Exclusive sneak peek: You’ll laugh out loud at this chapter from Nurse Eye Roll’s new book!
I wanted to give Scrubs magazine readers an exclusive SNEAK PEEK into my new book, Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Take Care of Your Patients and Yourself! Here is an excerpt from my chapter about surviving nursing school…it’s a story about when a 650-pound man farted in my face. Yes, you read that right.
Entrapment: Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner
I completed my internship on a 40-bed surgical floor that had about 10 step-down rooms. My preceptor and myself were caring for a 650 lb. male patient in his early 30s in one of the step-down rooms.
He had already coded twice during this admission.
My preceptor came to let me know the patient told him that he needed to have a bowel movement. My eyes widened with disbelief and concern. In the busyness of the day, it had never occurred to me to think about what we would have to do if he had to have a bowel movement.
My preceptor explained to me that we had to get him up to the bedside commode.
Again, my eyebrows furrowed with confusion. The mechanics of it boggled my mind.
“How on earth are we going to do this?” I thought, as my preceptor started walking around the unit, recruiting nurses to help us complete this seemingly impossible task.
It was going to take seven of us to get this man to go from his bed, which was half the width of the room, to the bedside commode, which was a fourth of the width of the room. We also grabbed a couple of physical therapists, a tech, and a few nurses. This was going to be quite a feat.
We gathered supplies to change his bed, as we had to take advantage of the time that he would be out of the bed. We were going to clean the bed that he’d been sitting on for his entire admission. We had been rolling him side to side to clean him and the bed, but needed to do a deep clean while we could. We were also planning on cleaning in between various folds of his skin that were previously inaccessible with him in the bed. Nurses really know how to maximize their time.
At 650 lbs., each extremity weighed about the same as each staff member. We sat him up with one manning each leg, two at his back, and one on each arm with an additional person standing by just in case. This alone caused us all to begin to perspire.
We shuffled him to the edge of the bed with the help of a solid sheet and good ergonomics. Miraculously, he was able to stand with the support of a bariatric walker.
In the frantic shuffle of things, somehow I got pinned between the wall and the commode. As I slowly put the pieces of the situation together, I came to a realization.
My position in the room could only mean one thing: I was the only one who would be able to wipe his backside when he was done. Me.
(Gulp) “I can do this. I can do this,” I thought as I put on my eye-of-the-tiger face. I gave myself a mini-pep talk. I took a few deep breaths to get my mind right. “This is going to happen whether I like it or not, so I better make it count. This is going to be the best tush-wiping I’ve ever done,” I thought.
If it wasn’t completely unprofessional, I would have slowly made eye contact with everyone in the room and confidently said, “Bring it on,” like we were down 20 points at halftime and were ready to destroy our opponent with cleanliness.
Kati Kleber BSN, RN CCRN is a a nationally certified critical care nurse located in Charlotte, NC. She is the Nurse Advisor and Editorial Director of the #ProtectNurses initiative, and will be guiding the content we curate, create, and share back with you. Kleber, aka Nurse Eyeroll, is a popular blogger, the voice behind the wildly successful #ProTips series, and a frequent speaker on nursing leadership. You can buy her book "Becoming Nursey" at nurseeyeroll.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other sites. She also has two more books in the works, which will be published by the American Nurses Association and on shelves Feb. 2016!
By Kati Kleber BSN, RN