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Oh the wonderful smells

CNA/MA   (12,242 Views 37 Comments)
by mikejjmay mikejjmay (Member) Member

1,780 Profile Views; 45 Posts

So guys and gals, during my clinical experience there were many new and exciting smells i was exposed to (first time in my life I changed a diaper believe it or not). I did not gag, and it did not interfere with my work, but it definitely made me want to get out of the room a bit quicker, and that is not the approach i want to have. What do you all do to deal with those wonderful smells? I have heard of putting things under the nose, what do you use? essential oils? vapor rub? any unique, creative, and affordable ideas are welcome! I think it would be great to get everyones input here just to see what we all do different and the methods we share. Thanks in advance!

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1 Article; 160 Posts; 8,546 Profile Views

Well I will tell you one thing. Just don't breathe through your mouth. I learned that the hard way. I had a obese resident once who had been given a laxative (always during my shift for some reason:icon_roll). I always thought I would just breathe through my mouth and won't be able to smell anything. Well let's just say that I was tasting his poop in my mouth ALL DAY!!:yawn: It was gross.

I don't use anything special like scents or anything. If it's really bad I just double up on a mask and spray some of the deoderizer or rub some of the peri cream on the outside of it. That helps. I know one CNA who brings in her own smell good supplies. But most of us just deal with it and try to clean it up as fast as possible and put some smell goods on the area. Good luck.:heartbeat

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124 Posts; 3,959 Profile Views

Altoids have worked for me in some pretty stinky situations!

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TampaTech has 2 years experience and specializes in med/surg and Tele.

102 Posts; 2,504 Profile Views

To be honest with you its something that you have to get used to too. Trust me its not something that you want to bask in the smell of but you just get used to the different smells. I try to just clean them quickley and get it over with.

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ctmed has 4 years experience and specializes in PACU, LTC, Med-Surg, Telemetry, Psych.

316 Posts; 7,103 Profile Views

One of the old LPNs from the days of hats and pins gave me one trick for at least the rancid stroke urine smell that clings to some patient's peri area.

Shaving Cream!

It works pretty good, too.

I have gotten pretty jaded to the smells. The only one I still have trouble with is vomit because the acidic aroma of it seems to go through my nose to the back of my throat and make me want to gag as well.

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375 Posts; 8,564 Profile Views

I am not a nurse, my daughter is in a BSN program so I read the posts on allnurses and find them so interesting, she on the other hand, doesn't have a minute to spare.

I have a question. My dentist wears a mask at all times. I don't even know what he looks like without one. From the time he walks in the office his mask is on. Why can't a nurse wear a mask to help 'mask' the smells. It has to help cut some of the oders if your smelling your own breath rather than... well...rather than some of the stuff you poor nurses have to smell all the time.

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VivaLasViejas has 20 years experience as a ASN, RN and specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych.

8 Followers; 142 Articles; 9,717 Posts; 249,585 Profile Views

After sixteen years in this business, I'm so used to bad smells that I hardly notice 'em anymore. However, for those extra-odoriferous emanations, I keep a small jar of Mentholatum in my treatment cart and dab a little under my nose before going into a C. diff room or doing a dressing change on a wound full of Pseudomonas. Those are the ones that bother me the most.......those and the ever-popular GI bleeds make me want to hork up everything I've eaten for a week. :barf01:

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fuzzywuzzy has 3 years experience as a CNA and specializes in LTC.

1,816 Posts; 17,073 Profile Views

Masks are a hot, uncomfortable pain in the rear. And they don't filter out smells anyway. Even if they did I'd rather just smell the poop or whatever it is. It doesn't bother me that much. If I'm dealing with something completely rank it helps to look directly at it as little as possible.

You know what smell does bother me? Scalp. Someone with oily, flaky skin who refuses to wash their hair.

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7 Posts; 875 Profile Views

I have been a cna since april 09 abd during clinicals i did gag while changing someone. It was so bad i had to run out of the room abd let my cna finish cleaning her. But i got a job as a cna in a assisted living and did have to deal with it just not often. I just did my orientation today for a ltc facility and i am hoping that i can deal with it now. I think if i keep people as clean as possible and often as possible that it wont be as bad but i was wondering if there is anything that i can put up my nose for the time being so i can ease myself into this

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NP Sam specializes in Peds OR as RN, Peds ENT as NP.

476 Posts; 9,261 Profile Views

Ahhh yes the smells. Ever smelled "C. diff" before? (Thats Clostridium difficile). I do know of people who use the vicks vapor rub. I just hold my breath sometimes. I also have used shaving cream on patients, it gives them a fresh smell.

The only time I find things difficult to handle is when patients receive an enema and poop from the back to the FRONT:eek:

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28 Posts; 1,810 Profile Views

oh geez. lol on my second day of clinicals, we went into a pt's room and she was the meanest person you could ever meet. the cna that i was working with went into her bathroom to get her meds for the morning and found that the pt had decided to fingerpaint with feces. and the pt was just cursing us up and down so we just left and when she came out to breakfast, we ran back in to clean the bathroom because housekeeping would have taken forever to get down there and if the pt saw them in her room, it wouldn't have been good. the smell of that bathroom was just awful. the cna sprayed it with lysol when we went in at first and just kept spraying it every 5 minutes or so because the smell was just so awful. it ended up being the funniest thing i have ever experienced.

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2,487 Posts; 14,601 Profile Views

Wait until you actually smell poop from someone with C-Diff...My oh my what a distinct smell. You just have to get used to it unfortunately.

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