Monday, June 08, 2009

When You Know What Hits the Fan (Literally!) or the Nontypical Day of an RN

I was on call for endoscopy this weekend. This morning at 0500 I was rudely awakened by the phone ringing. I had to be at the hospital in 30 minutes to do a colonoscopy on a patient in the ER. I threw on scrubs, brushed by teeth and quickly combed by sleep-tweaked hair. I grabbed a makeup bag and curling iron knowing I wouldn't have time to come home before I was due at 8:00 at pre admit. This ended up being the colonoscopy to end all colonoscopies. They usually take about 30 minutes. We were still going at 3 1/2 hours and poop was everywhere. We had to do colonic lavages to clean the patient's colon of poop and barium from the barium enema the patient had. This consists of pushing fluids into the colon and sucking them out. Over and over again. For hours.There was poop on the guerney, poop on the dr. and tech, on the floor, on the walls and we had suction containers full of it all over. I guess we were used to the smell but the housecleaning staff who came in afterwards were all gagging. The good thing is the patient was sedated and not aware of any of it and tolerated the procedure well.

5 1/2 hrs later I went to the next department I was to work in and my first patient was almost hostile and angry about the Medi-Cal system. I was almost scared to close the door and be left alone with the patient. The last patient was also in a bad mood as evidenced by wondering if the EKG would be normal if she was irritable. It was, needless to say, one of those days that is so bizarre you just laugh at it all. One good thing is I was on call pay so made 1 1/2 times my usual. I am now home 11 hours later and in need of a bath and a long nap.

8 comments:

Lindsey said...

i couldn't ever handle the poop. i couldn't!

Kasey said...

That is disgusting! How in the world did this person have so much poop?! GROSS! Doesn't sound like you got hit with any of it though so that's good.

Kalie said...

nontypical or not...I am so glad I didn't go into nursing. Working at the adult care home is enough poop for me... luckily most of them make it in the toilet :)

Kelly said...

Disgusting!!! That is why I can't be a nurse. I couldn't handle that. I was gagging cleaning up Cohen's poop yesterday and that was a small amount and he's my kid. So GROSS. I don't know if any amount of pay would be worth it! See you tonight.

Jami said...

gross! I don't know how you do what you do...but amen for you, because I wouldn't want to do it, even for time and a half!

Bev and Roger said...

Oh my gosh, Pam. They didn't tell us in nursing school that would happen, did they? I think I would have changed my major if they did. I thought all the '%hit' work was done by CNAs. How did you stand it? You deserved combat pay in addition to the time and 1/2!!!!

Alex said...

oh my gosh mom that is the sickest thing ever. I would have thrown up for sure!

Kasey said...

Crazy, When I did my ER rotation we had a guy come in with a bloated stomach and pain who had a colonoscopy done earlier in the day... sure enough, the intestines were accidentally punctured during the procedure and the guy had bowel seeping through the perforation into his lower abdomen, the ct scan looked crazy. I can not imagine how you can do that colon stuff...you have one tough stomach - matt