Poop and the dirty side of nursing? - page 2

Hi, I am an MA student, I plan on going into nursing after I finish my program to become an RN. I've done a lot of research on the field and I've read so much about the upsides and downsides. I know... Read More

  1. by   vgyore
    I’ve heard many times that most things that are good for me, I will not want to do. Nobody wants to do a dirty job. Yet works of service give life purpose and satisfaction. Through my nursing career, I’ve learned to put my pride aside and wipe ass with compassion. In these small stinky moments I found purpose, value, compassion, and humor. I never felt a deep sense of purpose prior to becoming a nurse.

    Motherhood did not grow my heart as much as my nursing profession. As a young mom, my mind was full of grand dreams and expectations. I didn't share too many imperfect moments with my son. I thought the messy part of life was meant to be cleaned up and pushed away. I didn't realize accepting life's sh** has its blessings. Humans need a companion to witness their life's triumphs and struggles. Now, I realize getting messy and witnessing vulnerability nurtures human connection.

    On a light*hearted note, there are some practical dirty job tips:
    Apply menthol lip balm to the upper lip
    Never touch your face while wiping a bottom
    Warm washcloths make all the difference
  2. by   djh123
    There is no 'allowed' re: gloves - you NEED to be wearing gloves if cleaning up poop. Mask optional, unless they have c-diff (then wear it for sure). You do get used to the smell, but all poop doesn't smell the same (see mention of c-diff :^) for just one example). And depending on what type of nursing you're in, you may not have to deal with it so much. My CNA's deal with it a lot more than I do, but I've definitely wiped some rear ends myself. And don't forget vomit ... that uh, comes up once in a while too, so to speak. :^)
  3. by   WCSU1987
    I love poop. Ha if I know the patient has a good sense of humor I joke about it like oy look at this kernel in there, they get a good kick out of it. Only thing that bugs me is spit in my face, catheters being pulled out of a guy, and the first squirts of arterial bleeding.
  4. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from djh123
    And don't forget vomit ... that uh, comes up once in a while too, so to speak. :^)
    And THAT often comes without warning, so it's everyone's job!!
  5. by   thewhitechickoj
    Oh, the sweet smell of success.... You really do get used to it. I used to be really squeamish and now I can clean up the gnarliest blow-outs and then head straight to lunch. Funny enough, though, it's when I'm cleaning out a bedpan at the hopper when I feel the urge to gag.
  6. by   AlmostANurse321
    You get used to it. That is all.
  7. by   barcode120x
    Quote from compassionresearcher
    That's why I always worked in peds...theirs is cuter and smaller; comes out wrapped in a pink ribbon too.
    I thought this too when I did my peds rotation....until my classmate told me I had puke all over my back after feeding/burping one of the babies
  8. by   Horseshoe
    Quote from CardiacDork
    I think you're the one that wanted to be an ICU nurse.


    Boy, you're in for a ride!


    Break out the wipes, ladies. We're getting a GI bleed .... Smell that sweet metal aroma? That's a GI bleed.... Nothing like the smell of sweet iron to wake you up at 6AM
    Take the two of the worst smells ever and put them together...you've got a GI bleeder. My last day to work in the hospital, I was in a cardiac stepdown unit with three GI bleeders (with no cardiac issues of course). All I did for 12 hours was clean patients, who usually weren't able to make it to the bedside commode. I'd sit down to chart and ding! Call bell would go off because someone had had an enormous accident of bloody poop. We had a CNA in that 9 bed unit, and she was a real trooper that day. It was the worst day I'd ever worked. We'd get that patient cleaned up and then, ding! My other patient had an accident. This went on for 12 solid hours. I had to stay over an hour late just to finish the charting I'd never been able to do all dang day. I went home and cried, and knew I was done, done, done with hospital nursing. I gave notice the next day, and my sweet unit manager let me off the hook for my two weeks notice.

    I now work endo (pre-op and recovery) and OR, and I haven't had to clean poop since.

    And yeah, in the ICU, you only have two patients, but they can create a whole heck of a lot of poop. People don't realize how much of that nurses in the ICU have to do.

close