Published Jul 17, 2009
Does anyone wear masks when changing briefs? I had a conversation with my LPN friend and she said NO. I said why should i have to smell something so bad at times.
There are times the BM is soo bad i would gag same with a brief all full of urine for HOURS. It smells sooooo BAD!! I gagged many times and almost threw up!
The facility i worked in did, allow masks. I wish i knew that while working there
I guess I can see your point, though I do my best to make my patients feel like what I have to do for them does not gross me out. With the urine though- it shouldn't be sitting there for HOURS....if a patient/resident is incontinent, they need to be checked frequently.
No, I hate wearing masks for my isolation patients. I wouldn't put one on if I didn't have to! They don't really do much to combat the smell anyway. Smelling BM is part of the job. So is not leaving people in urine for hours, so they don't smell that way in the first place!
When I was in the nursing home, I would just breathe through my mouth. It's not like anything is going in there, just gases. You form a connection with these people and you change them often. You are talking to them while doing it, smiling. How can they see your face if your wearing a mask. I couldn't imagine myself wearing one everytime I saw them, like they are some kind of disease or something. Lol.
Maybe you should find another line of work if you can't deal with the smells of health care. Believe me, there are much worse smells and sights than a soaked diaper.
Most patients don't bother me. Some were not changed for hours and that wasn't my shift it was the shift b4 me. Many patients had C.diff and the smell was REALLY bad.Th urine is the worst when not changed it's a mixture smell of all day urine no peri care and amonia smell all in one. I can't explain the smell but, it's the foulest i have ever smelled. Believe me you would need a mask
I have never worn a mask because of odor. I have never made a patient feel bad because of something they have absolutely no control over. Yeah, stuff stinks. And there are even worse things than C-Diff. Like I said, if you "need" a mask, you belong in a different profession altogether. You just deal with it with a straight face, in a professional manner, and move on.
ghillbert, MSN, NP
Rather than wearing a mask, you should be reporting the previous shift if they are leaving people laying in urine or feces for hours. If you feel that bad just smelling it, imagine how the patient feels sitting/laying in it!
i have and reported patient abuse and I... got fired nice huh?
I don't know how wearing a mask is proof of being incapable of working in the healthcare field. That sounds ridiculous. Some smells are tolerable- others or NOT. Working at a hospital, I've smelled BM so awful that it makes you so nauseated and you have no choice but to wear a mask. And since the patients like to keep their rooms like saunas, the heat intensifies the smells and it becomes difficult to breath. Isn't it more important to get the patient cleaned up as soon as possible? Everyone seems concerned with hurting feelings. When I had a patient with GI bleed and bloody diarrhea that contained blood clots I wore a mask, the nurse wore a mask, and even the doctors who came into the room wore masks. If the stench is overpowering and effects the way I work, then I'm wearing a mask. I have yet to hear a patient lying in stool complain that s/he was emotionally hurt by someone wearing a mask.
Sorry, Mochabean, I just totally disagree. I've seen and smelled some really, really bad stuff - and never seen a team of health care providers wear masks because of any "intolerable" smell. As Fuzzywuzzy pointed out, masks do very little to eliminate odor, anyway. A dab of metholatum on the upper lip works better. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. Do you really think someone is going to complain that they felt embarassed that you were wearing a mask? I'm pretty sure your patients just suffered in silence, just another humiliation to endure.
I used to know a new grad in ICU who expected that she would be wearing a mask whenever something unpleasant assulted her nose. This was immediately nixed not only by the other staff but our manager, as well. It's unprofessional and inappropriate. It non-verbally communicates to the patient, "You're disgusting."
Does it really sound ridiculous? How about:
It you don't like kids, don't be a teacher...
If you don't like blood and guts don't be a paramedic...
If you don't like money, don't be a banker...
If you don't like animals, don't have pets...
Get my point?
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