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Ridiculous nursing tips that really work


Image: Devon Yu + Keith Bell | Veer

That trick never works! (Wait. Maybe it will….)

When the fine folks here at Scrubs asked me to do a short series of posts on nursing, one of their suggested subjects was “Ridiculous Tips from Nurses.” I should probably call it “Ridiculous Tips from Other Nurses” because, as you, my astute readership, already knows, Agatha Lellis is a number of things (fabulous, graceful, lightly scented and lovely), but never, ever is she redonk.

However, I have plenty of (cough) coworkers (cough) who are.

Ridiculous Tip Number One: Unclogging a G-tube

We’ve all seen this: a PEG tube that refuses, despite our entreaties and exhortations, to become unclogged. We’ve all tried Coca-Cola, meat tenderizer and prayer, and we’ve all failed.

My best redonk tip for clearing a clogged G-tube came from a rehabilitation physician, so I’m not sure it even fits here, but here goes:

Mix papain (meat tenderizer) with very hot water from the coffee machine and massage it down the tube.

Swear to frogs, people, that works every time. It might take more than one application and a little effort, but I’ve unclogged tubes that were the equivalent of Tut’s tomb with that technique.

Why you should carry a tape measure –>

Agatha Lellis
Agatha Lellis is a nurse whose coffee is brought to her every morning by a chipmunk. Bluebirds help her to dress, and small woodland creatures sing her to sleep each night. She writes a monthly advice column, "Ask Aunt Agatha," here on Scrubs; you can send her questions to be answered at

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