Our blogger takes a light-hearted look at the experiences you never expect
Hey everyone! This week I’m taking a look at a few of the less serious aspects of our job.
When you become a nurse, you expect to deal with bodily fluids. Your place of work will provide gloves, gowns, and other items needed to protect yourself. However, sometimes the unexpected happens. Here are a couple related stories with a little lesson at the end.
Singing the ‘Blues’
A few weeks ago, I had a patient who had previously had a stroke. Getting him into and out of bed and into the chair required the staff to use a ceiling lift. These days, almost every facility has lifts that are utilized to assist staff in safely lifting patients to prevent. So as I was lifting this patient back into bed, he accidentally had a bowel movement, which was liquid stool. Since he was in the air when it happened it splattered all over the floor and consequently all over my pants.
Now, nurses at our hospital have to wear navy blue. I don’t know if people realize this, but using bleach sanitizing wipes (the best option when cleaning stool) causes navy blue to change to pink. So I am left with a pair of pants that smell like stool and are covered in patches of pink—and left with every person imaginable asking what happened.
Moral of this story? Always make sure to bring an extra pair of scrubs to work, because you never know when something completely unexpected will occur.
‘It Came From Above’
Story #2 also leaves us with a few lessons. First, if anyone is unaware, flushing a toilet bowl filled of paper towels and cleaning wipes will clog a toilet. The floor I work on is below another floor, and guess what happened? Since that caused such a clog, the pipe burst and had a leak on my floor. The toilet also had a “back up” of its own.
Due to the burst pipe, a slow leak from the ceiling started in the corner of a patient’s room. Patients, of course, had to be removed from the room, but the leak continued into other rooms. Eventually, an entire section of the floor was closed down while the pipe was repaired and everything sanitized. In the meantime, however, a few of us lucky nurses ended up directly in the path of the drip from the ceiling.
Moral of this story? Make sure you know what items can be flushed and what can’t be. Also, it would be wise to keep showering items in your work locker just in case you need to quickly clean up.
Nursing provides us with some amazing experiences. It also has moments that are not so glamorous. When these moments occur, eventually you look back and laugh because that’s all you can do.
What are some things you have all experienced? What lesson did you take away?