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Aug
01

Of Stool Specimens and Foley Caths

You guessed it! Today’s lab was all about personal care practices, including dietary guidelines for different patients (ahem, clients), GI issues (stoma pouches and enema administration), and overall specimen collection from all bodily orifices. We’re not quite to actually inserting foley catheters yet, but we’ve learned how to care for them, collect sterile specimens and empty catheter bags. We also brushed each other’s teeth today! 🙂

What’s funny about all this is how un-grossed out I was by the whole thing. It might still a bit of a malodorous shock the first time I have to burp a stoma bag – if you don’t know, don’t ask – but even the less glamorous aspects of nursing are thrilling to me right now! And in my view, your job is to help the client feel as comfortable and cared for as humanly possible during a very stressful time, and if that means helping them relieve constipation, then by golly, give me some gloves and a Fleets bottle!

It’s times like these when my previous experience comes in quite handy. From helping care for my father to working in a group home, I already feel comfortable with some of the personal care aspects of my future career. One of my residents in the home had cerebral palsy, so we were constantly doing wound checks, making sure he didn’t aspirate liquids and putting on condom catheters so he could be as independent as possible. So yes, this part of nursing isn’t “sexy” but it is sure as hell necessary and important to the people we support.

Here’s to surviving Week One!

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