Monday, March 06, 2006

Nurse Follies: Soap is Our Friend

Unbeknownst to myself and my coworkers, my hospital is apparently running a special for those prospective patients with very bad hygiene.

Bad Hygiene Week: Act Now and Get a Free Bar of Dial Soap!

This weekend has been one of those weekends, last night especially, where you just come home, strip down to your birthday suit once you get inside, and make a mad sprint to the shower. It was that disgusting.

At the beginning of the shift, I thought that maybe I could stop by the store on my way home and pick up some stuff so I can make a fabulous dinner. By morning, the idea of me even standing in a produce section didn't sound like a well-thought out plan. I could inadvertantly expose the Northland to some bacteria that hitched a ride on my scrub jacket. Some bacteria that hasn't even been identified by modern science. No one wants to be responsible for spreading Captain Tripps, causing the extinction of every man, woman and child in Kansas City, so I just came straight home.

We will be going out tonight for dinner.

It never fails to amaze me how gross people can be. Last night, one of my patients chucked his urinal onto the floor...after he had filled it. Piss was everywhere! I stood there in the doorway, surveying the damage, making a mental note to clean my shoes after I left the room.

Me: Why did you do that?
Gross Patient #1: I was finished with it.
Me: You could have called.
Gross Patient #1: (shrugging his shoulders) I want a cup of coffee.

At least I wasn't alone, all the other nurses had their lion's share of nastiness to behold. Just a few doors down from Piss Thrower, was the Grunter. He would perch himself on a commode at least 2-3 times an hour, grunting and straining so hard, you could hear him down the hall. I was certain he was going to blow out his O-ring before the night was through. What made this more noteworthy was that he would call friends and family, while he was sitting on his throne.

Gross Patient #2: Yeah, I was going to go uuuunnnngggghhhhhh and visit him, but I had to come here aaaarrrrrggggghhhhh instead.

Meanwhile, Gross Patient #3 is bored and has resorted to picking his boogers and flicking them across the room. Thankfully, I didn't have to go into his room for anything.

They come in with their horrible smell, and no matter how many baths they get, no matter how much soap, shaving cream, toothpaste, deodorant, powder and anything else we can get our hands on, the person will still stink to high heaven after we are finished. It's almost like someone took a big crap in their mouth and forgot to flush.

After nights like this, though, I am eternally grateful I don't work in OB. Women with bad hygiene often translate into lethal smelling girly parts that would send even the most seasoned nurse into early retirement.

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