rotting off and you smell like roadkill? Or that you had an ostomy that was constantly smelling? That's how I get through it. 



Be in the patient's shoes

Specializes in Intensive Care.

Don't forget to clear what you spray with your hospital. We used to use OZM in our hospital and one of our nurses had to be put on event because she had an allergic reaction. Now we don't use any odor sprays.

Specializes in Intensive Care.
Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Your mindset also factors in and allows the gagging. Once you're gagging, it can be hard to gain back control.

Try to train yourself to focus on the task at hand and compartmentalize the sights and smells. 

Specializes in orthopedic/trauma, Informatics, diabetes.

I have a friend that is very sensitive to smells. She will wear a mask with a little toothpaste rubbed on it. Never heard of this before but she swears by it. Some people will use peppermint oil to mask smells they don't like. Because of that use-I can't stand the smell of peppermint oil anymore. 

I am lucky (?) that when I moved to the south, I've had too many sinus infections, my sense of smell is not great. Which comes in handy a LOT 😁

+ Add a Comment