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Monday, June 17, 2013

I work in a hazadous waste dump

There are days I feel like I work in a hazardous waste dump.  A hazardous human waste dump.  Sometimes what we do is so gross.  It is gross to the point where I have to wear a mask with vaseline smeared in it in order to avoid vomiting.  Those are the times when I think: Why the hell do I do a job such as this?  I mean...seriously...am I insane?   Am I some kind of masochist?

These are the times when I think: THEY DO NOT PAY ME ENOUGH.  We should be making triple what we do. If the public saw what we really deal with on a regular basis they would be shocked:
Every disgusting thing that comes out of the human body has to be cleaned up by somebody and that person is a nurse.

From the smell of c diff to GI bleed to homeless feet to beer and cigarettes, we deal with it.  Day after day.  j

The worst thingl I ever smelled was burning flesh.  A doctor decided to removed some kind of skin growths in our ER (totally inappropriate).

Sorry this is a digusting blog entry, but it is the reality of what we do and Lord knows I'm all about being real. ...

Here's a question for you: What do you use to get rid of bad smells?  We use coffee grounds.


20 comments:

Anonymous said...

peppermint oil - 1 drop on your mask or iodine gauze hung in room also helps

Sara said...

we use peppermint oil too to try to cover up the smell of C diff but IT DOES NOT WORK. and now unfortunately whenever i smell peppermint oil at work i smell C diff, even if there is no C diff present. yuck.

i like the coffee grounds idea though ...

Mal said...

If you have a very bad smell that lingers, you can use malt vineger or sliced onions to clear it.

Of course, you then have to wait for these to fade. Sometimes it's worth it. At least they're 'clean' smells.

Vicks vapor rub, tea-tree oil or eucalyptus oil in the mask can also help. For the worst cases, combine with a charcoal filter.

Andrew Malpaso said...

Orange Peels and Garlic seem to help

Discount Cardiology said...

I prefer the use of vinegar

Kim said...

Iodoform packing strips hanging from the doors of the stinky room...sometimes coffe...packing strips are the BEST!

kelly ogreer said...

What do you do with the coffee grounds?

Doc Rugrat said...

We put the coffee grounds into filters and hide them in rooms where the smell is particularly bad. The coffee soaks up and overwhelms (sorta) the stink.

Anonymous said...

You are right about the burned skin smell. I worked in the ED of a Trauma Level 1 hospital so we got lots of massively burned patients. The smell is not pleasant, for sure, but it's staying power is incredible. I could still smell the burned flesh and hair days after the event - I think it clung to the hairs and grooves in my nostrils the way nothing else can. Added to that is the memory of the patient - trying to keep him breathing so he can talk to his wife before paralyzing and intubating - knowing he is going to die and go through tremendous pain before he does, and trying unsuccessfully to keep him warm ... Come to think of it, maybe a few days of a bad smell is not such a big thing.

girlvet said...

unfortunately we don't have vinegar orange peels or garlic in the er

ekg-machine-man said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ekg-machine-man said...

I have never gotten over the smell of burnt skin. I haven't found anything that works

jparadisirn said...

Two ideas:
Some nurses tear the top off of alcohol pledgets, and hold the top half of the pledget to their noses to not only reduce odor, but they say it eases nausea too.

If you have tea bags available in the break room, or for patients, some nurses hold pepermint tea bags to their noses, also to reduce odor and or nausea.
Good luck.

Mark p.s.2 said...

When building an emergency department they should engineer a fresh air inlet and an air suction device for each bed to try to minimize the effects of the bad smells. The sense of smell goes directly to your emotional brain.

"When your olfactory receptors are stimulated, they transmit impulses to your brain. This pathway is directly connected to your limbic system, the part of your brain that deals with emotions. That's why your reactions to smell are rarely neutral - you usually either like or dislike a smell. Smells also leave long-lasting impressions and are strongly linked to your memories."

RUDE NURSE?? said...

in the worst case we put deodorizer in a continuous neb and connect to the air port and let it run. sometimes you just can't get the smell out of the room after the pt leaves, this works well, takes care of room and hall.

nursie said...

Vanilla extract. Get a few medicine cups from the kitchen, and soak cotton balls or 2x2 gauze in the medicine cups, and place them in strategic places around the patient room... I'm partial to hiding one or two under the bed, one on the shelf in the bathroom, one by the sharps container. Gets rid of EVERYTHING, including icky GI bleed smell of dooooom.....

girlvet said...

Wow nebulizer, very innovative!

brokeshopaholic said...

we put vanilla extract in a nebulizer, works like a charm. great for those fungating cancer wounds.

Running Around the Kitchen said...

Put wintergreen oil in the air deoderizer and spray it, coffe grounds and wintergreen oil on gauze in med cups. We were told putting the deoderizer/wintergreen oil in nebs was a health violation :( it worked well though!

Anonymous said...

We have done the mouthwash nebulizer thing too! Works great.

My favorite bathtime concoction for that old ground in never-takes-a-bath-at-home stinkiness was a basin of warm water, a squirt of hibiclens, a shot of mouthwash and a shot of that old man aqua-velva aftershave we stocked for pt use. Worked like a charm so deodorize and freshen up those patients. I think the alcohol in the mouthwash cut through the grime, then the aqua velva could soak in, and the hibiclens cut down on the surface bacteria. Lol, good times.