July 16, 2008

Hazards of Nursing

When you decide to become a nurse, you know that you are probably going to have to deal with bodily fluids. Vomit, feces, urine, saliva, snot, blood, amniotic fluid, breast milk, etc. None of them are very pleasant but you learn to deal with it as part of the job. Now I do well with bodily fluids. I've been doused with amniotic fluid. I've been peed on while a mom was pushing. One night, I massaged a fundus on this woman who was bleeding a bit more than she should after delivery and several large clots came out with a quiet "plop plop plop". After they were out, her bleeding stopped but I had blood in my hair. I hit the shower that night. When I worked critical care, I had to dig out an impaction in this guys rectum, which once it was dislodged, the brown flood gates opened everywhere, if you know what I mean. He said he was eternally grateful. I also had a guy getting go-litely for a procedure the next day. He was pooping so much, he just sat on the commode, because towards the end of it, its just liquid. Well, he had gone so much, the commode bucket fell to the floor, spilling hours worth of poop on the floor. While working as a CNA in a nursing home, a nice lady with Alzheimer's was found in her room, with her poop smeared all over her and the room. Sad as it was, she was happy as a clam and we got her and her room clean after about an hour. All of those were so very nasty, but I dealt with it. Respiratory secretions get me, though. When I had to empty out emesis basins full of COPDers sputum, it would seriously make me gag. If I would have ever gotten any on me, I really think I would have vomited. Deep suctioning and trachs grossed me out way too much. That was a hint I didn't belong in the ICU. Vomit usually does people in, but I do pretty well. I've seen plenty of vomit, between work and my kids. That is as long as it doesn't get on me. Work was busy so I agreed when they called and asked if I would work. No problem, I'll work for 4 hours. One of the patients called out and asked for her nurse. I didn't see her nurse, so I went in to see what I could do for her. Teamwork. I walk in her room, she's sitting up, with no sign of what is about to come up. I get to her bedside, she says "I feel a bit naus - BLLEECCHH". All. Over. Me. I'm not talking a small amount of vomit. I mean a stomach-full worth of chunky, smelly nastiness. It got in my pockets, into my shoes, my socks, down the front of my scrubs and on my bra. She showed no sign, NO SIGN, that she was going to puke all over me. We have strategically placed pans close to the bed for this reason. Labor can make you vomit. I just didn't have any warning and no time. It wasn't her fault and she felt horrible. But I almost vomited myself. As I'm standing there in shock at the amount of vomit on me, her nurse walks in, sees me turning paler by the second and the patient apologizing all over. And she starts laughing. Because she knew it could have been her. I did manage to get wiped up enough I could go to our lounge without leaving a trail, change and clean up and shower quickly before putting on clean scrubs. Ah, The hazards of working as a nurse!

6 comments:

Jody said...

LOL ewwwwww I'm with ya girl!! Oh I have storys to tell as well. Gross ones. Ones that are fun to share at the dinner table JUST so you can see everyone else freaking out lol. Our patients all go NPO except for ice chips once they're admitted usually. Sometimes the "nice" doc's let them have clear liquids until pit is started. But then there are those that push the ticket. I found one woman once eating a huge dinner from Applebee's. This was at 11pm!! And she was a foley bulb induction. Whew I'm glad I wasn't on when the nausea hit her LOL.

I had my fist Mec hit the other day and I was standing at the side! lol

AtYourCervix said...

Ohhhh the joys of being splashed with a variety of body fluids in L&D! I can't tell you many times I've been splashed with amniotic fluid at deliveriess. Which is now why I try to ALWAYS wear a yellow fluid impermeable gown at births. Unless they precip....and I'm catching the baby with one bare hand and one gloved hand. I think I just might start wearing two gloves when checking a cervix from now on.

Fertilized said...

God Bless you .. really!

Prisca said...

UGh, I'm with you, sputum is the worse stuff ever. Blech.

laya said...

hmm so cute ! i love the small children , but the thing is iam afraid of taking them into my hands.....Nurse Job

PE Mommy said...

Ewww gross. I puked all over the nurse when I had my first daughter. I was on massive doses of mag though. I felt terrible. At least it was only gatorade.

Was shocked with my second daughter when they allowed me juice, all the water I could drink, and popsicles! Until later that night when I felt like I was going to puke. I made my dh go get a nurse and it was my ob that came running in with the basin, lol. I was only nauseated that time though, no vomiting.