Friday, February 6, 2009

Flashback Friday

My first day of nurses training was almost my last.

This was the culprit:

OK, maybe not the bedpan, but what was in it.

Don’t be afraid, you can read on, I’m not going to be too graphic.


I was taking care of my first medical-surgical patient and it was bedpan time.

My patient needed to , eehem, used the bedpan and when it came time to empty it, I was overcome by the smell and I… I threw up, right after it, into the toilet.

Oh, was I distressed. It was my dream since I was a little girl to be a nurse and now it was over!

I went home in tears. I told my mom my sad story.

“Oh,” she said, “is that it?”

Then she told me the centuries old secret that many a smell-a-phobic nurse has tucked into her bag of tricks…


Now, I am about to entrust this secret to you…

“ Just don’t breathe through your nose”

That's it? Yep, that’s it.

Those 6 little words saved my dream of being a nurse.

Well, I actually overcompensated and pretty much any time I am in the hospital I “turn off my nose”. During my patient assessments, I actually have to deliberately breath through my nose to check for anything foul (ok, sorry, a bit gross here).

Now, you are going to have to believe me on this, but you can do this in a way so you do not sound like you have your nose in a finger pinch “)

That’s it for this Flashback Friday “)

8 comments:

Elaine said...

This was too funny, until I remembered, I was your patient once...

Becca said...

Too funny!!

Shelze said...

As a nurse I remember those 6 words all too well..and then I tell nursing students and it's like I told them how to breathe underwater or something.

Rebekah said...

It wasnt the bed pan that got to me as much as having someone vomit on my shoes. yuck!!!!!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Bed pans = gross! But sometimes that trick works for Mommies too!

wife.mom.nurse said...

Love these comments, you guys are killing me ")

AtYourCervix said...

It usually works, to breathe through your mouth only. However, sometimes that gag reflex goes into overdrive, and you gag and retch anyway.

Discouraged Wife and Mom said...

I currently work on the Med/Surg floor at our small hospital. I am just a ward clerk, but occasionally I do attend to patients in the form of emptying bedpans, BSCs, and assisting the aides with bathing. I will certainly remember this trick for when I attend school to become an RN!