Sunday, January 18, 2009

Nurse Follies: Be a Donor!

My friend, Red, called me the other night while I was at work. She hardly ever calls me at work unless she has established that I have the time to take a call. She didn't this time. That's how traumatized she was.

Red is currently in the Southwest doing the travel-nurse thing. In her travels, she has encountered many different things, but the latest and greatest took even me by surprise when she announced that she was the lucky nurse that got to do a fecal transplant that day.

Fecal what?!?!

For those of you intelligent people who don't watch Gray's Anatomy (apparently this very thing was featured on one of their shows when the characters weren't sleeping with each other), fecal transplant is the new hotness for treating c-diff, which is horrible unto itself.

I looked up fecal transplant and found mountains of data on it. Sometimes, the cure is worse than the disease, so naturally the doctors make the nurses do it. Poor Red. Morbidly curious, I asked her to elaborate.

First, she had to get a poop specimen from a healthy family member who hadn't taken any antibiotics within a certain time frame.

Let's stop right there. How is God's name do you broach this with the family?!?!?!? A concerned family member stopping by with a Pick-Me-Up Bouquet enters the room, only to have the nurse demand they go into the bathroom and produce a brown trout? Not quite the same as donating blood. At least with blood, you get to brag that you possibly saved your family member's life with your generous gift and everyone looks to you with respect. How are people going to look at you when you announce that you might have saved your family member's life because you ate chili that day and gifted them with big turd???


After receiving the brown gift of life, Red takes the specimen into the Poop Preparation Station and prepares it. This means making it into a "slurry". I don't want to know the details of this process, because it would mean I would never set foot in a Dairy Queen ever again.

Slurry process completed, Red strains the, ahem, slurry, leaving with a poop-tainted suspension, ready for transplant. From there, the concoction is administered via enema where the good bacteria in the donor battles the evil c-diff bacteria in the poor schmuck who has it.

In some cases, I am nauseated to say, it is administered through an nasogastric tube. If that is the case, you better hope and pray that the tube doesn't get dislodged during the administering, otherwise you'll belching up whatever your brother had for lunch that day.

After my phone conversation with Red, I relayed the information to my coworkers, whom a couple of them referenced the Gray's Anatomy episode (ugh). We don't do this practice at my hospital, but it's only a matter of time before some doctor who hates nurses is going to push for this to be implemented.

And that will be the day that I leave nursing and go teach for the Kansas City School District.


Kansas Sity Sinic said...

Ironically, I had a Giardia (sp??) last year, but while awaiting my stool sample results, they thought it might be C-Diff and I watched that episode.

Aw. Ful.

Thankfully, a little Flagyl and sans booze, I was cured.

Candice said...

I would be coming home telling my husband the good news...

"Hey, guess what I did today?"


"Got a new fucking job!"

Sorry. Not no, but hell no!

bobbie said...

Oh. My. God.

SOOOOOO glad I don't work in a hopital anymore!!

Brad said...

Wow. Talk about a crappy job! (Ba-dum-ching!)

Mo said...

Tell me I have this to look forward to in a couple of years.


Joe said...

That's gotta be one of the nastiest things I've heard of. And I know nurses. Ugh.