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Old 12-19-2007, 01:58 PM
coccia81
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Ok, this will sound strange/disgusting....I have a really hard time dealing with poop/pee. I can't change a depends or a bedpan without gagging to the point of almost vomiting. Even being in a room that smells like poop makes me gag. My fellow students know this about me and help whenever they can. (They also think its hilarious).

Does anyone else have this problem? How does everyone deal with it?
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:04 PM
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I truly don't know how you could get through school avoiding the smell of poop or pee. I'm also interested in hearing other people's responses
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Old 12-19-2007, 04:31 PM
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If I were you I would consider a career in community health nursing, where you will come in contact with very few bodily fluids.

Otherwise, suck it up (not literally, of course) and get over it. Nursing will get a lot more messy than just a little pee and poop. Wait till you get to blood, vomit, and the horror of all horrors, SPUTUM!!!!


Merry Christmas

(I was trying to find a smiley that puked but instead I'll settle for Santa Claus.)
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Old 12-19-2007, 06:31 PM
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If I were you I would consider a career in community health nursing, where you will come in contact with very few bodily fluids.
You can't guarantee that you won't experience them withing people's homes I am afraid (speaking as a district (home) nurse).

I guess you get used to it, plus in my opinion there are worse things - vomit and peoples false eyes to name but 2 (yes someone handed me their eye to clean once!)
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:21 PM
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I think the writer about community nursing, not home care. Community nursing involves policy planning, health promotion/prevention program implementation etc. Whereas, as you know, home care is going to a patient's house to perform direct care. So, very little body fluids.

I know some places use them interchangeably, but they are very different.

Sean

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Originally Posted by Julie View Post
You can't guarantee that you won't experience them withing people's homes I am afraid (speaking as a district (home) nurse).

I guess you get used to it, plus in my opinion there are worse things - vomit and peoples false eyes to name but 2 (yes someone handed me their eye to clean once!)
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:36 AM
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sorry coccia81, but you are going to have to get over it, and you will in time. I have the same problem and I find that when I have a problem (I flush and dry reach) I tend to be thinking about it and not the patient. I have been cleaning up someone and they were a bit tender down there, as soon as they winced my mind moved from what I was handling, to helping my patient be more comfortable.

When I get nervous I start breathing through my nose which doesn't help. I spoke to my educator about it and she suggested that I ask people their own strategies, and that I would get over it eventually. Everyone has their weakness, I can handle everything but feaces, but others have problems with blood, sputum, urine, etc.

But don't worry too much over it, the more experience you get the better you will be with it. Move fast when you have to be involved in it. See it not as poo and pee but as digested material or see it as a full pan (but it could be full of anything). When there is a smell in the room, it is because there is someone dirty in the room. If someone is soiled (even with urine) you might have to wash them. Clean gown and bed linen! If it is feesable air out the room, by opening a window and door. Many hospitals now have aroma therapy for patients. Depending on hospital protocol you might need patient consent, but some lavender oil in hot water will soon permeate the room, and most people like it.

Learn the tricks to be diapers of patients (nurses will show you). Breath through your MOUTH only. And focus on the patient and their care not the finer details of what they have just done to spoil your perfect shift until peeing in the diaper you just put on them, because they thought that because you put it on them they can just go in it instead of calling for a nurse). Hope this is of help.
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Old 12-20-2007, 03:06 AM
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I think you are right Sean. In the UK community nursing is about the care of patients with long term conditions, the elderly and others who choose to be in their own homes but who need the input of a nurse.

Public health nursing is about health planning, protection and illness prevention.

Having said that, as a nurse you can never say never and a patient might think it slighly odd as you run out of the door having encountered something unpleasant!
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:04 AM
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Hmmm, problems with poop and pee huh? How about vomit, sputum, GI bleeds, maggots in wounds, maggots in eye sockets, C-diff odor, pseudomonas odor, or a patient that has been found on the floor after 3 days that is covered in old and new feces and urine? Let's not forget the person who has been in a fire and the smell of burning flesh that stays with you for days. I'm sure there are other odors that I've forgotten to mention.

I use Vicks in my nose covered with a mask for the strong odors, but other than that, I thought most nurses can clean up poop with their left hand while eating a sandwich with their right.

Good luck in getting your fellow nurses to clean up poop and pee during your nursing career!

PS: After re-reading this post, it sounds so harsh and I don't mean to be; but the reality of nursing is that you will, at one time or another; more often than not, be up to your eyeballs in some sort of bodily fluid. Heck, I've even had a trach patient cough and spit a hocker on me that wrapped around my wrist....talk about gagging!
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:50 PM
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Ugh... pseudomonas... HATE that smell. GI bleed poo is pretty bad, too.

Humans sure are capable of generating some pretty icky odors.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:03 PM
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What about that malaena stool smell (blood plus poo)!? Gangrenous wounds are pretty bad too. Sad to say that horrid type wound smells used to make my mouth kind of water. Not because I liked them but because I welcomed the challenge!!
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