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Speaking of Waste - Trash Wars

Posted

A post on another thread set me off on this topic of waste in the health care setting, so I figured to start a new thread. :)

I guess my main gripe is emptying trash when the bag is nowhere near full. Not only is it wrong, IMHO, for a professional nurse to have to empty trash or mop floors other than in an emergency, but to have to do it to appease your relief nurse really gets my goat! To add insult to injury, we have housekeepers who are paid to do this stuff, they just lack access to the Med Room when a nurse is not present. So why not make sure that nurse and HK get together at some point q shift? How hard is that? Or set the trash can outside the locked Med room door and HK can get it at their convenience. :idea:

It irks me to have to empty trash that I did not fill and it irks me to have to waste a plastic bag that is only maybe half full.

So how do you handle this at your place? :argue:

There are lots of little things that can add up. Using the last line on a progress note or blood sugar form and not replacing the sheet or putting the filled sheet into the chart - or give it to the clerk to file, seeing that there's no clean order sheet or whatever sheet and just leaving it like that, using the last of something and not replacing it - all kinds of stuff like this happens. How do you handle it at your place?:banghead::confused::monkeydance::beer::smiley_ab:lol_hitti:cheers::msk:

ktwlpn, LPN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg, Homecare, Hospice.

It varies-some days I ***** and moan before I empty the trash,put that progress note on the chart,stock the med cart to the exact specifications of the oncoming nurse because that is easier then listening to her mouth run,clean up the crap that has been left on the desk for the past 2 or 3 ,empty the trash etc-other days I just shut up and do it all because bytching and moaning is just a negative waste of positive energy and changes nothing :banghead:......It just depends on my mood

Edited by ElvishDNP
TOS

maybe my attitude would be different if i was expected to do this stuff, but i have no problems emptying trash, washing down bedside tables.

i hate a dirty environment and want my pts to be surrounded by relative clean:

and always have my spray bottle and wipes accessible.:)

as for those other irritations, i just do what i have to.

agree with ktw, that it's a waste to get myself worked up, and just let it go.

keeps everything on an even keel.

leslie

flightnurse2b, LPN

Specializes in EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry.

i don't mind emptying the trash, actually. i will grab the big trash can and walk up and down the hall and dump the trash in it. that way no bags get wasted. i don't like working in a dirty environment and i don't think it's beneath me to clean up. just cause i didn't fill it....doesn't mean it's not overflowing on the floor....

my coworkers are notorious for calling me a tree hugger too, because if i see them throw away bottles and cans i take them home to recycle.;)

P_RN, ADN, RN

Specializes in ORTHOPAEDICS-CERTIFIED SINCE 89. Has 30 years experience.

We bag up our own trash at home. We aren't above that. Even my own housekeeper thanks me for doing it. I have a very nice lady in 2x a week 'cause there are some things with my leg and back that I just can't quite do any more to my satisfaction.

What's the real problem to posh to trash or It ain't MY job. Empty trashcans just look over all better. Clean toilets aren't above a swish and a prayer either.

CathyLew

Specializes in MSP, Informatics. Has 17 years experience.

what I hate is seeing a trash can full of trash with no bag in it. Or an over stuffed can with soggy depends, cups, half-eaten food....so full that you have to get a bigger bag to dump the whole mess into. You see the biohazard red bags full of papers, and non-biohazard stuff. and bloody dressings in the regular trash!

and don't get me started on the over full sharps containers that no one calls anyone to change! :banghead::spbox: or those little patient bags that can hang on the side rails of the bed..... full to busting with tissues. Or people that stuff trash in the Med cart trash bin when the bag has slipped and fallen to the bottom.... or people who take the stinkiest linen and stick it in the linen cart nearest to the nurses station, instead of taking those 5 extra steps to put it in the dirty utility room hamper..... or those that psudo-clean a bed pan and stick it back on the shelf with smears all over it.....

aaaaaahhhhh. venting! I feel better already!

