1. Dealing with poop
2. Getting stuck with a dirty needle
3. Doing something wrong and injuring our patient.
Thankfully, #3 did not happen today. Unfortunately, #1 and #2 did.
The day started off normally, and I went in with Danielle to check on our patient. She seemed a little more responsive today, so we thought we might have a good day. We came back an hour later with her Albuterol mask to help her with her asthma, and when we put it on her, she suddenly started taking these huge gasps and her face and neck turned bright red. Dang, what did I do wrong? Am I killing her? I lean down to listen more closely to her breathing when all of the sudden, I hear an explosion. I have heard the expression "explosive diarrhea" before, but I never would have believed it could be this bad. When we were finally brave enough to conquer the diaper, we had on masks, gloves, eye goggles, and a gown (our patient has Shingles so we are supposed to take these precautions). We pulled the sheet off of her and I looked down at my glove and there was poop on it. I hadn’t even touched her yet, where did this come from? Remember that explosion? When I saw how much liquid diarrhea was all over her and her bed, I felt the vomit rising. I can’t vomit with a mask on! There would be nowhere for it to go, and I’m not touching my face with poop on my hand!!! Thank God, I just made some interesting sound effects and was able to keep my breakfast down. It took us almost an hour to clean all the diarrhea up. The interesting thing about it was that there was none on her backside. It was all on her side or up on her stomach. Oh, I am getting sick just thinking about it. You probably are too. So I’ll move on….
After the explosion incident, I thought the day had to get better. Ignorance can be bliss, until reality pokes you hard with a dirty needle. Well, reality actually poked my two good friends, Danielle and Rachel, with dirty needles. I will spare you the details, but today two of my classmates were poked with two separate dirty needles from the same patient. We are praying this woman does not have any diseases, because it will be absolutely devastating if she does. Poor girls!!
Lessons for the day:
1. When a patient is turning red and taking deep breaths or holding their breath, step away, DO NOT lean towards them.
2. Do not poke yourself with a dirty needle. Too much paperwork to deal with, AND they poke you again with another needle (this one is clean though) to do blood tests on you. Two pokes in one day? Not fun at all.
3. When putting the pants on a 102 year old woman, do not "tuck her girls in". Breasts sag when you get older, and I guess it’s not fashionable to wear them tucked into your elastic pants.