Hm, well, we have recycling bins at work so the trash doesn't actually pile up .... and our housekeeper is pretty good at being around when the med garbage is full, or we call because the sharps container is full ... but I will grab a wipe for a table or a stretcher, stuff like that (sorry, I draw the line at cleaning a toilet though).

As for the other stuff, if its a particular nurse I point it out and point it out and point it out, and if that nurse wants to quit hearing from me (and the others) then they will start stocking the chart.

It doesn't hurt to drink either ... after shift of course.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

I just let it go and save my energy for the big battles. I always have jokingly said its always the nurses job as well as their fault too!!!!!

Scrubby

Specializes in Operating Room Nursing. Has 6 years experience.

I have to empty rubbish bins, throw out linen bags, mop floors between every OR case. While it does annoy me at times (mainly when the surgeons are sitting on their butts not helping) there is simply no one else to do this work at all.

I like my pt's environment clean .. I don't mind wiping their bedside tables or their sinks. we have private rooms so I think they are easier to maintain.

we do have housekeeping .. but if the trash is really full and I am annoyed that I cannot trash more things in it and IF I can do it .. I just take the bag out, tie it and put a new bag in and then wash my hands!!! and then remind housekeeping that they need to do these things.

and sometimes you just can't wait for them to do their rounds and the trash in medrooms are not really that dirty ... I won't dare to do the bathroom!

... I won't dare to do the bathroom!

i do.

many of our pts have profound diarrhea and it gets messy.

first, i wouldn't dare contact hk for every episode of diarrhea.

secondly, i can't imagine pts being relegated to use a soiled, messy toilet, nevermind all that bacteria.

for me, it's all about my scope of nsg practice, and what i do to keep my pts clean and respected.

leslie

I'm glad you guys don't mind. I still will not be emptying the trash. I have no problem setting the can outside the med room and letting HK pick it up on their next round.

Toilets? What's that about a cold day in hell?

flightnurse2b, LPN

Specializes in EMS, ER, GI, PCU/Telemetry.

I'm glad you guys don't mind. I still will not be emptying the trash. I have no problem setting the can outside the med room and letting HK pick it up on their next round.

Toilets? What's that about a cold day in hell?

our housekeepers do not touch anything with bodily fluids on it.

if the toilet/bathroom has feces, tinkle, blood or vomit in it or on it, WE are responsible for cleaning it up before contacting housekeeping to disinfect. i will put on some gloves, spray my virex and grab some towels.

lpnflorida

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

As needed and for sure before the end of our shift nursing empties the trash cans in the patient's room. It only takes a few moments. I use it as an opportunity to say goodnight to my patients and to make sure they are alright before I go and give report.

our housekeepers do not touch anything with bodily fluids on it.

if the toilet/bathroom has feces, tinkle, blood or vomit in it or on it, WE are responsible for cleaning it up before contacting housekeeping to disinfect. i will put on some gloves, spray my virex and grab some towels.

This is true in places I have worked, too. What is so awful about it, though, that a HK can't don gloves and spray Virex? Why is it ok for us to do it but not them? Our aides do the clean-up's, though. Maybe I'm too proud or maybe I just was not initially trained to believe my job includes housekeeping but I still will not be doing it. I manage to keep very busy with things only I, the nurse, am allowed to do. And I think I contribute my fair share of going over and above by helping with lifts and turns and by running interference for some of my female colleagues when they are being given a hard time by fams, pts, docs. If a mess is right before me, like pee, vomit, whatever on the floor and someone is going to fall in it, I will do the initial clean-up.

catshowlady

Specializes in ICU.

How 'bout this spin on it? Our housekeepers are unionized, and nursing is not *allowed* to empty the trash - it is a violation of the housekeepers' union contract. It gets really old when you have a pt in isolation with one trash can - it overflows, and we aren't allowed to do anything about it except wait for it to be emptied. Yuk.

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